Gold Award Girl Scout: Jeel P.

GAGS_JeelPOpen to girls in high school only, the Girl Scout Gold Award is the most prestigious award in the world for girls (and the most difficult to earn), and it’s available exclusively to Girl Scouts.

When you earn the Gold Award, you can tackle the issues most important to you. Gold Award Girl Scouts are inspiring leaders who are working on a broad range of the most challenging problems facing our world today—from human trafficking to ocean pollution to education access to expanded STEM training for girls in underserved communities.

Learn more about GSHNJ Gold Award Girl Scout Jeel, how she tackled her Gold Award project, and what advice she has for girls looking to earn their Gold Award.

How did your project make the world a better place?

My project – Straight Up Scoliosis – focused on the medical condition scoliosis which affects 4.5 million people in the U.S. However, this number does not include the countless children and adults who show signs of scoliosis but are not getting the proper medical attention they need. My project played a key role in early diagnosis of scoliosis by helping parents check for signs right at the comfort of their home. I was able to work with local doctors, parents, and caregivers in my community by bringing light to this multifactorial condition. Not only did I impact my community in Hunterdon County, I was able to see the impact of my project 7,904 miles away in India!

What did you learn about yourself by working on this project?

I remember looking at the requirements for the gold award before I started my own project and thought to myself that I wouldn’t be able to complete it. For any freshman in high school, an 80 hour+ project seems like a difficult task. I took on this project the summer before my senior year and I was glad I pulled it off. Balancing SAT prep and college applications along with my project was a struggle. By working on this project, I grew mentally, socially, and physically. I was able to instill confidence in myself because I now had the courage to speak with adults with a bold voice. I was no longer afraid and gentle when speaking to adults, I was graceful yet fearless. I learned how to efficiently manage a team and was able to enhance my leadership skills which I will hold in my “toolbox” for life.

What advice would you give to other Girl Scouts thinking about going for the gold?

Go for it and put yourself out there! The gold award looks very intimidating at first but I promise the lessons it teaches will stay with you for life. Girl Scouts is about being a strong, bold, and confident girl willing to help the community and the project helps you do just that and more. More than anything, just be yourself!

To learn more about the Girl Scout Gold Award, please visit our website.

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