St. Louis, MO – Nov. 28, 2017 – Mariah Skelly, a 2016 Francis Howell Central High School graduate and sophomore at Drury University, earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest achievement in Girl Scouting. In earning the Gold Award, Skelly demonstrated outstanding leadership, organizational and networking skills. Skelly was among 48 young women in eastern Missouri honored at a ceremony at Lindenwood University this past summer.
Skelly taught a six-week program designed to empower middle school girls, boosting their self-esteem and leadership skills, to earn her Gold Award project. Skelly said she understands middle school can be a rough time for girls so she focused her presentations and activities on building the courage, confidence and character of these young women.
During each week of the empowerment program, Skelly said she would ask herself, “What can I do to help these six girls figure out a little more about themselves?”
Before the six-week program concluded, Skelly and her mom took the girls on a camping trip. During this outdoor adventure, Skelly said the girls relaxed and showed their true selves while they cooked outside, participated in archery and created vision boards. At the end of the empowerment program, Skelly shared her PowerPoint presentations, notes and handouts to a nonprofit organization called Preferred Family Healthcare. Preferred Family Healthcare will continue to distribute Skelly’s positive messaging focusing on self-esteem and leadership.
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