Local Girl Scouts earn 2020 Gold Award

Messenger Post Media
Audrey DeVault.

Girl Scouts of Western New York announced its Gold Award recipients for 2020. This award recognizes projects that fulfill needs within the girls’ communities and create changes that have the potential to be ongoing or sustainable.

Gold Award projects consist of approximately 80 hours of community service. Winners qualify for scholarships and can enlist in the military at a higher starting pay grade.

Local winners are Audrey DeVault, of Penfield, and Sophia Braithwaite, Rachel Burt and Elizabeth Newell, of Webster.

DeVault’s project, “Bats and Butterflies,” tackled the issue of increasing numbers of biting bugs at the Never Say Never Foundation in Webster. After hearing about this problem, DeVault researched ways to combat these bugs. She designed, created and installed a 40-pound nursery bat house to increase the number of honeybees, butterflies, hummingbirds and ladybugs. She also installed a single-chamber bat house and constructed a butterfly garden.

Braithwaite provided students transferring into Webster Thomas High School with needed support. Her project, “Titan Ambassador Program,” established a summer orientation and two luncheons to help transfer students feel included at school. She collaborated with the Webster Thomas PTSA and Think Tank Promotional, as well as her school principal and advisers for Link Crew.

Burt created an “out-of-water” water safety project with her project, “Promoting Water Safety,” which involved teaching children the skills and knowledge they need to keep themselves safe. She was inspired to take on this project because “knowing how to swim is not the same as knowing how to be safe in, on and around the water.”

Newell’s project, “Educating People on Owning Exotic Birds,” involved painting a mural for a local bird store that showcased different birds people can own. She also created informational pamphlets and videos about the birds.

Sophia Braithwaite.