Abigail Brant ’22 recently earned her place as a Gold Award recipient, the highest honor a Girl Scout can receive. Of the 59 million Girl Scout alumnae, only an estimated six percent receive this award. Abigail’s final project involved helping and guiding children within Indianapolis’ homeless population to develop and explore their creativity through hands-on learning experiences. She worked with the Holy Family Shelter to create lessons and help the youth and their volunteers in a classroom-like setting. Learn more about her time as a Girl Scout below!
How long have you been a Girl Scout?
I have been a Girl Scout since kindergarten.
For those who may not know, what is the Gold Award in Girl Scouts? What kind of work is required to be awarded that kind of honor?
The Gold Award in Girl Scouts is the highest award given. You have to put a lot of volunteer hours in and be able to make a global impact.
According to the Girl Scouts website, the steps involved in achieving the Gold Award include: using your values and knowledge to identify a community issue you care about; researching everything you can about the issue; inviting collaboration and support from others, including an advisor; creating a project plan that achieves sustainable and measurable impact, rather than just treating the symptoms; presenting your plan to the Girl Scout council for feedback; putting your approved project plan into action; and finally, sharing what you learned and experienced throughout your project with the Girl Scout council in the form of a Final Report.
Tell us a little bit about your final project. What led you to choose the project you did?
With my final project, I worked with a homeless shelter and volunteered with the kids to teach them their letter sounds and numbers. My mom is a kindergarten teacher, so I have learned how important early childhood development is.
While Gold projects vary in length depending on factors such as the nature of the project and size of the team working with the Scout, the suggested minimum number of hours to earn a Gold Award is 80. In order to even be eligible for a Gold Award, Girl Scouts like Abigail must undergo training in addition to completing either two Girl Scout Journeys, or just one if she has already earned her Silver Award. Girl Scout Journeys are service projects with a pre-designed theme, which include Engineering, Computer Science, Outdoor STEM, and Outdoor. In contrast, Silver and Gold Awards have no pre-designed theme. Abigail chose the focus of her Gold project based on her own values, research, and desire to meet particular needs within the Indianapolis community.
What is one important lesson you’ve learned from your time as a Girl Scout? In what ways has being a Girl Scout all these years helped you grow into who you are today?
The most important lesson I’ve learned as a Girl Scout is to serve others who are in need without always thinking there is a benefit for yourself after helping others. I am a lot more giving and kind than I think I would be if I wasn’t a Girl Scout because it has taught me to see all sides of things.
Is there anything we missed that you feel is important to mention?
Girl Scouts is not just about cookies. We put our hearts into what we do.
Earning a Gold Award certainly requires a great deal of time, dedication, and service. What a strong example of what it looks like to be a woman for others. Congratulations on your amazing accomplishment, Abigail!