By Willa Keith
It has been 18 years since a Girl Scout from the East High School neighborhood earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor in Girl Scouting. Heaven Wortman, a senior at East High School and an Ambassador Girl Scout with Troop 90358, is determined to change that.
For her Gold Award project, Heaven organized and will lead a community bicycle safety rodeo for children in grades 3-8. She will present her Gold Award project on May 28, 2011 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the New Horizons Christian Church located at 290 Darrow Road in Akron. This event will coincide with the 5th Annual Neighbors Day Akron.
Rodeo participants will be guided through a series of stations that will include bike safety education and inspections, license registration, helmet fitting and riding skill techniques. Kids will also receive a certificate of completion and are invited to stay and enjoy crafts, games and refreshments after they complete the course.
All participants must be accompanied by an adult and should bring a bike and a bicycle helmet. A limited number of helmets will be available if needed.
The Gold Award is the pinnacle of leadership and community service in Girl Scouting. This national award represents a girl's leadership, creativity, and contribution to making the world a better place. It is something that a girl can be passionate about. In Heaven’s case, she is an athlete and would like to educate kids about the importance of staying active, being safe and enjoying outdoor activities. The project must also be something that fulfills a need within the community, creates change, and it should be something that people will want to continue for years to come.
Heaven states the her project is more than a good service project—it encompasses organizational, leadership, and networking skills. She also states that “going for the Gold” has given her a better sense of community and commitment and has helped her to develop skills she will use throughout her lifetime.