Senior earns highest level of Girl Scout award


by Bridget Jones, Social Media Manager

 photos courtesy of Courtney Didier


Q: What is the gold award?

A: The Girl Scout Gold Award represents the highest achievement in Girl Scouting. The award is open only to girls in high school, and challenges girls to change the world—or at least my corner of it. By the time I finished my project, I had solved a community problem—not only in the short term, but for years into the future. By the time I have completed my project and earned my Gold Award I will have put in at least 80 hours of work.


Q: Can you explain what your project was and what you did?

A: The Eat Healthy, Get Fit, Be Happy event that I developed addressed the major health challenges faced by the urban community. It provided a platform to educate children and families on the benefits of eating healthy, exercising daily and reducing stress. The event engaged the under-served communities in caring for their health. I focused on raising awareness and conversation that could lead to lifestyle changes long after the health fair. Lastly, my project served as a vehicle for changing health behaviors by providing information and tools to encourage positive actions by those being educated.


Q: How did you get the idea/inspiration?

A: Teen obesity is among the major global health challenges of the 21st century. More than one-third of U.S. adults are obese and 17% of children are obese. I personally saw this as a huge issue and I was inspired to make a change for healthier eating habits. Later I found out that the prevalence of obesity in Missouri is 29.6% in adults. This made me that much more determined to lower the number of obesity and educate children and families in the urban community on healthy eating, exercise and reducing stress.  


Q: Why did you do the Gold Award project?

A:  I worked to get my Silver Award by putting on a bike safety rodeo for the kids in the community and I loved getting to see how I could make a difference no matter how small. I knew that my next opportunity to experience “changing the world” in a much bigger way would be my Gold Award project, so I decided to go for it and see where it led me.


Q: What did you take away from the project?

A: My project Eat Healthy, Get Fit, Be Happy not only educated the community that came to the event but it also educated me in the process. I learned so much about the different ways to get affordable healthy foods through the different farmers markets in the Kansas City community along with easy ways to exercise in less that 15 minutes daily. I believe that the main thing I took away from this project was the difference I was making in the lives of those who attended the event. I could see the faces of people as they recognized the amazing healthy foods they could be eating in their lives, how exercising could be a fun family experience, along with how both of these things could lead to a non-stressful and happy life.


Q: What was your favorite part about doing it?

A: My project taught me many life lessons. I learned how to plan meetings, lead people, be in charge of a huge event and so much more. My favorite part was getting to say “Yes I am the one who created all of this and brought these people here to educate them on the importance of a healthy lifestyle”.



Q: What is the biggest lesson the project taught you?

A: I think the biggest lesson my project taught me was how to be an effective leader. I was in charge of an important event and many people were counting on me to make it successful. In my opinion, the event was a hit and thanks to my project I now have the courage to go out into the world and be a strong leader in anything I might encounter.


Q: How will the project help the community now and in the future?

A: I think the project will stay in the minds of the community pushing and inspiring them to take what they learned through my project to change some of the bad eating and exercise habits they may participate in. In the future I am hoping that the Research Foundation continues to put on the Eat Healthy, Get Fit, Be Happy area at the annual Block Party and Health Fair to continue to remind the community of the easy ways to stay healthy and happy in life.


Q: Did this project change your views on your career/college choices?

A: For a while now I have been planning on a career in either mechanical or civil engineering and most likely attending Mizzou. I loved getting to see the life of a coordinator who plans huge fundraisers and events like my project but I do not think I would want to make a career out of it. I love math and engineering has always been a plan of mine but I now know that I could make a great career out of public relations if engineering for some reason does not work out.


Q: What advice do you have for other girls trying to get their Gold Award, or a another big award?

A: I would tell girls to find something that inspires them so that they can be determined to put the time and effort into completing their project and earning their Gold Award. If they are not dedicated to their project they will not get the full experience out making a change in their community and in a bigger picture the world, which is the entire message the Gold Award gives to Girl Scouts.


Q: Anything else you would like to say?

A: I think Girl Scouts is an amazing thing to be a part of. It helps girls grow into amazing young woman and the Gold Award is almost like a girls last step to showing the world how she wants to change/help it. I loved getting to create my project and raise awareness to the issue of obesity in our community and nation. It was a fun and inspiring process and I can’t wait to see how else I might be able to change the world in the future.