Going for Gold: Two local teens awarded Girl Scouts’ highest honor

Going for Gold 

Two local teens awarded Girl Scouts’ highest honor.

By Sara Goodwin

For two North Valley teens, their futures are looking a little extra sparkly thanks to the Girl Scout Gold Award.

The Gold Award, which is comparable to the Boy Scouts of America’s Eagle Scout merit, is the most prestigious award in all of Girl Scouting, and it’s no easy feat to get. Girls spend over 80 hours working on a project that addresses a community problem and will “outlast” them. The process often takes 18 to 24 months and often involves seeking in-kind donations and recruiting volunteers.

But it’s not just the Girl Scouts who recognize what an honor this award is. Gold Awardees distinguish themselves in the college admission process, earn college scholarships, and enter the military one rank higher. Nationally, only about one million Girl Scouts in grades ninth through 12th have earned the Gold Award or its equivalent since 1916.

“I am honored to congratulate these outstanding girls,” says Tamara Woodbury, CEO of Girl Scouts-Arizona Cactus-Pine Council. “By earning the Gold Award, Girl Scouts set themselves apart as top achievers, and are incredible women of confidence, courage, and character, who make the world a better place.”

Here’s a snapshot of the North Valley girls’ golden work:

Allison Daugherty

Through the Girl Scouts, Daugherty has been able to take risks on her own in a safe, supportive environment. Being a Girl Scout has also led her to unique networking opportunities, which ultimately led her to her Gold Award project.

A former AAEC Paradise Valley student and current Arizona State University sophomore, Daugherty is majoring in speech and hearing science with plans to attend dental school in the future. Through her Gold Award project, Allison was able to volunteer for the Arizona Mission of Mercy dental clinic for three years, learning an incredible amount about the dental community and profession, ultimately leading her to her intended career path.

Through her work with the dental clinic, Daugherty was inspired to help teach young people the importance of good oral hygiene. She provided more than 250 students with information on caring for their teeth, as well as realistic health improving changes. She also created and distributed informational coloring books at the clinic in 2014 and 2015.

Alexandra Neumann

For Neumann, a Girl Scout for 11 years, the organization has transformed her. “I know that I am the person I am today because of the amazing learning experiences that the Girl Scout program has offered me.”

Throughout the years, the Girl Scouts not only inspired confidence in Neumann but also challenged her to make meaningful changes and contributions to her community. In fifth grade, she helped plan her first large-scale philanthropic project in the pursuit of her troop’s Bronze Award, collecting donations for the Arizona Animal Welfare League (AAWL), which resulted in the largest donation AAWL had ever received.

Her community service and philanthropic efforts didn’t stop there though, as she earned her Silver Award working with Tranquility Trail. Then when she entered high school though, at Scottsdale Preparatory Academy, and began thinking of her Gold Award, she decided she wanted to take on a more global issue. So when she noticed the amount of reusable and recyclable school supplies that were thrown away every year, she was called to act.

Neumann created Salvage the School Supplies, a program that educates students on the importance of recycling. Neumann was able to institute the club at both her high school and middle school, where members learn the value of recycling and donation. They also coordinate an end-of-year school supply collection drive, and since the start of the program two year ago, they have been able to donate supplies to more than 250 students, saving nearly 3,500 gallons of recyclables from the landfills.

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