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Gold Award Girl Scout fights for new, inclusive school curriculum


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St. Louis, MO – September 11, 2018 ─ Ashley Knobbe, a 2017 graduate of Hazelwood Central High School in Florissant, Mo., recently earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest achievement in Girl Scouting. By earning the award, Knobbe exemplifies a leader who has transformed an idea for change into an actionable plan with a sustainable impact. Knobbe was among 53 Gold Award Girl Scouts recognized during a ceremony at Lindenwood University in St. Charles this summer.

Fifteen percent of children between six and 19 years old have measurable hearing loss in at least one ear, according to the Center for Hearing and Communication. As a long-time member of the American Sign Language Club, Knobbe understood the importance of providing a service, like a sign language program, to those who are deaf or hard of hearing and to those without hearing impediments. She believes giving all students the opportunity to learn American Sign Language skills will help close communication gaps and result in a more receptive and inclusive environment.

To earn her award, Knobbe lobbied to introduce an American Sign Language class that would be offered at her high school. She presented her idea to the Hazelwood School District Board and submitted a petition with almost 100 student signatures. Knobbe also contacted Representative Alan Gray, D-75, and requested that he file legislation introducing this curriculum to metro-area schools. This G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader) TM is speaking up and making a difference in the world!

The Gold Award represents the culmination of more than 80 hours of work on a project that is important to each girl. Approximately one million high-school aged Girl Scouts 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 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 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.