Highest honor in Girl Scouting earned for solar panel and composting projects at school
ESSEX JUNCTION, VT – Katherine Lewis of Essex Junction has earned Girl Scouting’s highest honor, the Gold Award, for her project, Renewable Resources for Hiawatha Elementary School.
The Gold Award is earned by girls in grades 9-12 who demonstrate extraordinary leadership in developing sustainable solutions to local, national, and global challenges. The Girl Scout Gold Award is the highest possible honor for a Girl Scout Senior or Ambassador, and is the mark of the truly remarkable.
Lewis, 18, created both a solar power plan for her old elementary school, along with a composting curriculum for the students there.
“Since they received my proposal, the school district has moved towards reducing its environmental impact,” she said. “By creating a composting curriculum, I have given teachers access to materials they can use to teach students about compost, a renewable resource. Because of my project, I hope that students will not only understand the process and benefits of composting but that they’ll see that it is one of the many ways that they can improve the world through science.”
Katherine Gryken, principal of Hiawatha Elementary School, said she thought Lewis’s project was great. “Second grade has really taken off with it,” she said. They have a greenhouse and a garden that use the composted soil.”
Lewis said she was lucky to have an advisor who helped her to “go big” and walked her through the process while letting her take the lead. “When I started, I was a sophomore, and I wasn’t great on the email front,” she said. “I got good at that real fast! I learned to write and coordinate with people.”
She also frequently re-evaluated her plan with her advisors, did many hours of research, communicated with vendors, and made her proposal to the school board. “Through this project,” she said, “I have greatly expanded my ability to coordinate the efforts of a group to reach a common goal. This will serve me well as I hold leadership positions in clubs and organizations. As I continue to use this skill, I anticipate that my ability to delegate tasks will grow. While completing this project, having a relationship with each member of my team was essential. Continuing to build those connections with others will help me to build a strong community with clubs and organizations I am part of in the future.”
Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains will honor Lewis and 11 other Gold Award Girl Scouts at its Young Women of Distinction ceremonies in November.
Having graduated from the Vermont Academy of Science and Technology, Lewis is now a student at the University of Vermont. She is a true G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ who is prepared for success through the Girl Scout Leadership experience.
Gold Award Girl Scouts don’t just change the world for the better, they change it for good. They earn college scholarships, demonstrate high educational and career outcomes, and are active in their communities. Katherine Lewis has answered the call to drive lasting, impactful change, and her Gold Award is a testament to her remarkable dedication to improving her community and the world.
About the Girl Scout Gold Award
- Gold Award Girl Scouts on average spend one to two years on their project.
- A Gold Award project must be sustainable after the girl’s involvement ends.
- The average age of Gold Award Girl Scouts is 17.
- Since 1916, more than 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.
- 12 young women have earned their Gold Award in the 2018-19 membership year in New Hampshire and Vermont as part of Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains.
- The Girl Scout Gold Award is the mark of the truly remarkable!
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 Girl Scout Leadership Experience is a one-of-a-kind leadership development program for girls, with proven results. It is based on time-tested methods and research-backed programming that helps girls take the lead—in their own lives and in the world. 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.