291 girls from the greater Los Angeles area were recognized this past Saturday in a ceremony at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium for achieving the highest honor in Girl Scouting, the Girl Scout Gold Award. Among the recipients were five South Pasadena girls: Jael Osborne, Katya Baranets, Harper Fox, Rachel Gray and Charlotte Pizante.
To achieve the prestigious Gold Award, scouts must spend “at least 80 hours planning and implementing a challenging, large-scale project that is innovative, engages others, and has a lasting impact on its targeted community,” the ceremony’s program read.
Nationwide, only six percent of eligible girl scouts receive the award.
From collecting prom dresses and shoes for low-income teens to orchestrating a three-day workshop educating youth on beneficial nutritional and mental health habits, from creating a water-wise space in the city to establishing a garden dedicated for impoverished women, to collecting the life stories of senior citizens and recording them in a self-published anthology, South Pasadena’s 2018 Gold Award winners have made meaningful, impactful change in and around their community.
Of the three-day health workshop she organized at a local elementary school, Gray said, “I hope my work will inspire [students] to live their healthiest lives.” Pizante, who, for her project, created educational literature in addition to designating a water-wise space, hopes she helped “spread the word to conserve.” Fox, who collected “thousands of dollars, 300 dresses and 75 pairs of shoes” to donate to teens who otherwise could not afford prom, said her project resulted from her “love of volunteering within (her) community and (her) desire to help kids (her) own age.” Baranets, whose project was entitled Voices of the Past, said of her anthology: “I hope my project will conquer the issue of misinformation about the past by educating people about members of their own community.”
On top of the change their projects brought about, the girl scouts learned invaluable lessons during the rigorous Gold Award process. Osborne, who worked with the local non-profit organization Elizabeth House to create a place where impoverished women could recuperate, said the project helped her realize she is “capable of making a difference. By going through all of the steps that ended in a finished project,” she said, “I understood that I could do much more than I believed as an individual.”