Girl Scouts Heart of the South announced that Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) named Trinity Walker a 2018 National Gold Award Girl Scout, the organization’s most prestigious honor. GSUSA selects ten National Gold Award Girl Scouts (formerly known as the National Young Women of Distinction) annually among candidates who have earned their Girl Scout Gold Award®, the highest award a Girl Scout can earn, and one that is only available to Girl Scouts. By designing and implementing extraordinary projects of measurable, sustainable, and far-reaching impact, these girls demonstrate a steadfast commitment, as well as a stunning ability, to create true change.
Each year, thousands of girls in grades 9–12 nationwide are recognized as Gold Award Girl Scouts for transforming an idea and vision for change into an actionable plan with strong impact on local, national, and global levels. Approximately 5 percent of Girl Scouts earn their Gold Award each year—and just ten girls in this high-achieving group receive the National Gold Award Girl Scout distinction. Applications are judged by previous National Gold Award Girl Scouts, leaders from a diverse array of professional fields, GSUSA executives, and a representative from the Kappa Delta Foundation.
For her Gold Award project, Walker, recognizing the healing power of art therapy, set out to help teen girls with mental illnesses and emotional challenges learn healthy ways of coping. She organized the Note 2 Self Art Expression Workshop and Showcase, through which she developed materials that enhance mental health resources and social justice programs in her community. After raising $3,000 to fund her workshop, Trinity taught girls about art expression as a means of achieving mindfulness and supporting their mental well-being. At her showcase and through various social media platforms, she educated 1,500 people about teen mental health issues.
Walker also demonstrated business sense and an entrepreneurial mindset in the process proving how girls are successful in their own right, how their financial decisions generate substantial economic impact, and how they are prepared to be our next generation of business leaders.
Research verifies that participating in Girl Scouts and earning the Gold Award are linked to developing crucial leadership skills and advanced achievements. In addition to Girl Scouts being more than twice as likely than other girls to identify and solve problems in their communities, they over index when it comes to seeking challenges and learning from setbacks, having confidence in themselves and their leadership abilities, and forming and maintaining healthy relationships. The majority of women who earned their Gold Award display more positive life outcomes compared with women who did not participate in Girl Scouts in their youth, including being more optimistic about their future; seeing themselves as leaders; and being more civically engaged, particularly in politics.
“We are extremely proud of all of our Gold Award winners each year,” said Melanie Schild, CEO. “Trinity is a great example of how Girl Scouts take their passion and turn it into something sustainable that will change the world around them.”
Walker will be honored by GSUSA at the National Gold Award Girl Scouts this October 11 at a celebratory event in New York City made possible through generous support by the premier event sponsor, Toyota Financial Services. Through a multi-year partnership, Toyota Financial Services and GSUSA are helping girls become financially savvy leaders; obtain real-life, age-appropriate financial skills; and gain the tools necessary to make a positive influence in their communities.
To honor the National Gold Award Girl Scouts, a combined $100,000 in college scholarships, which includes $10,000 for Walker, has been provided by Susan Bulkeley Butler, founder of the Susan Bulkeley Butler Institute for the Development of Women Leaders and former member of the Girl Scouts of the USA Board of Directors.
The Kappa Delta Foundation has granted the selected girls a combined $50,000 in college scholarships, reflecting its commitment to girls’ leadership and pursuit of education. This includes $5,000 for Walker.
Finally, Arconic Foundation has granted the ten young women a combined $50,000 in college scholarships, including $5,000 for Walker.
Being honored as a National Gold Award Girl Scout, earning the Girl Scout Gold Award, and receiving generous scholarships are just a few of the countless incredible experiences girls have through Girl Scouts. To join or volunteer, visit www.girlscouts.org/join.