Thursday, March 24, 2016

Sophia Ballard from Effingham Earns the Girl Scout Gold Award

Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois (GSSI) is pleased to announce that Sophia J. Ballard from Effingham has received the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can receive. 

For her Girl Scout Gold Award project, called Business Tree Bookshelf, Sophia wanted to impact young teens who had an interest in business. Due to budget cuts, the area’s junior high school business club was discontinued. Sophia participated in this club during junior high, and she wanted other students to still be able to have the benefit of learning about business as she had. She built a bookshelf that was designed to catch the attention of students and house informational books related to business.  She also donated some youth-oriented books on business topics.  Sophia partnered with the library, which will maintain the tree bookshelf in the future.

Through her Girl Scout Gold Award project, Sophia gained valuable leadership skills that she’ll be able to use throughout her life. “I learned that it takes a lot of hard work and patience to see a project through, beginning to end, and that it wouldn’t have been possible without the help of family and friends,” said Sophia.

Sophia is the daughter of Ken and Deena Ballard. She is currently a junior at Effingham High School and has been a Girl Scout for 12 years.

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.