Three Gold Award Girl Scouts, representing Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania (GSHPA), have been named recipients of the annual Gold Award Girl Scout Scholarship, which totals $8,000. A selection committee comprised of community volunteers evaluated 41 submissions for the scholarship and named the three finalists: Rosa Azzato, of Harrisburg, PA; Ally Byrne, of Chambersburg, PA; and Megan Gouldy, of Mechanicsburg, PA.
Rosa Azzato earned her Girl Scout Gold Award in 2018 by fulfilling a project focused on Arts, Culture & Heritage, entitled “Expressions Art Camp.” Rosa organized an art-themed day camp for young children with special needs to help them develop a sense of self-expression and problem-solving skills. The camp included activities for the children to spend time painting, making special crafts, creating music and playing games. Rosa will enter her second year of study at the University of Scranton in the accelerated master’s program for Occupational Therapy; she is also minoring in psychology with a concentration in lifespan development. Upon graduating, Rosa has future plans to pursue a doctorate degree. Rosa said, “My aspiration in life is to incorporate the “service over self” paradigm into my daily life. This scholarship will be instrumental to the achievement of my goal.”
Ally Byrne earned her Girl Scout Gold Award in 2019 by completing a project addressing Healthy Relationships, entitled “Teen Depression and Suicide.” Ally connected with her school district, community agencies and a teen center to raise awareness about depression and suicide in her community. Ultimately, she worked to ensure that teenagers would feel supported in their battle against depression and suicide, and not be afraid to seek help. Ally’s education goals include studying medical technologies with the ultimate goal of earning a doctorate in the field of kinesiology. Ally said, “This scholarship will have a great impact on being able to attend the school of my choice and support my educational goals.”
Megan Gouldy earned her Girl Scout Gold Award in 2019 by developing a project focused on Education, entitled, “Children’s Reading Corner.” Megan created a reading corner at a local elementary school to help underprivileged children develop stronger reading and writing skills. She installed and painted shelving units, provided furniture, pillows, plenty of reading and writing materials, and painted a mural on the wall. One of the most rewarding experiences during her project was hearing directly from children about how happy they were to have a private and inspiring place to read. Megan plans to pursue an undergraduate and Master’s degree in civil engineering. Megan said of her Girl Scout experience, “Both my grandmother and my aunt were Girl Scouts who received the Gold Award (or equivalent), and they were part of what inspired me to complete mine. Service has always been an integral part of my life.”
Members of the Gold Award Scholarship Selection Committee included:
Kimberly Bierly, Regional Manager for Senator Casey (retired), from Centre County
Alice Davis, Executive Director of Susquehanna County Career &
Technology Center, from Susquehanna County
Anne Finucane, Artist, Gallery Coordinator, member Council for the Arts, from Franklin County
Bob Kallin, President of the Green Dragon Foundation and recently retired Vice President of Development, Alumni and Parent Relations for Gettysburg College, from Union County
Julie Wheeler, President Commissioner for York County Commissioners, from York County
The Committee reviewed 41 applications submitted for consideration. The merits of each application were assessed on the applicant’s ability to describe the tenets of Girl Scouting; to explain how investing in community service affected each applicant’s experience; and to define how the Gold Award project will have a lasting impact on the community.
GSHPA offers three scholarships for Gold Award Girl Scouts currently attending or planning to enroll in post-secondary education. The scholarship amounts are $1,000, $2,000, and $5,000. Each scholarship is for a one-time payment directly to the post-secondary institution. The Gold Award Girl Scout Scholarship application submission timeframe runs from late winter to early spring. Questions about the Gold Award Girl Scout Scholarship can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Gold Award is the pinnacle experience for Senior and Ambassador Girl Scouts. The project requires a minimum of 80 hours and follows seven defined steps to meet the requirements of the Gold Award. The Gold Award is granted to Girl Scouts whose projects make a sustainable and lasting impact on the community. For more information, go to the Highest Awards page on GSHPA's website.