Girl Scouts of Northern California is happy to announce that Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) has named Sakshi S. a 2018 National Gold Award Girl Scout, the organization’s most prestigious honor. GSUSA selects ten National Gold Award Girl Scouts (formerly known as the National Young Women of Distinction) annually among candidates who have earned their Girl Scout Gold Award®, which is the highest award a Girl Scout can earn and one that is only available to Girl Scouts. By designing and implementing extraordinary projects of measurable, sustainable, and far-reaching impact, these girls demonstrate a steadfast commitment and stunning ability to create true change.
Each year, thousands of girls in grades 9–12 nationwide are recognized as Gold Award Girl Scouts for transforming an idea for change into an actionable plan with strong impact on local, national, and global levels. Approximately 5 percent of Girl Scouts earn their Gold Award each year—and just ten girls in this high-achieving group receive the National Gold Award Girl Scout distinction. Applications are judged by previous National Gold Award Girl Scouts, leaders from a diverse array of professional fields, GSUSA executives, and a representative from the Kappa Delta Foundation.
For her Gold Award project, Sakshi worked with Amnesty International and Girls Learn International, and was inspired to tackle the issues of human trafficking and child marriage. Sakshi created Project GREET (Girl Rights: Engage, Empower, Train) in which she designed, created, and distributed documentary films, a training curriculum, a website, and a YouTube playlist to engage and educate audiences on these topics.
GSNorCal has had a girl from our Council selected as a National Gold Award Girl Scout every year since 2013! Other recent standout Gold Award projects by GSNorCal Girl Scouts include 2017 honoree Rajvi’s work on developing soil moisture sensors to help farmers conserve water, and 2015 honoree Annie’s Imaginarium, a career development conference that teaches students about public speaking and entrepreneurship. These projects exemplify the extraordinary leadership, passion, work ethic, and creativity of National Gold Award Girl Scouts as they discover and implement innovative solutions for community and global issues.
Research shows that participating in Girl Scouts and earning the Gold Award are linked to developing crucial leadership skills and advanced achievements. In addition to Girl Scouts being more than twice as likely than their non-Girl Scout peers to identify and solve problems in their communities, they are more likely to seek challenges and learn from setbacks, have confidence in themselves and their leadership abilities, and form and maintain healthy relationships. The majority of women who earned their Gold Award display more positive life outcomes compared with women who did not participate in Girl Scouts in their youth, including being more optimistic about their future; seeing themselves as leaders; and being more civically engaged, particularly in politics.
Congratulations, Sakshi! We know you have a bright future ahead of you as you continue to change the world.