Sandoval, Branscum, Bostick, Gilliard earn Girl Scout Gold Award

Susan EspirituOur Town Youth

Since 1916, thousands of Girl Scouts across the country have earned the organization’s highest honor, now called the Girl Scout Gold Award, for demonstrating extraordinary leadership and making sustainable change in their communities. Nationally, only 6 percent of all eligible Girl Scouts achieve the Gold Award.

The Gold Award is the highest honor a Girl Scout can receive,” said Lynne Fugate, CEO of the Girl Scout Council of Southern Appalachians (GSCSA). “These young women have worked hard to develop the leadership skills required to earn this prestigious recognition, and their dedication has made a positive difference in our community. We are proud of their achievements and grateful for their commitment to making our world a better place.”

Girl Scouts of the Southern Appalachians has announced its 2023 Gold Award recipients, and 14 of the 28 recipients are from Knoxville, each addressing community issues.

Amelia Sandoval, Livia Branscum, Kailey Bostick and Laura Gilliard addressed innovations to support a variety of community locations to earn their awards.

Amelia Sandoval partnered with Young-Williams Animal Center to create several easy homemade pet treat recipes for cats, dogs and rabbits and designed three mini cookbooks for each type of pet. She shared her recipes with shelter volunteers who made the treats for pets at the shelter and at outreach events throughout her community.

Livia Branscum partnered with Wesley House Community Center to create a program where kids with little or negative prior experience with dogs had the opportunity to safely interact with and learn how to care for dogs. Over the course of several sessions, she taught kids about canine behavior, safety and the benefit that spending time with dogs can have on their lives.

Kailey Bostick built and installed a bike repair station at the entrances to popular bike trails at Ijams Nature Center. She then held a workshop to teach people how to do basic repairs on their bikes using the tools at the station and shared the positive impact that biking can have on health and the environment.

Laura Gilliard repaired and remodeled Farragut High School’s old greenhouse, turning it into a safe, useable educational resource for the school’s growing agriscience program. Gilliard recruited students from the program to help with the remodel and worked with her school’s chapter of Future Farmers of America to take over regular upkeep of the greenhouse.

At a minimum requirement of 80 hours, most girls spend between one and two years on Gold Award projects. She has strong professional skills that set her apart in the college admissions process and make her an outstanding candidate for academic scholarships and other financial awards.

The Girl Scouts of Southern Appalachians has approximately 10,000 girl and adult members in 46 counties from southwest Virginia, through eastern Tennessee, and northern Georgia. Membership is open to all girls from kindergarten through their senior year in high school.

To join, volunteer, reconnect or donate, visit Girl Scouts of Southern Appalachians or call 800-474-1912.

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