On Dec. 18, two Berks County girls from the Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania earned their Gold Award, the highest honor and award that a Girl Scout can receive, along with 78 other Girl Scouts from across the region.

The girls were recognized at Camp Laughing Waters for their outstanding achievement and dedication to making their community a better place. Debbie Hassan, board chairwoman of  Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania, was at the ceremony to share remarks and honor the girls with this prestigious award.

“We are proud to recognize 80 inspiring Girl Scouts tonight as they accept the prestigious Gold Award,” stated Kim E. Fraites-Dow, CEO of  Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania. “The leadership skills and commitment to community that these girls have demonstrated goes above and beyond a typical service project. Each of these remarkable young women used empathy and observation to identify a problem in her community, and then recruited a team of advisors and supporters to enact a sustainable solution. These Girl Scouts are not just future leaders, they are already making an impact and leading through positive change. I cannot thank them enough for all of their hard work.”

This year’s Gold Award projects from Berks County include:

• Elise J. Kohler’s project focused on adapting lesson plans for children with learning or sensory disabilities. Elise, 2018 graduate of Exeter Township Senior High School, addressed challenges that public schools face in their lesson planning and created instructional resources for teachers to use to adapt classroom activities.

• Josephine M. Reinhardt’s project addressed the high infant mortality rate in Haiti. The cause of this high rate is due to poor health and sanitation conditions. Josephine, 2018 graduate of Daniel Boone High School, and her team created hygiene kits to help new mothers and their infants after birth. She included pamphlets about the importance of good hygiene with each kit to educate the community.

The Gold Award Girl Scouts’ Take Action projects provide financial benefit to their communities as well, which truly emphasizes the remarkable power of Girl Scouts. Together, this year’s Gold Award Girl Scouts completed 6,400 hours of community service. Based on the latest service worth estimate of one volunteer hour, this represents a value of over $150,000 for the nine counties that  Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania serves.

For more information on the Girl Scout Gold Award, visit: http://www.gsep.org/en/about-girl-scouts/our-program/highest-awards/gold-award.html.

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