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Newtown Girl Scout Earns Gold Award For Helping Kids In Uganda

Grace Anne Herrick of Newtown has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award in Girl Scouting.
Grace Anne Herrick of Newtown has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award in Girl Scouting. Photo Credit: Contributed
A total of 86 Girl Scouts earned their Gold Awards for the Class of 2016, including 40 from Fairfield County.
A total of 86 Girl Scouts earned their Gold Awards for the Class of 2016, including 40 from Fairfield County. Photo Credit: Girl Scouts of America

NEWTOWN, Conn. — Grace Anne Herrick of Newtown has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award in Girl Scouting.

Herrick's Gold Award Project addressed two issues: the lack of education and lack of health care for children under the age of 5 who live in rural Nakaseke, Uganda.

She developed an early education program for the children of Uganda with the help of ACCESS — African Community Center for Cultural Sustainability.

The community in Nakaseke is so excited about the program that there is a waiting list.

She will be fundraising as an adult for a school to be built where more families can participate. She hopes to open more schools and programs like this across Africa.

Herrick wants to be a surgeon and work for Doctors Without Borders after she graduates from college.

In celebration of the Gold Award Centennial, Herrick was one of eight girls from across the country selected by Girl Scouts of the USA to travel to Washington, D.C., to mark the occasion.

During the Capitol Hill celebration, more than 200 leaders from government, the military, and academia came together to recognize and honor the girls and women who have earned the Gold Award over the past century.

The only Girl Scout from Connecticut at the event, Herrick put her Gold Award project on display on Capitol Hill.

“Being chosen to exhibit my Gold Award Project at the Girl Scouts Capitol Hill Celebration in Washington, D.C., is an honor and I look forward to this opportunity to take action, to educate and inspire others to act, and it makes me feel empowered to make a difference in the world,” she said.

“I’m very thankful and fortunate Girl Scouts of Connecticut believed in my Gold Award Project and never made me feel like what I wanted to do was impossible," she added.

Celebrating its 100th Anniversary this year, the Gold Award requires a high school age Girl Scout to spend at least 80 hours researching issues, assessing community needs and resources, building a team and making a sustainable impact in the community.

A Gold Award recipient’s accomplishments reflect leadership and citizenship skills that set her apart as a community leader. Nationally, only 6 percent of Girl Scouts earn the Gold Award.

“Since 1916, approximately 1 million Girl Scouts have made a sustainable impact in their communities,” said Mary Barneby, CEO of Girl Scouts of Connecticut. “We are so thrilled to honor a record number of girls this year and we are excited to see how many more incredible young women will continue to change the world in the next 100 years.”

For more information about the Gold Award or how to become a Gold Award volunteer or mentor, click here .

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