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Gold Award Ceremony


Each year, Girl Scouts San Diego holds a ceremony to honor the Gold Award Girl Scouts, the dreamers and the doers, who take “make the world a better place” to the next level. The Girl Scout Gold Award empowers girls to demonstrate their leadership abilities by tackling issues that are important to them and creating sustainable projects that impact local and global issues.

The 2022 Gold Award Ceremony details will be announced in the spring.

Meet Our 2021 Gold Award Girl Scouts

A private ceremony was held at Liberty Station and streamed on Facebook Live honoring our 2021 Gold Award Girl Scouts. View event photos.

Meet Our 2020 Gold Award Girl Scouts

Alyssa Agarwal
Sparking Interest in Science through Art

Alyssa found that students lose interest in science early on due to lack of engagement in the classroom. To address this issue, she wrote The Art and Science of Influenza––a book that uses art to educate students about infection, immunity, and vaccines. Working with artists, scientists, and Coronado Middle School faculty, Alyssa created a lasting curriculum that is now used by multiple educators to engage students in science from an artistic perspective.

Olivia Anderson
Preserving Value

To help mitigate the fact that many elderly feel undervalued and disconnected from their communities, Olivia interviewed 40 seniors at Cypress Court Escondido and Brookdale San Marcos. She then created personalized booklets showcasing each of their unique stories. Olivia demonstrated genuine interest in her subjects, and they took great pride in the process. After making the booklets, she held “pass-back” gatherings, where she gave the books of stories to the residents. To sustain her efforts, she left an instructional guide with each facility to ensure the project is repeatable.

Bryn Brentnall
Patient Voices United

Newly diagnosed patients with tuberculosis are medically isolated at a time when they need human contact the most. To provide comfort and support, Bryn created a booklet of letters written by TB survivors to be given out in welcome packets for new patients. Bryn found that not only are these letters empowering for the patients, but to the survivors as well, because they were able to share their experiences with purpose.

Helen Buchanan
Saving Our Bees

Helen created a three-lesson educational class about bees and the environment for kids in fourth and fifth grade. Helen was a longtime member of 4-H beekeeping, and the steady decline of bee population inspired her to share her love of bees. Helen posted her lessons on the San Diego Beekeeping Society’s website so that others can use the lessons for years to come.

Emma Caringella
Pop Up Shoe Shop

To provide an uplifting experience for homeless women and children, Emma developed a program at the San Diego Rescue Mission’s Emergency Shelter. She opened a “Pop Up Shoe Shop,” where residents shopped for quality socks and shoes at no cost. Emma encouraged local elementary and high school students to take action. She created a PSA Video about homelessness. The program will continue on at Emma’s high school.

Isabella Catanzaro
Water Wise Landscaping

Isabella created Next Generation Science Standard curriculum to promote water conservation validated by her high school’s Garden Club, planned a workshop on the connection between personal outside water use and habitat preservation, and designed a website focused on San Diego County’s habitats. She inspired homeowners to change their yards to save water and preserve San Diego's native ecosystems.

Jessica Chammas
Healthy Food Choices Project

After listening to the concerns from the principle of Nativity Prep Academy about student diets consisting mainly of chips and sugary snacks, Jessica partnered with the nursing students from the University of San Diego to educate the sixth-grade class on the importance and consequences of healthy and nutritional diets. Through several presentations, Jessica gave low income families simple and affordable ways to maintain a healthy diet. The PowerPoint presentation she used will be passed onto incoming middle schoolers to continue the spread of knowledge.

Adhiti Chandramohan
Emergency Awareness, Disaster Preparedness

Through engaging workshops, Adhiti taught others how to stay safe during natural disasters. Focusing on the most vulnerable—seniors and children grades 4-10—she implemented her lesson plans at schools, Girl Scout troops, and community centers in San Diego. Adhiti has also released her lesson plans online, which can be used by anyone preparing for a natural disaster.

Laura Christensen
Pool Safety

Laura taught elementary school children and their parents the importance of being safe around the pool in order to avoid accidental drowning or injury. Laura's project will continue to impact the lives of those she taught and future students at the elementary schools.

Alyssa Ciemiewicz
Outdoor Learning Gardens

Alyssa created an alternative learning environment for elementary age students at Stone Ranch Elementary School in 4S Ranch. Despite technological advancements in our world today, Alyssa wanted to teach students how to become more engaged in their outdoor environment rather than solely relying on technology. Alyssa engaged with multiple age groups and a variety of teachers within the school. Students and staff will continue to care for and maintain the gardens that were created at the elementary school.

Angelina Courtney
Writing the Way to Reality

Angelina hosted a series of workshops on subjects like character, dialogue, tone, setting, and self-publishing that all targeted educating high school students on how to write creatively for application beyond school. This will be continued through writing communities already within the school system, sustaining the legacy of what lies beyond the realm of public education.

Cadence Dobia
ImpACT Courseware

Cadence created an anti-human trafficking curriculum which addressed the lack of information on human trafficking for individuals and nonprofit entities such as Safe House Project. Her workshops educated people on human trafficking scenarios, explanations, and statistics, as well as how to prevent it. She hopes to establish an anti-human trafficking curriculum as a requirement for UC school educators and students on a semester basis.

Caytre Ede
How To Survive and Thrive In High School

Using the insight of middle school counselors and her own experiences, Caytre created twelve high school readiness workshops to educate eighth graders district-wide about how to academically and socially thrive in high school. She also published handbooks on the three middle schools' websites, as a sustainable tool for eighth graders to learn about the aspects of their future high school choices..

Veronica Louise Edwards
Project Lady Business

Veronica tackled the lack of feminine products in homeless shelters and impoverished areas around San Diego and Mexico. She provided homeless women with the resources they needed to be able to get through their periods without worrying about finding sanitary products. Veronica enlisted younger girls to help put together the bags while teaching them about the importance of the topic. She also created an informational brochure..

Siena Fischel
Healthy Choices, Happy Life

Siena addressed the nationwide need for nutrition education for youth. Many kids don’t understand that the food they put in the bodies affect their health or that it is possible to make affordable, healthy food choices. She primarily helped educate families with young children ages 5-12, who learned new affordable recipes and the importance of eating nutritious snacks and meals.

Belle Flanegan
My Life, My Story

"My Life, My Story" tied together the community and performance art, and addressed the lack of an intergenerational connection. She and drama student volunteers spent a day interviewing seniors at the City of Carlsbad Senior Center. Then, Belle created a script that was performed by the students. A video of "My Life, My Story" is available on the Senior Center’s website to keep the project alive.

Katelyn Gaglio
Geological Education Box

Katelyn created a hands-on educational tool—a box displaying fossils of extinct species, crystals from around the world, fluorescent minerals, and local specimens—in her community to interest younger kids in geology. She also founded the Gem and Mineral club at her high school to encourage geology excitement among her peers. With help from the El Cajon Valley Lapidary Society, Katelyn’s box will continue spreading knowledge through school visits, Girl Scouting programs, and local events.

Cecelia Gant
Courage in STEM

To improve access, confidence, and courage in STEM, Cece promoted these subjects to K-12 girls by creating an original STEM curriculum for workshops hosted at libraries, low-income communities, and internationally in Paraguay. Cece also organized a “STEMposium” where successful women in STEM discussed their careers. Poway High’s Society of Women in engineering will carry this mission into the future.

Maya Glover-Castro
Social Justice Club

To combat the lack of education about social justice issues that exists among high school students, Maya started a club at Westview High School. At meetings, she created an open space for students to discuss controversial issues. She shared information on the club Instagram, @wvsocialjustice, which will be taken over by a current junior.

Jordan Grasley
Community Book

Jordan researched and developed an elementary school curriculum for students to articulate their personal stories through a series of social and emotional lessons. She named the project "Community Book." The student-centered portfolios were a bridge to sharing personal things about themselves to their peers in order to gain empathy and build their classroom community. “Community Book” is a sustainable written curriculum that will be used by the 4th grade team at Park Dale Lane Elementary School yearly. It will also be provided to the eight other schools in the Encinitas Union School District as part of an ongoing effort to foster the Social Emotional health of their students.

Ashley Hanson
Injury Prevention Program for Dancers

Ashley created an injury awareness and wellness program for dancers. She held presentations for dancers ages 6-18 on how to take care of their bodies to decrease preventable dancing injuries. Presentations also included advice on stretching, nutrition, and rest..

Isabel Heaton
CCA Engineering Outreach Club

Isabel created a new club at her high school to educate middle school students about various advanced engineering topics. With this education, students became more passionate about engineering and wanting to pursue STEM fields in the future.

Brianna Heinken
Match Point: Tennis Across the Border

Brianna Heinken developed a program to introduce the sport of tennis to children at an orphanage in Tijuana. The participants learned about basic techniques and drills. During breaks, they enjoyed snacks and nutritional lessons. Based on the program’s success, caretakers at the orphanage and local students will continue to conduct it.

Rachel Henrickson

Adopt a Fur-ever Friend

Rachel tackled the issue of homeless cats and kittens in Mexico by hosting a series of adoption events and educational workshops. Rachel partnered with Kahoots Pets Supply, Unleashed by Petco at multiple locations, and Grossmont mall. Her project will have a lasting impact in the community; the Baja Cantu Animal Rescue shelter she partnered with will continue to host adoption events.

Paige Hill
Outdoor Art Club

Paige combined her love of art, the outdoors, and psychology to start an outdoor art club for teens at Helix Charter High School. The objective was to spread the message that the combination of green exercise plus the emotional outlet afforded to teens in artistic expression is a healthy and effective way to improve self-esteem and reduce stress.

Julianne Hom
Music Treble in Elementary Schools

After elementary music programs were threatened to be cut, Julianne promoted music education in the University City community. She recruited her high school classmates to teach elementary students at monthly band and orchestra clinics. Julianne also raised money to buy 12 music stands and collected 30 method books for the students, who were inspired to practice more and pursue music in middle school. Julianne’s volunteers will sustain her program beyond her involvement.

Cadence Hsu
Young Entrepreneurs

Working with Wells Fargo and the nonprofit VentureLab, Cady created a free summer program that integrated entrepreneurship and financial literacy into one unique curriculum for elementary and middle school students. She set up a booth at a STEM festival, held two three-day long workshops, and worked with junior Girl Scout troops to help them achieve the product designer badge. Her project will be continued through lesson plans Cady provided to elementary school teachers in her community.

Sydney Huy
Community Library Box

Sydney addressed literacy within a lower-income community where book access is limited due to financial and transportation issues. Sydney partnered with La Mirada Academy, a K-8 school, to build and install a community library box. She enlisted Hometown Realty to collect 400+ books. La Mirada continues to replenish the box with books and she shared her plans with missionaries in Mexico.

Jade Marie Ingham
Project Finance

Jade created a mentoring club named Life Skills Club at her Fallbrook high school. She realized that many schools don't have resources or classes that would provide students with essential life skills and knowledge necessary in adulthood, like budgeting and filing taxes. Through her weekly club meetings, after-school workshops, and presentations local high school seniors, she made a lasting impact for the young adults in her community. Her club and lesson plans will be handed down and taught even after her graduation..

Rosanna Javier
Rosanna's Community Bookshelf

To combat the decline of leisure reading and sense of community in a technology-dependent society, Rosanna established “Rosanna’s Community Bookshelf” at Lemon Grove Community Garden. The community bookshelf encourages visitors to “take a book and leave a book.” Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Rosanna held virtual presentations on the importance of reading and how it can help the community during the struggles of social distancing..

Serena Jones
Critical Aid Relief Effort (C.A.R.E.)

Serena created an educational campaign at La Jolla High School to educate students on how to be safe in natural disasters called Critical Aid Relief Effort (C.A.R.E.). She hosted events to teach survival and planning techniques, held a clothing drive around her school to send to other students, and helped implement and maintain a water bottle refill station on campus..

Jeyan Kirtay
Bridging the STEM Gender Gap at a Young Age

Jeyan noticed a discrepancy in the number of females compared to males in STEM, stemming from negative interactions at a young age. She created an afterschool program in collaboration with Francis Parker Lower School that engaged young boys and girls, ages 5-10, in STEM through an interactive, collaborative curriculum in which students learned to work together and respect one another..

Jamison Ma
Speak Out!

Speak Out! is an educational project with a goal to spread mental health awareness and decrease stigma among teenagers. Jamie worked with high school and middle school students to change the negative connotation around mental health into a topic that is acceptable to discuss. She focused on normalizing imperfection and highlighted support resources that are available for students.

Cammy MacKinnon
Sense the Change

As an autism advocate, Cammy created a sensory room to support the overall well-being and daily progress of the students she supports. The room at Vista High School is filled with creative seating, a custom sensory board, and interactive stations. Future classes of students are free to use the room to manage their own needs.

Riya Madan
Keeping It Straight

Riya educated teenagers and adults about the importance of having proper posture and exercising every day. She led classes, in-person and on Zoom, to teach simple back and core exercises that can help improve posture. Riya has created and posted different exercise videos on her YouTube channel, as well as promoted a healthy lifestyle through her blog.

Mikayla Mann
Saving our Barn Owls

Mikayla created educational kits for schools that included a presentation and activities to teach students about secondary poisoning, especially in owls. She partnered with Wildlife Research Institute, teachers, and Master Gardeners across the country, and worked event booths at Hawk Watch and other festivals to educate attendees. Mikayla's kits are reproducible, reusable, and available online, keeping her project sustainable.

Mia Marino
Follow the Signs

Mia implemented an ASL club at the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts to bring awareness to the hearing community about communication barriers that exist in the deaf and hard of hearing community. Mia’s club targeted students and staff at her school. Going further, this club will educate and impact current and future students to inform others and celebrate this culture.

Ashley Matter
Unified Cheerleading Program at South Bay Schools

Ashley led an inclusive cheerleading camp for students in the Sweetwater Union High School District to increase awareness and participation in Unified Sports, a Special Olympics program which combines individuals with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team. The project was designed to show that there are meaningful ways for people of all abilities to participate in sports..

Makayla Mayor
Teaching Sign Language to Specials Ed Kids

Makayla taught American Sign Language (ASL) to disabled children to help better their communication with their parents and others. In order to address a wider community, she created a YouTube channel with informational videos to inspire other people to learn.

Molly McCullough
A Step Towards the End of Pollution

Molly addressed the issue of pollution in her community by partnering with One San Diego and setting up an informational booth at their “We Have Your Back” backpack events. She educated children about the effects of pollution, called them to take action, and engaged them through a recycled craft project. She shared her lesson plans so future groups can learn about her project.

Summer McGuckin
Use Your Voice, Use Your Vote

Summer McGuckin worked with Rock the Vote to hold voter registration workshops for high schoolers. To increase voter turnout and educate students on political issues, she founded an activism club and organized various events. Over 1,200 students participated in these events, and the club will continue to encourage further civic engagement within the community

Sophia Morrison
Project Happy Hearts

Sophia created a mindfulness course curriculum that addressed the lack of emotional hygiene practices implemented into elementary schools. She worked with students ages 6-18 through interactive courses designed and led by students at High Tech High North County. The courses included: exploring sensory calming techniques, practicing yoga and meditation, and discussing the importance of building relationships through compassion. She was able to create a lasting syllabus that can be adapted to implement this program in elementary schools in the future.

Allison Mulvehill
STEM Our Way

Allison was motivated to get girls interested in STEM at a young age. She launched an educational program geared towards elementary school girls where she taught engaging STEM activities at a local school and within her Girl Scouts community. She also created an online magazine for girls that featured women in STEM careers, as well as experiments and fun facts..

Alyssa Olszewski
Super Bears

Alyssa created a club at her high school called Super Bears, where she taught students the lost art of sewing by hand. The students learned to sew teddy bears, which were then donated to the Edmund D. Edelman Children's Courthouse.

Samaya Patel
Masikhule Children Education

Samaya was dedicated to bettering the education of underprivileged children in South Africa by helping kids below the poverty line receive the educational tools they need to succeed. She created a club called Books without Borders and educated its members on the importance of education in that community. Her club will continue beyond her involvement.

Lucia Perez Valles
Embrace our Community

After noticing that technology has decreased children’s creativity, Lucia educated kids about putting aside their electronic devices. She created the Embrace our Community project in San Ysidro. In partnering with Casa Familiar, Lucia saw that the border city of Tijuana, Mexico, had a similar problem, so she invented a bilingual project. Lucia developed a telephone brochure, implemented 25 free workshops, and a video to involve more than 500 children between the ages of 7-12. The Embrace Our Community project will be maintained by Casa Familiar, who continues to distribute and reproduce these materials..

Hailey Pryor
Sister City Exchange Program

Wanting to increase cultural awareness among students and to make travel affordable to all regardless of income, Hailey started a student exchange program at her high school. She partnered the Sister City Organization in San Diego and her group visited San Diego’s Sister City in Alacala, Spain for two weeks. Students from Spain also stayed with Hailey’s group in San Diego for two weeks.

Lily Roughneen
Human Trafficking Awareness and Prevention Curriculum

Through an informational assembly, Lily educate students at her high school about human trafficking through interactive role-play, true stories, and statistics. The assembly will be held every two years at the school. 

Faith Ruiz
Establishing a support group and practicing healthy coping skills

To address the significance of mental health amongst teens, Faith introduced healthy coping skills to teens in her community. After observing that several teens made poor decisions when it came to their coping strategies, she hosted an Aromatherapy and art workshop as well as several other workshops. She continues to host workshops as the need of support groups continue to grow.

Paige Scarbrough
First Aid Basics & Concussion Prevention for Students

As an athlete and sports medicine student, Paige noticed that many of her peers did not have knowledge about basic first aid or the signs of concussions. She developed a presentation that addressed this issue for a variety of students in 4th-12th grades. With the assistance of local Girl Scout troops, Helix High School's sports medicine program, La Mesa Fire Department, and the Sporting SD Soccer organization, Paige provided hands-on education to many students. She also equipped attendees with basic first aid kits and taught how to use them. Her presentation, with speaker notes in simple terms, is available for teaching this information..

Shriya Selvakumar
Improving Alzheimer’s Patients’ Cognitive Skills

Shriya created useful activities and informational packets for Alzheimer’s patients, caretakers, and families to use in order to enhance their quality of life. She spent time engaging with the patients at ActivCare to create a library and monthly activity that would develop patients’ cognitive skills. Shriya measured the impact of her project by surveying caretakers in both her community and India to see how she’s helped families and raised awareness..

Annalisa Simonetti
Building Confidence Through Color Guard

Annalisa encouraged confidence in middle school girls through color guard performance with an after-school program at Bernardo Heights Middle School. Partnering with high school coaches, she developed a performance routine that they were able to take to competition for the first time ever.

Victoria Smitham
Working Towards Literacy

Victoria channeled her passion for the humanities and worked with the Words Alive organization to develop curriculum and engaging activities for underprivileged students in San Diego. She held workshops at the North County Immigration Center to help immigrants gain literacy skills and pass the citizenship test. In addition, Victoria distributed books and lesson plans to immigrants in her workshops-in-a-box..

Anika Sood
She Can Code (SCC)

Anika developed a computer science program which empowers girls to explore computer science careers they would usually shy away from due to complexity, and lack of support and role models. She created easy to follow curriculum, led collaborative workshops for 4th to 12th graders, and profiled women role models on the SCC site to inspire students. The Del Norte Girls in Computer Science club will manage the SCC in the years to come.

Erica Strohm

Helping OFNO Build Bond the Orphans

Erica’s worked at an orphanage in Tecate Mexico to grow community and bonding among the children ages 3-12.  She worked with the kids to build a Gaga court, a large wooden octagon to play the game “Gaga” in. Erica held two additional workshops with the kids to teach them about recycling. She did two up cycling projects, creating wind spirals out of water bottles, and bird feeders out of toilet paper rolls. Erica’s church will help sustain her project, returning to the orphanage five times per year.

Emma Taila

Emma empowered future voters by teaching them how to use their political power as young people and to register to vote with an educational program and voter registration drives at school. Young people, while the largest voting block, often have roadblocks to voting, which Emma taught them how to navigate. She worked in classrooms at Serra High School and with HeadCount at various concerts. She will continue to make politics accessible to Gen Z through her project’s Instagram page and as her lessons are taught to her school’s students in the future..

Eden Tillotson
Long Live the Monarchs

To educate on the monarch butterfly population, Eden created an informative presentation that was shared with a community in Mexico, local San Diego schools, and Girl Scout Troops. It includes information on monarch butterflies, a monarch art project, a “how to plant milkweed,” section, and an ornament inspired by monarchs to enable a family discussion on monarch conservation.

Courtney Titus
Fun with Field Hockey

Courtney held clinics for elementary and middle school students to bring awareness about field hockey. She worked with the Field Hockey Coach from San Marcos High School and with USA Field Hockey for equipment donations. Her project lead to the formation of the non-profit Knights FHC, and now kids have the opportunity to play the sport year-round.

Reshini Umesh
Introducing India and America

To address the lack of awareness of Indian culture in her community, Reshini held 24 workshops in San Diego that taught various aspects of Indian culture and facilitated two workshops in India that taught different aspects of American culture. The workshops in San Diego consisted of kids from ages 5-10 from the ESS programs in the PUSD district. The workshops done in India consisted of underprivileged children ages 6-16 years old. To sustain her project, each workshop presentation was sent to the schools she worked with so they could have the content to use for future presentations.

Anna Valades

Making 3D Printers More Accessible Through Education

Anna saw that the Elementary Institute of Science, an institution whose purpose is to teach STEM courses in a fun, interactive way, had four 3D printers but weren't using them because staff members didn't know how. She developed a STEM educational program by creating three different types of pamphlets and a website to help kids learn how to 3D print..

Crystalinda White
Voter Registration Awareness

Crystalinda hosted an educational workshop that taught youth how to register/pre-register to vote. She worked at her high school, church, and her Girl Scout troop in collaboration with the League of Women Voters San Diego. She also created a YouTube video that will be shown in future classes at her high school.

Valerie Witham
Feeding Hearts, Souls and Mouths

To build a philanthropic youth program, Valerie organized and connected teens with volunteer opportunities to serve homeless, low-income, and food insecure populations.

Arden Woltman
Senior Smiles

To combat feelings of loneliness and isolation at assisted living facilities, Arden partnered with her local Brookdale Assisted Living Facility in Del Mar and St. John’s Catholic School in Encinitas to bridge the gap between kindergarten students and senior citizens. The students learned craft making and spent time with the seniors, creating a bond and a sense of belonging and community.

Madalyn Nguyen

Champion for STEM Diversity to Bridge the Gender Gap

Madalyn championed STEM Diversity by addressing girls’ underrepresentation and minorities in STEM. She founded the Society of Women Engineer Club at her school and was awarded $1,000 to create the FIRST Annual Girls in STEM Inspiration Day.  She facilitated and managed over 100 outreach activities, mentored 10 FIRST robotics teams, presented at conferences, and developed the FIRST Annual Women in STEM Day in Poway. Madalyn is a role model and advocate for girls in STEM locally and globally. 


Learn more about the Gold Award.

Questions? Contact our Gold Award staff liaison.