I have been a Girl Scout since first grade, 12 years to be exact. I am now entering my sophomore year in college, and everything I learned as a Girl Scout has helped me tremendously in every phase of life. Thanks to Girl Scouts, I learned how to communicate effectively and put others before myself. This has helped me not only when applying to jobs and colleges, but I have also been able to use these skills for things such as building friendships and growing my inner confidence. Girl Scouts has offered me some incredible experiences; my troop has traveled to London, Italy, France, New York, and Costa Rica. Along with being able to travel the world, I have completed my Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards, the highest awards in Girl Scouting, which require tackling community issues and sustainably serving the community.
Earning my Gold Award, in particular, was something that I worked extremely hard at, and I am incredibly proud of completing it. My project, Dream for Dresses, focused on the 29,537 homeless children in the Arizona Public School systems who cannot afford the luxury of new clothes for the start of school. At the beginning of this project, I focused on creating dresses for young girls, as they are primarily the ones whose confidence suffers the most when it comes to appearances. As I began, however, I also wanted to gather clothes for boys and organized a clothing drive as well. Per the Curvilinear Model of Self-Esteem, achievement in school is at its lowest efficiency rate when self-esteem is low. The goal of my project was that through new clothes, these children would gain the confidence they needed to raise their achievements in school, as they are the future.
As mentioned before, there are 29,537 homeless students in the Arizona public school systems alone. On a national level, the number is significantly larger: 1.3 million. While my project impacted those locally, I hope that my project and its presence on social media will inspire others to do the same everywhere. While I am in Rhode Island attending the University of Rhode Island, I plan to continue to help the homeless youth here and create awareness on the East Coast.
My new commitment to Girl Scouting has been helping a younger troop with not only their Girl Scout Cookie sales but also with holiday bazaars, earning badges, and their Girl Scout Bronze and Silver Awards. Last March, during my Gold Award, I invited them to collaborate with me, offering training and tips for their future service projects. I taught the girls how to sew and put the dresses together and shared why I chose this as my Gold Award project, and they too became passionate about helping students. So much that they agreed to continue my project, and so I donated all surplus supplies to them.
The truth about Girl Scouts is that it shapes women into strong individuals who have the power to change their community. Girl Scouts gives girls confidence and strength to take on the world and be successful in any endeavor.
Kaya Evans is a Gold Award Girl Scout and GSACPC Alum. She currently attends the University of Rhode Island with hopes of becoming an occupational therapist.