Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania’s annual Awards of Distinction event celebrates women who exemplify excellence in leadership throughout our council’s region, as well as the accomplishments of two Gold Award Girl Scouts who received the honors of Girl Scout Humanitarian and Girl Scout of Distinction.
Gold Award Girl Scout Sophia Gledhill, a graduate of Quaker Valley High School, accepted the award for the 2023 Girl Scout Humanitarian for her project: Eco Brick Initiative.
Sophia created a website and held workshops which provided information concerning the global plastic crisis and a potential solution, the eco brick—a small water bottle filled with non-biodegradable plastic which is used as a building material.
As a student growing up during the height of environmental pollution, Sophia knew that she needed to make a change. Unfortunately, misinformation and general disinterest in the plastic pollution crisis amongst her peers and citizens worldwide has led to the continuation and exacerbation of plastic pollution.
Her workshops taught students at her high school how to create their own eco bricks, as well as how to reduce their personal environmental impact. Sophia created an eco brick bench containing over 6,000 plastic bags at a local basketball court in her community which further continues to educate people on plastic pollution.
Gold Award Girl Scout Noelle Kraeger, a senior at Highlands High School, accepted the award for the 2023 Girl Scout of Distinction for her project: Promoting Healthcare Equality by Overcoming Language Barriers.
While working on one of her Journey projects, Noelle learned of the challenges that
Spanish-speaking families may face when seeking health services for their children due to language barriers and a lack of Spanish-speaking healthcare providers. This, along with her future aspiration to become an educator, was the inspiration for her Gold Award project.
Noelle’s project focused on creating a resource that healthcare workers can utilize to better communicate with Spanish-speaking children and their families. An additional goal was to promote the development of language skills for children prior to starting school. Donations were raised to purchase bilingual books that were given to preschool-aged children during their clinic visits.
We were honored to celebrate these outstanding Gold Award Girl Scouts alongside our 2023 Women of Distinction honorees at our Awards of Distinction event. Congratulations on your incredible achievements, Sophia and Noelle!
For more information about this year’s event and honorees, please visit gswpa.org/aod.