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Ballwin Girl Scout helps West African residents see 20/20


St. Louis, MO – July 11, 2019 – Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri is pleased to announce Kristen Eads, a graduate of Parkway South High School, has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest community service award in Girl Scouting.

Open only to G.I.R.L.s (Go-getters, InnovatorsRisk-takers, Leaders) TM in high school, earning the Gold Award is the pinnacle of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. These bold and confident young women have demonstrated extraordinary leadership through a remarkable and sustainable community service project that addresses real-world challenges at local, national and global levels. Eads was recognized with other Gold Award Girl Scouts during a special ceremony at Lindenwood University in St. Charles this past June.  

Eads might be a Girl Scout from eastern Missouri but this G.I.R.L was determined to make a difference in the lives of individuals living more than 7,900 miles away. Eads, passionate about delivering medical care to those who need it most around the globe, learned residents of Burkina Faso, West Africa have many vision-related issues.

To earn her Gold Award, Eads created eye health education materials and collected eyeglasses, sunglasses and hats which were ultimately distributed by a nonprofit called Lighting the Path. Included in the education materials were two flip books, one written in English and the other in French, and both mention regional foods like baobab tree fruit and mangoes that promote healthy eyes. In addition to the materials and collected items, Eads also produced a video that Light the Path field medical and mission workers are sharing with Burkina Faso residents.

The knowledge and information Eads cultivated have already had an impact on the lives of those living in this West African village and with the help of Light the Path, her Gold Award project will continue to improve that corner of the world for generations to come.

For more than 100 years, Gold Award Girl Scouts have completed extraordinary projects in eastern Missouri leaving a long-lasting impact on individuals, organizations, neighbors, schools and their communities. Each Gold Award Girl Scout dedicates at least 80 hours to their project spending months, even years, finishing it while simultaneously juggling intense extracurriculars. 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.