2011 Gold Award Recipient—Catherine Radachi

Posted: Apr 15, 2011

Catherine Radachi of Scottsdale knows what it means to have a caring, nurturing place to call home. She is also a Girl Scout and will be awarded the Girl Scout Gold Award for her service project to refurbish a fire-damaged room at Maggie’s Place, a home for expectant mothers.

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, Radachi transformed an old storage space into staff living quarters after a fire damaged the main building and left staff, who stay overnight at the facility, without a comfortable space.

"After the fire in January, the staff room became a storage space for all of the items that could not fit in the regular home during reconstruction,” she said. “It was my honor to turn the storage room into a sanctuary for two staff members who would be living there full time.”

Radachi removed old items out of the room, cleaned and painted, pulled up the old carpet, scraped the laminate flooring, purchased new items, assembled large furniture pieces, and put the final touches on the room.  She received professional help laying the carpet, and recruited the support of nearly 50 volunteers and donors.

“By providing a loving, nurturing and caring home for these mothers, the staff is able to set these women out into the world to make a difference,” she said.  “Since the staff give their time, talent, and treasure daily, the room gives them a place to relax and unwind after a long day of work.”

Radachi was born in Georgia and her extended family is in Nebraska, but she has called Arizona home for 16 years.  She is the youngest of three siblings.  “Both of them are incredibly accomplished people at such a young age,” she said of her brother Nick and sister Liska. “I aspire to be like them.”

Radachi has been a Girl Scout since kindergarten.  “The bond that I formed with my troop and the desire to help my community kept me scouting all through high school,” she said. “There were four of us who started in the original troop and we ended up adopting our own Girl Scout troop. I loved working with them and learning through the girls that we were leading.”

Radachi also enjoys reading, photography, bike riding, baking, and picnics. “I also love to swim and have a special spot in my heart for synchronized swimming,” she said.  She played the cello for nine years.

Radachi graduated from high school in May 2010 and is a Freshman with Honors and at the University of Arizona.  She is studying in business management and entrepreneurship with a minor in economics.

Radachi lives by the words of Jules Renard, ‘Being bored is an insult to one’s self.’   “I am constantly involved in a new service project, joining a new club, or finding other productive ways to occupy my time instead of doing nothing,” she said.  She admires her mother the most. “She is one of the most courageous women that I have ever encountered in my life.’

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