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Gold Award recipients honored

Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast honored 30 girls who earned their Gold Award during the 2018 membership year on June 9.

Three Girl Scouts from Suffolk — Alexis Alston, Tara Grady and Olivia Weaver — were honored. Grady was also recognized as one of three 2018 National Young Women of Distinction nominees, along with Ava Gonzalez and Krysta Rutherford.

Suffolk Girl Scout Gold Award honoree Olivia Weaver is pictured with Carolene Goodwyn-Harris, chair of the Board of Directors, and Tracy Keller, chief executive officer of Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast. (submitted photo)

The Gold Award requires girls to identify an issue in the community and carry out a “Take Action” project to address the matter through leadership work. Nationwide, less than 6 percent of eligible Girl Scouts earn the Gold Award, which adds these Suffolk teens to an elite group of female leaders across the country with the honor.

With the help of the Gold Award, girls can earn college scholarships and even enter the military one rank ahead. Girls who earn their Gold Award rate their general success significantly higher than their peers. They also report greater success in reaching their goals in many areas.

From creating and selling works of art to donate money to a local church food pantry, to raising awareness about the dangers of driving under the influence, Girl Scouts used their Gold Award projects to draw attention to issues important to them to enact change in their communities.

During the celebration, Chesapeake Girl Scout Kaitlyn Duffy was honored posthumously for her project, “Protecting the Skin You’re In,” which worked to raise awareness of melanoma and the importance of protecting your skin to prevent the disease. Kaitlyn lost her life in a tragic car accident last year. Her mother accepted the Gold Award pin and her father received the Gold Award pin for parents as Kaitlyn’s positive impact on her community was honored.