The Gold Award signifies outstanding accomplishments in the areas of leadership, community service, career planning or personal development. Recipients must fulfill various requirements and spend a minimum of 80 hours identifying and investigating an issue, building a team, creating a plan and taking action. Women who have received a Gold Award immediately rise one rank in any of the U.S. military branches and countless scholarships await girls who have earned the commendation.
“I was blown away by the accomplishments of this year’s Gold Award recipients,” said Maryann Barry, CEO of Girl Scouts of Citrus. “From a camp to spark children’s passion for the arts to the renovation of a Central Florida Zoo exhibit, these scouts have made a lasting impression on the community.”
The Brevard County Girl Scouts Gold Award recipients and their projects are:
Lauren Beadle (Melbourne, Florida)
As a student in the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program, Lauren feels strongly about Americans being able to speak more than one language.
Lauren, who is bilingual, started Operation Communication to address the lack of foreign language instruction in school curriculum. She created an international dinner at a local elementary school and identified a gap in the amount of languages Americans know versus citizens of other countries. Lauren hopes to convince the Brevard County School Board to conduct a pilot program highlighting her idea.
Lauren currently attends the University of Florida majoring in history and biology.
Sarah P. Chrieki (Palm Bay, Florida)
To Write Love on Her Arms: Palm Bay High School Chapter
Aware that self esteem issues and depression impact many teens, Sarah started a safe haven club at Palm Bay High School, where students could freely speak about their feelings and examine self-destructive behaviors.
By offering a place where students felt they mattered, Sarah helped her peers realize that hurting themselves will not solve any of their problems – addressing the issues will help them feel better.
Jesse Clark (Melbourne, Florida)
Mulah 4 Mutts
In an effort to address animal welfare in her community, Jesse partnered with Friends for Animals Sanctuary. Jesse and the team were able to open an animal thrift store to help fund a no-kill animal shelter in Brevard County.
Jesse is a senior at Melbourne High School and will attend the University of Central Florida in the fall majoring in Engineering.
Mary Gerlach (Indian Harbor Beach, Florida)
Teen Literacy Promotion
Mary is an avid reader who loves to write, recently publishing a collection of short stories. To support her reading habit, Mary volunteers at the local library, so for her Gold Award project, Mary focused on getting other teens involved in activities at the library and “hooked” on reading.
Mary’s other interests include history and languages. She hopes to combine all these passions as she studies International Affairs at college in the fall.
Mary is senior at West Shore Junior/Senior High School in Melbourne and has been a Girl Scout since first grade.
Sierra Horsey (Merritt Island, Florida)
Sierra created a state-funded camp called Art Camp where children have the opportunity to explore art mediums including theatre, music, painting, and photography during their five-day stay.
Sierra aimed to expose children to the arts, especially since most students do not receive art education at schools.
Sierra is a senior at Cocoa Beach Junior/Senior High School and has been a Girl Scout for twelve years. Sierra has also performed in musical theatre for ten years and plans to continue her passion for singing at Tuskegee University.
Kara Lubor (Merritt Island, Florida)
Food for Thought
Aware of how important it is to make good food choices, and how poorly most children eat, Kara developed a program that teaches middle school students how to make the best choices for their health.
By helping children become healthy and active, Kara was able to raise awareness about responsible food choices, the beneficial effects good eating habits, and the impact of exercise on the body.
Kara is a junior in high school and is dual enrolled in Brevard Community College. After high school, she plans to pursue a degree in nutrition.
Alexis Kulac and Erin McDede (Merritt Island, Florida)
Renovation of Scout Rooms, Creation of Room Care Procedures, General Use Craft Supplies & Games
Due to past heavy storms, the scout rooms in Grace United Methodist Church were in dire need of repairs. Alexis and Erin decided to renovate, repair, and renew the rooms in the church so that troops could comfortably meet and work. The space was totally revamped from carpets to walls and once completed a Girl Scout picture wall was constructed to display seventeen troops with a troop picture collage. Alexis and Erin, both graduating seniors at Merritt Island High School, have been Girl Scouts for 13 years. Alexis plans on attending Johnson and Whales University in North Miami and Erin plans on attending the University of North Florida in the fall.