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2 Lincoln Girl Scouts win Gold Award

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Every year, an elite group of inspiring future leaders are honored with the Girl Scout Gold Award, the most prestigious award in Girl Scouts. This year, 20 Girl Scouts Spirit of Nebraska members earned their Gold Award, including two from Lincoln.

The Gold Award is the mark of the truly remarkable—earned by a high school Girl Scout who demonstrates extraordinary leadership in developing meaningful and lasting solutions to local, national and global challenges. Spirit of Nebraska’s Gold Award Girl Scouts tackled issues such as teen sexual assault, poverty, literacy, medical needs, community beautification and the shortage of women working in technology fields.

"Each year we celebrate the Girl Scouts in our council who complete ‘take action projects’ and earn their Gold Awards," said Fran Marshall, chief executive officer of Girl Scouts Spirit of Nebraska. "This year, we have 20 amazing Gold Award Girl Scouts to recognize. Each Gold Award Girl Scout delivers on her promise to make the world a better place by making a sustainable difference in her community. We are so proud of the girls who have achieved the highest award in Girl Scouts. We know they will go on to continue making a difference in our world.”

This year’s Gold Award Girls Scouts include the following young women from Lincoln:

When Tessa Brazda learned that foreign exchange students experienced isolation at school, homework challenges, homesickness and a lack of familiarity with the Lincoln area, she founded a Student Ambassador Program. The mentoring program pairs exchange students with American students at Lincoln Lutheran High School and provides welcome packets with information about Lincoln.

To honor those from her homeland of Iraq who have died in the United States, Maysaa Khalaf of Lincoln partnered with the United Yezidi Community of America to beautify a Yazidi cemetery in Malcolm. She worked with the Arbor Day Foundation, the Nebraska Forest Service and the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum to secure donations of more than 400 trees, which she and 60 volunteers planted.

The other Gold Award winners from Girl Scouts Spirit of Nebraska are Ellie Michaels of Bellevue; Karli Workman of Blair; Alora Nowlin of Council Bluffs, Iowa; Emily Binder and Hayley Long of Crete; Johanna Epp and Kate Lembree of Elkhorn; Kylie Shurz of Fremont; Kaitlyn Correll of Gretna; Madison Elliott of Imperial; Cheyanne Ellis of Minden; Madelynn Carbaugh, Abbey Dyer, Sidney Jacobs and Caitlyn Talkington of Omaha; Michaela Rotert of Potter; Madeline Werner of Syracuse; and Grace Steinmeyer of Wisner.

The benefits to these extraordinary young women—and, by extension, the world—are substantial. Research from the Girl Scout Research Institute finds that Gold Award Girl Scouts display more positive life outcomes than other young women, including those that pertain to sense of self, life satisfaction, leadership, life success, community service and civic engagement.

Younger girls who identify and address a pressing community need can earn the Bronze or Silver Award, gaining skills in leadership, project planning, time management and budgeting.

In Nebraska this year, 269 girls earned their Bronze Award, the highest award for Girl Scouts in grades 4-5. Another 142 earned the Silver Award, the highest award for Girl Scouts in grades 6-8.

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