St. Louis, MO – Nov. 28, 2017 – Megan Rajagopal, a 2017 graduate at American Embassy School in New Delhi, earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest achievement in Girl Scouting. In earning the Gold Award, Rajagopal demonstrated outstanding leadership, organizational and networking skills and was among 48 young women in eastern Missouri honored at a ceremony at Lindenwood University this past summer.
Living in New Delhi, India gave Rajagopal a different perspective on education, gender roles and community needs. After learning that a local school accepting children from the slums needed help to become accredited, Rajagopal said she wanted to contribute.
“I decided if I could help [the owners] of the school and I could give these kids a proper place to learn, it would change their life,” Rajagopal said. “They would have the necessary skills to get a decent job rather than be begging on the streets.”
Although there were times Rajagopal faced gender role challenges during the project, she painted four classrooms a bright blue color in addition to making aesthetic renovations to an office space and guest area at the school. The students ranging in age from infancy to early teens have a safe space to learn and Rajagopal said the school is now accredited.
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