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Spotlight on Gold Award Girl Scouts - Week 2


Each year we celebrate the Girl Scouts in our council who complete ‘take action projects’ and earn their Gold Awards. This year we have 20 amazing Gold Award Girl Scouts to recognize!

“Each Gold Award Girl Scout delivers on her promise to make the world a better place by making a sustainable difference in her community,” said Fran Marshall, Chief Executive Officer of Girl Scouts Spirit of Nebraska. “We are so proud of the girls who have achieved the highest award in Girl Scouts. We know they will go on to continue making a difference in our world.”

This is the second in a series of blog posts highlighting these go-getting, innovating, risk-taking Gold Award Girl Scouts—young women who know what it means to lead with true G.I.R.L. spirit!

Madison Elliott of Imperial*
When Madison learned her local fair board was seeking ways to beautify the Chase County Fairgrounds, she decided to take action. She wanted to help by creating an archway and sign to improve the appearance of the fairground’s west entrance. Madison worked with a local welder, a farrier, and volunteers to construct a 20’ x 17’ sign that uses donated horseshoes to spell out “Chase Co Fair & Expo.” Madison enlisted the younger girls in her multi-level Girl Scout troop to help her clean the horseshoes. The community is appreciative of Madison’s work and excited that fair visitors can enjoy the sign for years.

Cheyanne Ellis of Minden*
For her Girl Scout Gold Award, Cheyanne wanted to raise awareness of and help children with autism spectrum disorder. After raising money through a bake sale, she worked with her Girl Scout troop to create 20 sensory boards and 12 sensory bottles for the K-3 Life Skills Class at her local elementary school. After telling her school superintendent about her Take Action project, the district recognized Autism Awareness Day by encouraging students to wear blue on April 2. Cheyanne also placed advertisements in her local newspaper and Chamber of Commerce newsletter to educate residents of her town about autism spectrum disorder.

Johanna Epp of Elkhorn
Johanna focused on the shortage of women working in the technology fields for her Take Action project. She did extensive research and partnered with First National Technology Solutions to address the lack of equality. Together, they created an educational event for young women, ages 14 to 21, to explore technology careers and hear from women thriving in these fields. Post-event surveys indicated that participants showed an increased interest in technology career paths. Joanna filmed an informational video to be used as an introduction for the annual event. She also created a detailed how-to guide that First National Technology Solutions can use to organize and conduct the event going forward.

Sidney Jacobs of Omaha*
After Father Flanagan Lake was created in Omaha, Sidney realized there were few trees to provide shade for visitors to the lake and recreation area. She knew that she not only wanted to plant trees but also wanted to add an educational aspect to her project, so she decided to create an arboretum. Sidney obtained permission from the city to plant trees and place tree description posts. She worked with the National Arboretum Society to learn about arboretum creation and to build identification signs for each tree. Realizing that deforestation is a rising global problem, Sidney is proud she provided a long-lasting form of education for park visitors.

Maysaa Khalaf of Lincoln
To honor those from her homeland of Iraq who have died in the United States, Maysaa partnered with the United Yezidi Community of America to beautify a Yazidi cemetery in Malcolm. There are 11 Yazidis buried in the small, barren cemetery, including her father. Maysaa worked with the Arbor Day Foundation to secure a donation of 407 trees for her project, and over 60 volunteers spent a day planting the trees. She also held several fundraisers that will enable the installation of a well for watering of the trees. In addition, by conducting several educational sessions, Maysaa told her life story to thousands of young women, showing them the importance of motivation and dedication to an issue they care about.

* Indicates this Girl Scout earned all the highest awards in Girl Scouting (Bronze, Silver, and Gold awards).