TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The Gold Award represents the highest achievement in Girl Scouting. Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona is honored to present Tucson's Isabel Burgess, My Lam and Kyra Weisel with the Gold Award, for accomplishments done at the Senior and Ambassador level (9th to 12th, grades).
The honor recognizes Girl Scout teens who demonstrate extraordinary leadership through remarkable Take Action projects that incorporate discovering, connecting and taking action to create sustainable community change.
"The Gold Award is the highest achievement in Girl Scouting and asks that girls identify a problem within their community and do something about it, not just in the present, but something that is sustainable through the years," said Debbie Rich, Chief Executive Officer, Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona, in a recent release. "Earning a Gold Award qualifies high school girls for college scholarships and provides a sense of responsibility and leadership within their community. We are extremely proud of these young women."
Isabel Burgess (freshman, Dartmouth College; graduate, Catalina Foothills High School): Skin Cancer Education Revamped!
Isabel worked with the Skin Cancer Institute at the University of Arizona to assist in the Melanoma Walk, and create an educational website on skin cancer for teens and college students.
Throughout her project, Isabel discovered while sun protection is heavily advocated among elementary and middle school-age children, the audience of 15-29 year olds are left out.
The goal of the website is to educate teen and college students on sun safety programs in a format that is appealing, accessible and relevant. The site is owned by the Skin Cancer Institute and assists in their project SASS (Students Are Sun Safe) outreach programs.
"My website encourages people to take the "Love Your Skin" pledge, promising to take responsibility for the health of their skin and sun prevention," said Isabel Burgess, Girl Scout and Gold Award recipient.
My Lam (12th grade, The Gregory School): Bridges to Health
After visiting Vietnam, My realized healthcare there was not as readily available as it is in the United States. She quickly found herself inspired and the focus of her Gold Award Project.
The overall goal of the project is to bring healthcare to small and rural towns, where there are limited or nonexistent healthcare facilities and doctors. Through the help of donors, My set up a system where a doctor would treat patients once a month and educate them on injury prevention.
"The Gold Award project allowed me to learn about seeing the bigger picture and how to plan, as well as better understand medicine," said My Lam, Girl Scout and Gold Award recipient. "With the help of Viet Nam-based non-profit Ban Thu Thieng, I came up with a system to bring volunteer doctors, nurses, and pharmacists to a small town."
Kyra Weisel (12th grade, The Gregory School): Constructing and Sustaining a Desert Garden
Kyra noticed a lack of education on water conservation in a desert environment. She chose to apply her project goals to Saint Albans Episcopal Church Preschool. She instructed the children to not only maintain and construct a sustainable garden, but also showed a demonstration on how to conserve rainwater to irrigate their garden. The garden included the following plants: vegetables, flowers and succulents. Additionally, Kyra also built a gated shelter and set up a rain barrel system.
The leadership skills Kyra obtained are unforgettable. This was the first opportunity she had to truly be a leader and successfully delegate tasks to volunteers to assist in completing the project. Kyra developed her public speaking skills through the project and had volunteers look up to her for direction and advice.
"I hope to impact the lives of children living here in Tucson and from a very young age teach them to appreciate and take care of the earth," said Kyra Weisel, Girl Scout and Gold Award recipient. "I also want to teach them the wonderful things that could happen if you are patient, like the beautiful birth of plants from the ground and the food that can be harvested from them."