Teenagers who do not know what they want to do for careers or education after high school graduation are common. Rare is a teen who takes it upon herself to help fellow students discover potential career paths before they graduate.
Enter Amanda Blythe, a senior at Fort Zumwalt West High School, who conducted a career fair at her school as her Girl Scout Gold Award Project.
The Girl Scout Gold Award is the highest national award that a Girl Scout Senior or Ambassador, girls in grades 9-12, can earn. Blythe is a Girl Scout Juliette, meaning that she is an individual Girl Scout, not part of a traditional troop.
“As I started to weigh my potential career possibilities, I realized a lot of my friends did not know what they wanted to study in college,” she said. “Also, I noticed that my school offered limited information to help students find a suitable career path.”
As part of her background research, Blythe investigated popular careers and surveyed her classmates to determine what careers interested them. She created a contact list of career representatives and invited them to come to her school one evening with information booths.
Blythe feels she succeeded in helping many of her friends and classmates with an important life decision. “A lot of them walked away with a better grasp of what they wish to pursue in college. Many students even left the fair with new career possibilities.”
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.
“My project will be sustainable because I handed all of the materials, including the contact list, to my project advisor so the guidance department, in conjunction with the National Honor Society, will continue to host the career fair each year.” She also contacted area businesses and career representatives and asked them to consider attending future career fairs.
Blythe said her project posed some difficulties, such as finding businesses and individuals to contact and getting them to respond to her. She also realized the importance of having alternate contacts for the career representatives.
A major lesson she learned from her project is, “You have to be very flexible and willing to work with others. Sometimes, you have to deviate from your plan.”
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 in June.