Since 1916, Girl Scouts have been making meaningful, sustainable change in their communities and around the world through their Girl Scout Gold Award projects. The Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor a Girl Scout can earn, acknowledges the power behind each recipient’s dedication to not only empowering herself, but also to making the world a better place for others. As the Girl Scout Gold Award celebrates 100 years of girls changing the world, Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois (GSSI) will highlight some of our shining stars who exemplify the greatness of this award.
Dara contributes a lot of who she is today to Girl Scouting and earning the Girl Scout Gold Award. “Earning the Girl Scout Gold Award gave me the opportunity to give speeches around the country, allowed for networking opportunities and provided a strong sense of family. Several of us Gold Award recipients remain in touch today,” she said. And, she encourages other Girl Scouts to set goals and achieve the Gold Award. “Don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t do it. I heard that a lot throughout my life, but Girl Scouts pushed me forward and allowed me to fulfill my dreams,” Dara added.
Dara’s success continues today. She currently attends Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL. In 2012, Dara co-founded their local chapter of the Association of Black Psychologists with Jasmine Jackson. Dara was President of the chapter until the fall of 2015. This spring, she will graduate from Southern Illinois University with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a minor in American Sign Language. Upon graduation, Dara will be applying to attend law school.
The Girl Scout Gold Award 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.