As educators, we strive to prepare our students for life after high school graduation. For many students, that means going to college. However, college admissions are more competitive than ever, and students need to prove their abilities. For example, anyone can say they’re a leader, but colleges want you to prove you’re a leader. One of the best ways girls can help their applications stand out is likely something they’ve never considered—the Girl Scouts Gold Award. This award proves that girls have what it takes to be successful in the challenging world of higher education. Not only that, the Gold Award opens doors to preferred-admission tracks as well as scholarships.
And the good news is, the award is not just for lifelong Girl Scouts. Any high school girl can join Girl Scouts for the first time and be eligible to earn the Gold Award.
How does earning the Gold Award prove that students are top college applicants?
Colleges look for students who can solve problems, act as leaders, be ambitious, and make positive changes on campus. Gold Award Girl Scouts can prove they have already honed these exact abilities.
Gold Award Girl Scouts are problem-solvers.
To earn the Gold Award, girls must develop a long-lasting and meaningful solution to a pressing challenge in their community or the world. Taryn-Marie, a 2019 National Gold Award Girl Scout who is now a student at Hampton University, wanted to help solve a challenge in the foster care system.
“After observing a service project focused on foster care that my mother was coordinating at work, I became very passionate about supporting youth in foster care,” says Taryn-Marie.
Taryn-Marie decided to spearhead a project that helps teens aging out of the foster care system to transition from high school to college. She developed a website for these students to provide them with information and tips for college preparation, admissions, and success. She also received donations to create dorm kits filled with college essentials.
Students, like Taryn-Marie, who take the lead in solving the world’s problems, are just the type of citizens colleges are looking for.
Gold Award Girl Scouts are proven leaders.
Gold Award Girl Scouts have already proven they have leadership skills. While working toward their Gold Award projects in high school, these girls act as high-level project managers who lead their peers and other community members to achieve their goals. After that, they are primed to take action, address important issues on campus, and be team players.
Taryn-Marie reflects on her experience: “Earning the Gold Award surely prepared me for college life. I feel that it helped me see the big picture of situations and to think of next steps. I am confident in my organizational skills and leadership style.”
Although just a freshman, she has already been accepted into a competitive leadership institute at Hampton University. She is also a member of her school’s yearbook club and campus television station.
Phoebe, another 2019 National Gold Award Girl Scout who is now a freshman at Stanford University, is also a leader on campus.
“I have already stepped into a leadership position in a club I’m in,” says Phoebe, “because the Gold Award has given me the confidence to learn along the way while I lead.”
Gold Award Girl Scouts are ambitious.
Gold Award Girl Scouts are driven to succeed. Earning the Gold Award requires grit, perseverance, and the willingness to work hard in order to achieve goals. Their dedication, not only in hours but also in design-thinking and relationship-building, develops the ability for these girls to see how their project will be sustainable and live beyond their immediate work.
For Phoebe, whose Gold Award project was to start a digital literary magazine that breaks down LGBTQ+ stereotypes, the process was revelatory. It increased her confidence and nurtured her drive to succeed.
“Starting a literary magazine was a risk that took me outside of my comfort zone,” she says. “But not only did I become a more well-rounded person, I learned that needs in the community don’t always fit your strengths. While I was worried I wasn’t the ‘right’ person for the job, I was the right person just by being willing to tackle the issue in the first place.”
Gold Award Girl Scouts are change-makers.
Gold Award Girl Scouts want to make the world a better place. They show remarkable dedication to improving their communities and the world. What better candidate could any university hope for?
“Being a National Gold Girl Scout opens up doors for me, without question,” says Taryn-Marie, “but that’s not really the point. When you’re lucky enough to have support in your life, you’ve got to use it to support others—and that’s exactly what I’m here to do.
Phoebe adds, “Completing my Gold Award has made me very aware of issues I see around me and possible ways to solve them, and I feel so much more connected and involved in my community because of that.”
How can my students earn the Girl Scouts Gold Award?
To earn the Gold Award, a girl must develop an innovative and sustainable solution to a challenge in society. This is a perfect opportunity for students to take action in an area they’re already passionate about, such as the environment, human rights, health and wellness, etc. Take a look at these inspiring 2019 National Gold Award Girl Scout projects.
How can teachers and counselors help students earn the Gold Award?
Encourage your students to become Gold Award Girl Scouts and support them as they tackle the challenge. Click the orange button below to get an informational flyer that explains how the Gold Award puts students on the fast track to college. Print and post the flyer in your classroom, guidance office, or hallways. You can also email it to students and their families or distribute hard copies.