Girl Scouts of WNY announces Mallory Edgell as a 2020 Gold Award Girl Scout

Girl Scouts of Western New York is proud to announce Mallory Edgell of Fairport, NY, as a 2020 Gold Award Girl Scout. Edgell’s project, Inspiring Through Art: Perinton Pedestrian Bridge Mural, involved collaborating with the Fairport Public Arts Committee, Fairport Public Works, and local mural artist Lorraine Staunch to create a work of public art for the community.

Edgell’s artwork is located along a pedestrian bridge along the canal, outside the village of Fairport. The mural features the quote, “let’s root for each other and watch each other grow.” After getting paint donated by Sherwin Williams, Edgell enlisted the help of as many people as possible to paint.

“I wanted them to see that anyone can create art,” said Mallory Edgell. “By helping they learned basic painting skills, and can now see something they helped with have a permanent place in the community. I hope this will inspire others to take action like I did and express themselves creatively in ways that will benefit their communities. I was very lucky to have been able to see the effect my project immediately had on the community. As I was painting many people came up to me and asked about the project. I explained my goals and process for the project. One of the best conversations I had was with a woman who had been running past my mural for many days. She had been training for a marathon and seeing the mural pop up and the progress each time she went past it was the best part of her run and inspired her to keep going.”

Edgell said that “Girls Scouts has provided me the opportunity to grow as a person and explore all the opportunities and possibilities out there in life. It has made me a stronger and more resilient person, while also encouraging kindness and respect as everyday values. Most importantly it has provided me the opportunity to empower other young women and girls and show them that they truly can do anything they set their mind to.”

By earning her Gold Award during the 2020 Girl Scouting year, Edgell will be included in a virtual acknowledgment this June. All 2020 Gold Award Girl Scouts will receive the option to be a part of the 2021 in-person Gold Award ceremony next year to receive their Gold Award pin. The Girl Scout Gold Award is the most prestigious award in the world for girls.

The Gold Award project is the culmination of all the work a girl puts into “going for the Gold.” A Girl Scout’s project should be something that a girl can be passionate about—in thought, deed, and action that encompasses organizational, leadership, and networking skills. The project should also fulfill a need within a girl’s community (whether local or global) and create change that has the potential to be on-going or sustainable. Approximately 80 hours of community service are involved in the project. Completion of the Gold Award also qualifies the Girl Scout for special scholarship opportunities and she can enlist in the military at a higher starting pay grade.

The Girl Scout Gold Award, the most prestigious award in the world for girls, acknowledges the power behind each recipient’s dedication to not only empowering and bettering herself, but also to making the world a better place for others. These young women are courageous leaders and visionary change makers.

The Gold Award requires a Girl Scout to identify an issue and investigate it to understand what can be done to address the problem. The girl then forms a team to act as a support system, including a project advisor close to the issue who is not a troop leader or family member, while she leads the project. The Girl Scout creates a plan to ensure they know what steps they must tackle while working on the project. The Girl Scout submits a proposal for her project to her local Girl Scout council. After acceptance, the girl begins to work through the steps of their plan utilizing the assistance of her support team where necessary. Lastly, the project is used to educate and inspire others about the cause they are addressing.

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Emma Smith completes her Gold Award project, a mural at the Monroe County Visitation Center

[The information and quotes for this post were gathered from the ‘Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Mural at the Visitation Center‘ post on the Society for the Protection and Care of Children’s website. To learn more about her project, click here to read the full submission.]

Recently, Emma Smith, high school junior, completed her Gold Award project. Pulling from her love for art, Emma decided to paint a mural at the Monroe County Visitation Center, where there are 1,500 supervised visits a month between foster children and their parents/families.

Image via SPCC

Her inspiration came from the ‘Freddie-Sue’ bridge in downtown Rochester, named for Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony. She added some of the city skyline, the Genesee River, and a peregrine falcon. She wanted a design that would appeal to both children and adults who passed by it when coming to the Center.

She spent many hours researching foster care in Monroe County and working with different organizations to get the project and mural design approved. Once the details were finalized, Emma spent four days painting the mural.

To fund her Gold Award project, she pulled from profits she’s earned during her 10 years of selling Girl Scout cookies!

Based on her submission, the mural began bringing joy before it was finished, with children smiling and looking at it as they passed by when Emma was in the process of painting it.

Well done, Emma, and congratulations!