St. Louis, MO – Nov. 28, 2017 – Ashley Spell, a senior at Fort Zumwalt South High School, and Heidi Speth, a senior at Fort Zumwalt South High School, earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest achievement in Girl Scouting. In earning the Gold Award, Spell and Speth demonstrated outstanding leadership, organizational and networking skills. Spell and Speth were among 48 young women in eastern Missouri honored at a ceremony at Lindenwood University this past summer.
Adopted herself, Spell said that when deciding on her Gold Award project, she knew she wanted to give back and help children in the foster care system. She partnered with the Foster and Adoptive Support Team (FAST) of St. Charles County to organize and enlarge the options in their community closet, giving children an opportunity to find clothing fitting their personal style. Spell worked with local schools and organizations to collect clothing and shoe donations.
“My favorite part of the project was hearing from the families and kids about how thankful they were for the remodeled space,” Spell said. “I loved seeing their smiling faces when they got to pick out something new in the closet.”
As an avid reader, Speth said she wanted to provide students at Boonslick School for the Severely Disabled more reading options. With help from the City of St. Peter’s community, Speth and other volunteers recorded over 100 children’s books into audiobooks and donated the corresponding texts for students to follow along.
“My favorite part was, without a doubt, the day I dropped the books off at the school,” Speth said. “All the kids were inside so we got to see the kids and we went around to the different classrooms and read with the kids and put the CDs in the players with the new audiobooks. It was so cool to walk around and read with the kids.”
The Girl Scout Gold Award requires determination, communication, time management and a desire to make a difference. This distinguished award challenges girls to change the world and solve a community issue. The process requires at least 80 hours of service and often spans months or even years.
Less than one percent of all Girl Scouts earn the Gold Award, putting them 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 Award Girl Scout benefits are:
- Immediately rising one rank when enlisting in the US Armed Forces
- Earning scholarships from colleges and universities
- Recognition from many government and non-profit organizations
- Certificates and letters from Girl Scouts of the USA, Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri, United States Navy and the South St. Louis Marine Corps League Auxiliary
- Receiving a Sacagawea Gold Dollar from the United States Mint