St. Louis, MO – Nov. 28, 2017 – Katie Kersting, a 2017 St. Joseph’s Academy graduate, earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest achievement in Girl Scouting. In earning the Gold Award, Kersting demonstrated outstanding leadership, organizational and networking skills. Kersting was among 48 young women in eastern Missouri honored at a ceremony at Lindenwood University this past summer.
Seeing Snapchat videos of her fellow students using phones while driving was the source of inspiration for Kersting’s Gold Award project. Wanting to raise awareness of the consequences of distracted driving, Kersting created and organized a program called 11 A Day. Using MO-specific stats, Kersting asked 10 students and one teacher at her school to represent victims of distracted driving and throughout a day in school, these “victims” shared their obituaries with the student body.
After the obituaries were shared, the “victims” changed into all black clothing and remained silent for the remainder of the school day.
“I got an email from a senior that night saying one of her best friends was one of the people picked to be in the project,” Kersting said. “She said it was really jarring to see her best friend walking through the halls but not able to speak. She knew this was a problem but never took it to heart and understood how [distracted driving] changed people’s lives.”
Although Kersting graduated, the school’s guidance department plans to continue implementing the 11 A Day program every four years.
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