2011 Gold Award Recipient—Ashley Gund

Posted: Apr 15, 2011

Ashley Gund, of Phoenix, loves biology and has found way to put her interest to work with autistic children. She is also a Girl Scout and will be awarded the Girl Scout Gold Award for her community service project that uses basic biology to help special needs kids have fun and learn new skills.

The Girl Scout Gold Award is the highest award that a Girl Scout age 14-18 may earn. The Gold Award project is the culmination of all the work a girl puts into "going for the Gold." The project is something that fulfills a need within a girl's community (whether local or global), creates change, and hopefully, is something that becomes ongoing.

For her Gold Award project, Gund attended training classes to learn about teaching special needs students and also to expand her knowledge of biology.  After observing in the classroom and taking notes, she developed simple gardening and green science projects that would help students explore their environment. 

“What they needed was to be told ‘yes,’” said Gund. “It is okay to touch, squish, hold, interact with this project, sing along, shout and have fun.”

Gund worked over the next 8 months in the classroom and special winter and summer camps where she was able to improve the tasks with each project and provide more complete directions.  Gund’s project now includes seven projects which she has compiled into a handbook for others to use. 

“Volunteers who have used the projects love them,” she said. “They enjoy teaching with stimulating projects that produce measurable skills for the students.”
Gund is an independent Girl Scout and a sister to Troop #492.  She has been a member of the Girl Scouts for 12 years, starting as a Daisy Scout.  She has also received the Silver Award and Bronze Award.

Gund is a junior at Notre Dame Preparatory High School where she is a member of Key Club, Presidents Honor Roll, Prom Committee, Book Club, Speech and Drama Club, Hope Kids Volunteer, Southwest Wildlife Fundraiser & Supporter.   She also plays volleyball, and enjoys traveling to competitions with her club team.  After graduation, Gund plans to study design engineering and business. 

Gund will be awarded the Girl Scout Gold Award March 26, 2011 at the Heard Museum.