Macedonia – Few girls ever obtain the prestigious Gold Award in Girl Scouts, and even fewer ever earn a $50,000 scholarship to college. That’s exactly what Rena Steiger, of Canton, Ohio, has done. Steiger joins the ranks of an elite group of less than six percent of Girl Scouts by earning her Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can earn. Steiger is also the first recipient of the Henry Timken Scholar Award. She will receive up to $50,000 for annual college expenses. The scholarship, which is the largest of The Timken Company's education fund, recognizes the top-ranked applicant, and is renewable for three years, or until she earns a bachelor's degree.
"We are very proud of Rena and her accomplishments," said Daisy Alford-Smith, Chief Executive Officer of Girl Scouts of North East Ohio. "A Girl Scout who has earned the Gold Award is a proven community leader. Through leadership and hard work, she has built life skills, explored career options and discovered that one individual can make a profound difference in the quality of life in her community."
Drawing upon her own experience and ingenuity, Steiger’s project focused on an issue she personally feels has a big impact on the community today. For her Gold Award, Rena collected a truckload of donations and clothing. She washed all of the clothing, boxed it up, and helped deliver it to the Paraguay homeless shelter.
"I have been volunteering at the soup kitchen for a number of years, so when it came time to do my Gold Award project, I knew I wanted to do something to benefit the homeless," said Steiger.
A Girl Scout for 11 years, Steiger is a salutatorian graduate of Perry High School. In addition to Girl Scouting, She was in the marching and symphonic bands, French club, theater, and she is very active with her church. Steiger plans to study pre-medicine at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.
The third annual Gold Award Achievement Celebration, held in June, recognized the achievements of 68 Girl Scouts who demonstrated their ability to lead and the desire to make a difference in the world.