Ashley Blackburn, of Hilton, was recently named a 2017 Gold Award recipient by Girl Scouts of Western New York.
Blackburn collected donations for the Alternatives for Battered Women Shelter, recently renamed the Willow Domestic Violence Center of Greater Rochester, for her project.
She used drop boxes throughout the community as well as direct donations from community members. Donations included clothing for adults and children, personal and feminine hygiene products and items for babies and children.
Blackburn also distributed flyers and pamphlets and held an educational seminar for teens at her church to discuss the warning signs of domestic abuse and violence.
“Domestic abuse is a major problem not just throughout the U.S., but the entire world,” Blackburn said. “It’s something that many people sadly experience. Working with the Willow Center does not stop the domestic abuse that occurs around the world, but it takes a stance against the abuse that occurs. I’m taking a stance through my project against domestic abuse.”
Blackburn said working on her Gold Award project taught her organization and people skills along with time management.
Blackburn will receive her award at the Gold Award Ceremony on June 3 at The Grapevine Restaurant & Catering in Depew.
A Gold Award project should be something the Girl Scout can be passionate about in thought, deed and action that utilizes organizational, leadership and networking skills. The project should also fulfill a need within the scout’s local and/or global community and create change that has the potential to be ongoing or sustainable. The project involves approximately 80 hours of community service and qualifies the Girl Scout for scholarship opportunities.
To complete her project, a Girl Scout will first identify an issue and investigate it to understand what can be done to address the problem. She then will form a team to act as a support system, which includes a project adviser close to the issue who is not a troop leader or family member. Next, the scout will create a plan to ensure she knows what steps she must tackle while working on the project. She will submit this proposal to her local Girl Scout council. After acceptance, the Girl Scout will start work through the steps of her plan, utilizing the assistance of her support team where necessary.
The award is the highest honor a Girl Scout can earn.
For information, visit gswny.org.