Girl Scouts of Western New York presented Danielle Nahas, of Spencerport, with the 2018 Gold Award.
Nahas’ project, “Helping Youth Meet Their Potential,” involved creating a book for independent living targeted at young adults in at-risk situations. Nahas partnered with Center for Youth in Rochester, which offers help and support for teens and youth who are considered to be at risk, such as those who have run away from home or have an unstable family.
Knowing the youths would struggle to find an adult to support them as they transitioned to independent living, Nahas hoped her book would provide tips and serve as a guide to get them started.
The book’s content included easy cooking recipes, with many accessible items at Center for Youth’s cabinet; laundry tips; and first aid information.
“I can empathize with this age group about how hard it is to start transferring into adulthood; however, I do have a good support system in my life and at home, so I can only imagine how much harder it would be for those who do not have this to start a new part of their life,” Nahas said. “Girl Scouts has made me gain a greater appreciation for volunteering and making an impact on other people’s life. I have continued these values into college, where I am a part of a service organization that requires 15 hours of service a semester. I enjoyed this so much that I am now a part of the philanthropy committee. I hope that I can always help others in college and even into my career.”
Nahas has been a Girl Scout for 10 years. The Gold Award is the highest award in Girl Scouts.
Projects should be something the Scout can be passionate about in thought, deed and action, as well as encompasses organizational, leadership and networking skills. The project should fulfill a need within the community and create change that has the potential to be ongoing or sustainable.
Approximately 80 hours of community service are involved in the project. The Gold Award qualifies the Girl Scout for special scholarship opportunities.
Gold Award recipients identify an issue and investigate it to understand what can be done to address the problem. Scouts form a team to act as their support system, including a project adviser close to the issue who is not a troop leader or family member. Scouts create a plan to ensure they know what steps they must tackle while working on the project. They submit a proposal for the project to their local Girl Scout council. After acceptance, they start to work through the steps of the plan, utilizing the support team where necessary. The project is used to educate and inspire others about the cause they are addressing.
Visit gswny.org for information.