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Eco-conscious Girl Scout leads community sustainability initiative


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St. Louis, MO – September 27, 2018 ─ Sabreena Leach, a 2018 graduate of Oakville Senior High School in Oakville, Mo., recently earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest achievement in Girl Scouting. By earning the award, Leach exemplifies a leader who has transformed an idea for change into an actionable plan with a sustainable impact. Leach was among 53 Gold Award Girl Scouts recognized during a ceremony at Lindenwood University in St. Charles this summer.

Seventy-four percent of Americans support protecting the environment, but only one-in-five prioritize reducing, reusing and recycling, according to a 2017 Pew Research report. For many Americans, sorting plastic bottles and buying eco-friendly products can be expensive and time-consuming. To earn her Gold Award, Leach created a multifaceted, low-cost initiative for reducing waste in her community. She provided 10 households with Bokashi composting systems that convert food waste into nutrient-rich soil and distributed more than 30 instructional packets on building a DIY compost bin. To reduce paper and plastic waste outside of the home, this G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader) TM arranged eight recycling signs around her high school’s cafeteria. Leach also used mulch she made from leaf compost to construct garden beds at the World Bird Sanctuary. Leach’s green thumb is making waste reduction accessible, simple and sustainable for her family and friends.

The Girl Scout Gold Award represents the culmination of more than 80 hours of work on a project that is important to each girl. Approximately one million Girl Scouts in ninth through 12th grade have earned the Girl Scout Gold Award or its equivalent since 1916.

A young woman who has earned the Gold Award is a community leader. Gold Award Girl Scouts report a more positive sense of self, are more engaged civically and in community service, have more confidence in their leadership abilities, and experience greater life satisfaction and success relative to their non-Gold Award peers. Some of the benefits of becoming a Gold Award Girl Scout 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

Earning the Gold Award is just one of the amazing things girls can do as part of Girl Scouts. To join Girl Scouts or learn more about volunteering, please visit girlscoutsem.org/join.