Sarasota County resident and Suncoast Polytechnical High School graduate Emily Cruce earned Girl Scouting’s highest honor—the Gold Award—with her project titled Tranquil Hands and Paws.
When Emily heard that the Autism House in Sarasota didn’t have the time or funds for a much-needed landscaping makeover, she went above and beyond their expectations. Her team completely overhauled the dangerous backyard and transformed it into a safe and peaceful space for autistic children and their families. Emily also provided leashes, collars, toys, bowls, and treats for the support dogs in their program. Complete with a life-size Zen garden, benches, and dog topiaries—this is paradise.
“I discovered a strong sense of self because I am now confident in my ability to start and finish something when my heart is in it.”
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.