St. Louis, MO – Nov. 28, 2017 – Aquera Love, a senior at Hazelwood Central High School, earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest achievement in Girl Scouting. In earning the Gold Award, Love demonstrated outstanding leadership, organizational and networking skills. Love was among 48 young women in eastern Missouri honored at a ceremony at Lindenwood University this past summer.
Love said she wanted her Gold Award project to focus on an organization she’s passionate about and where she could use her leadership skills to change a corner of her world. For years, Love has been connected to a local nursing facility, Hillside Manor Healthcare Center, where as her grandfather serves as resident minister.
Love said she decided to improve the activities room at the Center to create a more comfortable and home-like space for the residents. Love partnered with her grandparents, church and several retail organization to collect paint, carpet, window treatments and furniture. Love also held a raffle at her grandfather’s church to raise funds to buy board games and a Wii. Although Love said there were times she wanted to give up, she was determined to make her project happen and to give the residents a welcoming setting.
“I grew up there [Hillside Manor Healthcare Center],” Love said. “Every time Girl Scouts would do caroling or handing out socks, hats or gloves, I would see few residents in the activities room. I asked why more people aren’t in the room and they would complain. I wanted to make them at least feel like they were at home.”
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