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Congrats to Gold Awardees

Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast recently honored 30 girls, including three from Suffolk, who earned their Gold Award during the 2018 membership year.

The three young ladies from Suffolk honored were Alexis Alston, Tara Grady and Olivia Weaver. Grady was also recognized as one of three 2018 National Young Women of Distinction nominees.

These young ladies created and carried out projects that, with the sustainability efforts they implemented, will have a positive effect on generations to come.

Alexis Alston created a functional outdoor space at Pioneer Elementary School, adding picnic tables and a small garden. The project will be sustained by the school’s garden club, and she created a guidebook for other schools to follow her model in creating their own outdoor learning areas.

Tara Grady created an awareness campaign to teach others about Tourette syndrome to create better understanding and acceptance of the disorder. She conducted presentations for faculty at multiple local schools to educate teachers. She also created an online support community for teens with Tourette syndrome and has already lined up a moderator for after she graduates.

Olivia Weaver wrote and illustrated a children’s book titled “Lucy’s Big Idea.” The book follows a little girl named Lucy who pursues a friendship with a girl who is hard of hearing. She hosted story times at libraries in Suffolk, where she read the book, taught basic signs and led a coloring activity on bookmarks she created. She also created a lesson plan to go along with her book and donated her book to two library systems.

The Gold Award is a significant achievement. According to girlscouts.org, less than 6 percent of Girl Scouts annually achieve the Gold Award. Each Gold Award Girl Scout spends one to two years working on her project — in addition, of course, to all of her other activities both within and outside of Scouting. The average age of recipients is 17, indicating that Girl Scouts spend many years after they join the Girl Scouts working toward this goal.

As it takes much dedication and commitment to achieve, the Gold Award is highly thought of in American society. Gold Award recipients who enter the military enter one rank higher than other recruits. University research has also indicated that adding the Gold Award to a college application is a critical element in the admissions decision process, according to girlscouts.org.

We think it’s safe to say that our three newest Gold Award Girl Scouts from Suffolk have exceeded expectations, and we can’t wait to hear more about the amazing things they will do in the future.