Abigail Robinson creates arts and literary magazine at Souhegan High School
AMHERST, NH – Athletes have long been the stars of their high schools, with trophies and banners on display. With the focus on STEM over the past few years, more attention is now paid to those involved in math and science. But what about those who excel in the arts? Thanks to Gold Award Girl Scout Abigail Robinson, these students are getting their chance in the spotlight at Souhegan High School.
The Souhegan Literary and Arts Magazine is both the culmination and the title of Robinson’s Girl Scout Gold Award project. The Amherst 17-year-old spent more than 80 hours working to change the perception of students involved in the arts to earn the Girl Scout Gold Award - the highest honor available to a Girl Scout in grades 9-12.
Robinson was determined to give the artists, writers, photographers, and others involved in the arts at her school the recognition she felt they deserve. To do so, she decided to create a literary and arts magazine online to showcase the work of students at her school – and develop the framework to keep the magazine running in the future.
“My eyes were opened to how many artists there are at my school who I wouldn't necessarily think were artists’” she said. “Students don't have to take a lot of art classes to be artists. I learned that there are students at my school who are so much more talented than I originally thought, for there were some pieces that blew me away.”
Becoming involved in the school’s newspaper, The Claw, led to Robinson’s project. Her advisor, teacher Adam Theriault, encouraged Robinson to stretch her skills both at the newspaper and with her arts magazine.
“She put countless hours in,” said Theriault. “She started planning meetings and managing an editorial staff. Getting submissions is the hardest thing to do, and she did it. We didn’t have a really strong platform for a literary magazine.”
He noted that Robinson really ran with the project and will support it going forward. “One of the things that we talked about was it continuing” he said. “Kids in the past have started something and by the time they’re a senior it fizzles because they haven’t recruited younger grades into the mix. Abbie wanted to get younger kids on the staff. She’s already recruited some onto the editorial staff.”
“Next year, my senior year, I’m going to work on it again,” she said. “I’m going to try to get incoming freshman involved in it.”
The Souhegan Literary and Arts Magazine can be seen at https://shsslam.wixsite.com/slam1.
While Robinson has changed her school community for the better with her work, she has also gained a range of life skills that will benefit her as she moves through life, becoming a more confident and competent young woman.
“I think the biggest thing I learned is how to lead a committee,” she said. “I had never had this type of experience. I needed to tell people how I wanted it to get done, but I also needed to know that they were working to their personal strengths and productively.”
This outstanding student who also plays field hockey and competes in alpine skiing and track and field when not writing, editing, or taking photographs, said she has a “big list of colleges I’m looking at.” Her experience with this arts magazine and the school newspaper has piqued her interest in a possible career in the media and communications. “I realized this is something I enjoy doing,” she said.
Gold Award Girl Scouts don’t just change the world for the better, they change it for good. 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. Since 1916, Girl Scouts have answered the call to drive lasting, impactful change. They earn college scholarships, demonstrate high educational and career outcomes, and are active in their communities.
Abigail Robinson 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. The Gold Award is the mark of the truly remarkable.
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 are entitled to enlist at a higher pay grade when they join the military.
- University research indicates that noting you are a Gold Award Girl Scout on a college application is influential in the admissions decision-making process.
- Twelve young women so far from New Hampshire and Vermont earned their Gold Award in the 2019-2020 membership year 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.