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Attempting to provide access to books and other literary materials for people who rely on public assistance is the goal of Katherine Angeli’s Girl Scout Gold Award project.

She created a lending library in the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry in New Melle, Mo. as an easy way to trade, borrow or keep reading materials. Angeli is a senior at Francis Howell High School and an Ambassador Girl Scout in Troop 2825.

The Girl Scout Gold Award is the highest national award that a Girl Scout Senior or Ambassador, girls in grades 9-12, can earn.

She began by sponsoring a book drive at a local church to collect materials then she worked with a local elementary school librarian to sort the books to make sure all materials were church-appropriate.

After constructing the shelves and a magazine rack, Angeli and her troop collaborated with a Girl Scout Daisy troop and a Girl Scout Cadette troop to paint the units.

“That was my favorite part, painting bookshelves with the troops of younger girls,” she said. “It’s a lot easier to take charge than I thought. I was tentative at first but once I started the project, leading became a lot easier.” 

Earning the Girl Scout Gold Award requires a suggested 80 hours of planning and implementing a challenging, large-scale project that is innovative, engages others and has a lasting impact on its targeted community with an emphasis on sustainability.

Students at the parish will hold an annual book drive, sustaining the library for others to use long after Angeli graduates.

“I think my leadership skills will improve because now I’m not afraid to step forward and be a leader,” she said. “This project showed me how to take a more up-front role in my community and it is one of the reasons I decided to run for president of my school’s drama club. I got the position so next year I will use skills and techniques learned during this project to lead other drama students.”

Earning the Girl Scout Gold Award puts girls among an exceptional group of women who have used their knowledge and leadership skills to make a difference in the world. Some of the Gold Awardee benefits are: 

  • A Girl Scout who has earned her Gold Award and enlists in the US armed forces, immediately rises one level in rank
  • Colleges and universities recognize the achievements and leadership abilities of Girl Scout Gold Award recipients by offering scholarship programs 
  • Achievements of the Girl Scout Gold Award recipients are acknowledged by many government and non-profit organizations

Less than one percent of all Girl Scouts earn the Girl Scout Gold Award. With talent, passion, commitment and determination, they can make changes in their communities and impact people around the world. This year, 40 girls in eastern Missouri earned Gold Awards. They were recognized at a reception at Maritz in Fenton earlier this month.

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