Girl Scouts of Northern Indiana-Michiana (GSNI-M) honored eight Gold Award recipients, one of whom also received a national Gold Award Scholarship, at a ceremony Sunday, June 22, 2022, at Goshen College. The Gold Award represents the highest achievement in Girl Scouting, recognizing girls who demonstrate extraordinary leadership through Take Action projects that have sustainable impact in their communities – and beyond. Girl Scouts who were honored included:
- Abby Cichocki, St. Joseph, Mich. – Abby renovated one of the client rooms at the Emergency Women & Children’s shelter in Benton Harbor. She made the room comfortable and welcoming so clients feel as if they are at home, and she put systems in place to continue renovating other rooms in the future.
- Olyvia Dodson, South Bend, Ind. – Olyvia provided books for children and expectant mothers at Hannah’s House, working with St. Joseph Friends bookstore to secure new book donations every month.
- Allison Jones, Fort Wayne, Ind. – Allison created communication cards for customers who are deaf at local fast-food restaurants to make interactions and ordering easier and more accessible. Allison was also awarded a Girl Scout Gold Award Scholarship for $2,005, with a letter signed by Girl Scouts of the USA CEO Sofia Chang. Allison is the first girl from GSNI-M to receive a Gold Award scholarship!
- Laurel Kelsheimer, Larwill, Ind. – Laurel made child-friendly book carts at her local library to help children view reading as more accessible and engaging.
- Rachel Phelan, South Bend, Ind. – Rachel began a blood drive at her high school and set up notes, step-by-step processes and instructions for the Student Council so they can continue to hold drives in the future.
- Brieanna Shifferly, Monroe, Ind. – Brieanna created her own website to help girls who may be shy find confidence to start conversations with others and make new friends.
- Kayla Snyder, Huntertown, Ind. – Kaylah created sustainable ways for visitors to Mengerson Preserve to access muddy or wet trails during the summer, reducing the risk of slipping or injury. She also added signs to the boardwalks that identified the local trees to educate hikers.
- Kristen Tucker, Fort Wayne, Ind. – Kristen worked with Black Pine Animal Sanctuary to educate visitors on the statistics of owning exotic pets, such as foxes. She made a flip book that details the effects on both owners and animals to help reduce the number of exotic pets.
Keynote speaker at the event was Heather Herron, a Girl Scout alum and Vice President of Corporate Communications at Sweetwater in Fort Wayne. The flag ceremony was conducted by Girl Scout Troop 00146 from Fort Wayne, led by troop leaders Abbey Mieritz and Ella Bashop.