Her project, Health for All, addressed health curriculum for LGBT students
BEDFORD, NH | Katherine Goyette, 18, of Durham, has earned the highest award in Girl Scouting, the Girl Scout Gold Award. Becoming a Gold Award Girl Scout means a girl has single-handedly changed the world – forever and for the better.
Katherine’s Gold Award project, Health for All, tackled the difficult subject of health education in high schools for the LGBT community. In her project report, Katherine said she wanted to make health class more comfortable and effective for such students.
“I addressed the issue of LGBT teens having worse learning outcomes from their health classes than their cisgender, heterosexual peers, leading to a lifetime of unhealthier decisions, both in choices relating to sexual activities as well as general choices,” she said. “I was able to meet with health educators at my high school and share with them specific data-driven suggestions on how to make health classes more helpful and relevant to their LGBT students, and spoke with them on the challenges they face in such, and how they can be overcome.”
Noting that recent studies suggest about 4 percent of Americans identify themselves as LGBT. These students, she said, are likely to face microagressions and a curriculum which does not suit them, and as adults at work will be ignored or belittled. Katherine created her own curriculum and website, working with her teachers, along with a public presentation at her school, Phillips Exeter Academy.
“It was incredibly fulfilling to me,” she said, “to meet with people who were at least willing to hear me out, and eventually agreed to use my guide going forward.”
This Gold Award project will have a lasting impact as health educators she spoke to are already more comfortable using LGBT terminology along with her curriculum.
“I hope that the educators become active fighters against homophobia,” Katherine said, “and learn how to seek out resources on their own to help themselves improve themselves.”
Katherine will attend Dartmouth College this fall, where she will explore her interests in biology and the classics. She said she intends to do something as a career that will help improve people’s lives, and will stay involved in Girl Scouts as a volunteer throughout college and beyond.
Katherine exemplifies the Girl Scout DNA and takes the lead as a G.I.R.L. (Go-Getter, Risk-Taker, Innovator, Leader)™. To earn her Gold Award, each Girl Scout identifies and develops a Take Action project in her community that will stand the test of time, have a real and meaningful influence on people’s lives, and leave a legacy that lasts forever. It is one of the most challenging, exciting, and rewarding experiences a girl can have, and one of the most prestigious recognitions she’ll accomplish in life. And it’s only available at Girl Scouts.
Since 1916, Girl Scouts have been making meaningful, sustainable change in their communities and around the world. The Girl Scout Gold Award acknowledges the power behind each recipient’s dedication to not only empowering and bettering herself, but also to making the world a better place for others. Gold Award Girl Scouts are courageous leaders and visionary change makers.
About the Girl Scout Gold Award
- Gold Award Girl Scouts on average spend one to two years on their project.
- The average age of Gold Award Girl Scouts is 17.
- Since 1916, 1 million girls have earned the Gold Award or its equivalent.
- Gold Award Girl Scouts who join the armed forces enter one rank higher than other recruits.
- University research indicates that noting you are a Gold Award Girl Scout on a college application is influential in the admissions decision-making process.
- A Gold Award project must be sustainable after the girl’s involvement ends.
- 11 young women earned their Gold Award last year in New Hampshire and Vermont as part of Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains.
About Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains: Girl
Scouts of the Green and White Mountains is recognized throughout New
Hampshire and Vermont as a leading expert on girls. Our innovative
leadership programs help girls discover, connect, and take action as
they develop strong values, a social conscience, and a deep sense of
self and their potential. Through our exciting and challenging
programs, Girl Scouts not only participate but also take the lead in
a range of activities—from kayaking, archery, and camping, to
coding, robotics, financial literacy training, and beyond! Serving
more than 10,000 girls throughout New Hampshire and Vermont, girls
discover the fun, friendship, and power of girls together. Visit www.girlscoutsgwm.org.