Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois (GSSI) is pleased to announce that Emma Boone from Edwardsville has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can receive.
For her Girl Scout Gold Award project, called Change a Child’s Christmas, Emma worked with Granite City Catholic Charities and Father McGivney Catholic High School’s National Honor Society to help provide a holiday event for families in need. She realized that holiday festivities can also be a source of great stress for low income families, and wanted to bring the community together to offer a celebration that all families could enjoy.
First, Emma campaigned to collect donated toys for children and gift baskets for adults. She also called and visited local businesses and nonprofits to gather supplies for a holiday breakfast with food and decorations. Next, she mobilized members of her school’s National Honor Society chapter as volunteers to help run the event. She even arranged for a special appearance by Santa to meet and take photos with the children attending. She then helped promote the event in the community, working with area nonprofits to spread the word. Due to her hard work, planning and organization, twenty families were able to relax and enjoy a special holiday occasion together for no cost. Using her notes as a guide, the National Honor Society chapter plans to continue hosting the event into the future.
“I am definitely a shy person by nature,” Emma admitted. “My project showed me that I DO have a voice; I have the power to be the boss without being bossy. This newfound confidence is a skill I will carry with me for a long time,” she said.
Emma is the daughter of Jane and Dan Boone. She completed her Girl Scout Gold Award project as a senior at Father McGivney Catholic High School, where she graduated in 2017. She is currently attending University of Illinois, where she is majoring in Materials Engineering.
The Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can earn, recognizes a Girl Scout's commitment to excellence as she develops skills and values to meet present and future challenges in her life. To earn the Girl Scout Gold Award, a Girl Scout Senior or Girl Scout Ambassador must design and carry out a project that fulfills a need within a girl’s community, creates change, and is sustainable. The project must be completed with a suggested minimum of 80 hours of work. Only about 5 percent of eligible girls earn the prestigious Gold Award.