Locally, Girl Scouts of North East Ohio (GSNEO) is proud to recognize Celia Hawk as a member of the 2022 Girl Scout Gold Award class who made a sustainable impact, addressing a cause she cares about in our Northeast Ohio communities.
Nationally, Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) is recognizing the 3,500 members of the 2022 Gold Award Girl Scout class who identified the root cause of pressing issues in their communities, created sustainable solutions, and took action to earn the Gold Award: Girl Scouts’ highest achievement. This year’s class of world-changers invested over 300,000 hours in addressing real-life problems such as environmental sustainability, racial justice, mental and emotional wellness, and gender inequality in STEM.
The 2022 Gold Award Girl Scouts demonstrate the breadth of issues American teens feel are most prevalent in society today.
This year, Gold Award Girl Scout Celia Hawk from GSNEO was a recipient of a national scholarship. After learning that 17 million tons of textile waste ends up in landfills annually (according to the Environmental Protection Agency in 2018), Celia decided to address the effects the fashion industry has on the environment. Celia’s Gold Award was carried out in two parts: A website and an event. Her website, clothingswapgs.com, was her space to share everything she learned about the practices of the fashion industry and their negative impacts on the environment.
She researched and wrote articles about greenwashing, a practice where companies market that they’re environmentally conscious but, in reality, aren’t making any notable sustainability efforts. Celia also wrote how-to guides for donating clothes you no longer wear, and how to check whether or not the brands you shop for are sustainable.
One topic Celia found she was particularly passionate about educating her peers on was social media’s impact on fashion. It is trendy to share “hauls” of clothing ordered from large companies. which often have unsustainable and unethical methods of production.
GSUSA’s 111 councils were each provided the opportunity to nominate one of their outstanding Gold Award Girl Scouts to receive a national scholarship for over $2,000 each. The GSUSA Gold Award Scholarship recipients represent $225,000 invested, made possible by Insight Global, The Coca-Cola Foundation, and Kappa Delta Foundation.
Gold Award Girl Scouts become innovative problem-solvers, empathetic leaders, confident public speakers, and focused project managers. They learn resourcefulness, tenacity, and decision-making skills, giving them an edge personally and professionally. As they take action to transform their communities, Gold Award Girl Scouts gain tangible skills and prove they’re the leaders our world needs.
According to recent research, Gold Award Girl Scouts are more likely to fill leadership roles at work and in their personal lives and are more civically engaged than their non-Girl Scout peers. Eighty-seven percent (87%) of Gold Award Girl Scouts agree that earning their Gold Award gave them skills that help them succeed professionally. Seventy-two percent (72%) said earning their Gold Award helped them get a scholarship. Changing the world doesn’t end when a Girl Scout earns her Gold Award. Ninety-nine percent (99%) of Gold Award Girl Scout alums take on leadership roles in their everyday lives.
To view the list of the 3,500 outstanding 2022 Gold Award projects, visit girlscouts.org/goldawardclass.
Girls in grades K–12 can join Girl Scouts any time during the year to begin their Girl Scout journey. As girls grow with Girl Scouts, they learn hands-on leadership skills they’ll use to make their mark through the Gold Award and beyond. To join or volunteer, visit gsneo.org/join.