Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois (GSSI) is pleased to announce that Katie Crockett from Swansea has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can receive.
For her Girl Scout Gold Award project, Katie renovated the library at William BeDell Achievement and Resource Center (ARC) in Wood River, which has a mission “to provide the highest quality of services and programs to children and adults who have a developmental disability that reside in Madison County.” She was inspired by volunteer experience at the agency, which she has been doing in honor of her late uncle who had been a student there.
“Across the globe, children with varying disabilities receive less educational opportunities, or in some cases, are blatantly disregarded. As an individual offered ample educational opportunities, I believe it is my duty to advocate for everyone’s right to an equal education in my homeland and beyond,” she explained.
First, Katie worked with William BeDell ARC staff to create a new floor plan for the library that maximized space and ensured accessibility. With these priorities in mind, she began collecting furniture and shelving, as well as books and other learning materials. After arranging the new library layout and shelving, she helped establish a virtual library that could check in, check out and search for items from any device connected to the school’s wifi network. She then helped enter all of the new books and resources into the updated database. Throughout the process, she maintained a website detailing her project and encouraging others to take action to increase educational equality around the world. While 80 hours of service are the suggested minimum for completing a Girl Scout Gold Award project, Katie devoted a whopping 203 hours to her project.
“This project has taught me that a single spark of inspiration has the power to fuel a wildfire of change,” she said. “I think my leadership skills will grow to reflect a passionate, persuasive ability and initiative that pushes individuals to act. I hope to nurture the kind of power that brings people together from near and far, across rivers and oceans. In the future, I will lead people I meet to collectively make the world a better place.”
Katie is the daughter of Kathy and Dan Crockett and a Junior at Belleville East High School.
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.