Manatee County resident and Saint Stephen’s Episcopal School student Emma Craig earned Girl Scouting’s highest honor—the Gold Award—with her project titled Balloons Don’t Go to Heaven.
Balloon releases are common for remembering lost loved ones or celebrating special occasions, but are extremely harmful to the environment and wildlife. Emma created a documentary, including interviews with local experts, to inform her community about balloon releases, their negative impact, and alternative solutions. Emma went on a tour of speaking engagements and even landed the opportunity to present at the international Water is Life Conference in 2020.
“A leader does not give up. Even when things did not go my way or I felt frustrated, I never gave up.”
The Girl Scout Gold Award, open to high school Girl Scouts, recognizes girls who demonstrate extraordinary leadership through take-action projects with sustainable impact in their communities. The Gold Award is so prestigious that some universities and colleges offer scholarships unique to Gold Award Girl Scouts, and girls who enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces may receive advanced rank in recognition of their achievements.