Twelve outstanding young women across Lee, Sarasota, and Manatee Counties dedicated over 80 hours each to attain the highest award in Girl Scouting, the Gold Award.
The Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida are proud to recognize twelve outstanding young women for earning the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest achievement in Girl Scouting. The Gold Award recognizes high school Girl Scouts who address issues they are passionate about by planning and implementing a project that produces lasting change in their communities and beyond.
Local Gold Award Girl Scouts and their projects include:
- Abigail Dalesandro, North Fort Myers High School; Art Through Lee: Behind the Scenes and LOTHCAT Draws
- Alexis Morrison, homeschooled in Sarasota; Mental Health Awareness
- Alexis Smith, Lehigh Senior High School; Heart to Heart
- Autumn Pepper Rhodes, Cypress Lake High School Center for the Arts; Girls Who Soar
- Faith Chaney, Sarasota High School; Period’s Aren’t Taboo
- Jainley Garcia, Oasis High School; Educating The Youth On Deforestation & Urbanization
- Julia Sammons, Lakewood Ranch High School; Reading and the Mind
- Madison Witherspoon, Riverview High School; L.F.A Program
- Natasha Agarwal, Canterbury School Ft. Myers; PAGETURNER Digital Learning Library
- Olivia Thorstad, Cypress Lake High School; Removing Barriers to Student Success
- Tristan Blankenship, North Port High School; Tristan’s Blankets of Love
- Victoria King, Bonita Springs High School; Volleyball for Confidence
The girls will be recognized for their achievements on Sunday, April 30th at the 3rd annual GSGCF Gold Award Celebration Luncheon at the Plantation Golf and Country Club in Venice, FL, where they will receive their Gold Awards and have the opportunity to speak about their projects to friends, family, and members of the Board of Directors of GSGCF. The girls will also be distinguished at GSGCF’s annual Young Women of Distinction Ceremony, which will be held this year on May 21st at the Charlotte Harbor Convention Center in Port Charlotte, FL.
“Gold Award Girl Scouts are the dreamers and doers who take ‘make the world a better place’ to the next level,” said GSGCF CEO Mary Anne Servian. “These girls tackled issues that are important to them and their communities, and we congratulate them on this momentous accomplishment.”
The Girl Scout Gold Award acknowledges the power behind each Gold Award Girl Scout’s dedication to not only empowering and bettering herself, but also to making the world a better place for others. Through earning the Gold Award, Girl Scouts become innovative problem solvers, empathetic leaders, confident public speakers, and focused project managers. They learn resourcefulness, tenacity, and decision-making skills, giving them an edge personally and professionally.
By earning their Gold Awards, these young women have distinguished themselves as true community leaders and change-makers who have made a meaningful and sustainable difference in the world. Their accomplishments reflect leadership and social responsibility that set them apart from their peers.
According to recent research, Gold Award Girl Scouts are more likely to fill leadership roles at work and in their personal lives and are more civically engaged than their non-Girl Scout peers. Eighty-five percent of Gold Award Girl Scouts say that earning their Gold Award gave them skills to succeed in their daily lives, and eighty-seven percent say it gave them skills to help them succeed professionally.
As a bonus, the Gold Award opens doors to a variety of scholarships, preferred admission tracks for college, strong networking and amazing career opportunities, and much more. About 4,000 Girl Scouts earn their Gold Award every year, placing Abigail Dalesandro, Alexis Morrison, Alexis Smith, Autumn Pepper Rhodes, Faith Chaney, Jainley Garcia, Julia Sammons, Madison Witherspoon, Natasha Agarwal, Olivia Thorstad, Tristan Blankenship, and Victoria King among a prestigious community of change-makers who have achieved this honor. Since 1916, over 160,000 Girl Scouts have earned the Gold Award or its equivalent.