Mansi Mathur of Hudson earns Girl Scouting’s highest honor
HUDSON, NH – As the COVID-19 pandemic took its toll on students, teachers, parents, and the public as a whole, Gold Award Girl Scout Mansi Mathur took action to alleviate some of that pressure by promoting mental health and a balanced lifestyle with community Zoom meetings and inspirational artwork for her school.
Mathur, 16, of Hudson, is a sophomore at Alvirne High School, and spent more than 250 hours working on her project, earning the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest possible honor for a high school students.
The project, “Supporting Teens’ Mental Health,” was designed to address the stress, anxiety, and self esteem of teens struggling during the pandemic. She created a series of webinars for parents and teens to participate in over the summer, as well as large paintings with positive messages that were hung in her school’s hallways. She also created a video for students which is directed towards a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
“These Zoom webinars were directed towards how social media affected teens during quarantine, adolescent brain development and setting expectations, and stress and anxiety reduction tips and resources,” Mathur wrote in her Gold Award report. “This helped me reach my goal of me wanting parents and guardians to learn about what their children are going through and wanting to provide them with tools coming from a teen's perspective to help them. It also helped me achieve my goal to inform people on the teenage mind/adolescent brain development and provide tools to help people with stress and anxiety.”
The Girl Scout Senior learned a lot about organization, planning, and rolling with unexpected developments through her work. She dealt with delays in receiving materials, the restrictions imposed by the pandemic of having a team do work together, and learning to accommodate the different work styles of her team.
“It takes a lot of consideration and planning when it comes to scheduling people, the trial and error of everything,” she said. “It was a really big learning curve for me.”
Response to her webinars was positive, both from parents and students.
“The most successful part of my project is spreading awareness of the mental health of high school teens,” she said. “It was very rewarding to hear the great reviews that were coming from the parent Zoom webinar and all the information everyone was learning. The other most successful part of my project was to see all the smiles on students' and school staffs' faces as they walked by the artwork. After the staff presentation I had, which discussed what my project was all about, a teacher told me that she had asked a student volunteer of mine to paint a canvas from her classroom. She told me that I had started ‘a movement here at Alvirne to spread joy and positivity.’”
Alvirne’s principal, Steve Beals, agreed that the project helped the students.
“I was fortunate to serve as her mentor, as the project was for our school,” he said. “Given the pandemic, Mansi coordinated the design and paintings of large wall hangings completed by over 15 students. These wall hangings have inspirational words and designs, some are quotes to help students and staff with goal setting and having inspiration. Mansi was so directed and showed great perseverance through the project. Our building celebrates in her success.”
Mathur has been involved in Girl Scouting since third grade, and has dreamed of putting the highest award pins on her uniform ever since seeing them in a Girl Scout manual.
“From that point on, it was a thing in my mind,” she said, giving her the passion to earn the Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards. She started early on each achievement, finishing early to allow time to focus on internships and other opportunities in her junior and senior years of high school.
A visit to West Point was one of Mathur’s favorite memories as a young Girl Scouts. Camping by herself and participating as an individual without her parents in troop activities gave her the confidence and courage to be independent.
Mathur is taking all honors courses at Alvirne, where she is the vice president of DECA, a business-oriented club where she recently took first place in her category for the state. She plans to go to college and would like to pursue mental health as a career, possibly as a psychologist or in neuroscience.
“I put a lot of hard work and effort into this project,” she said. “It did take a lot of my time. I put my all into it, my 101 percent, because it meant a lot to me, having a dream as a little third-grader in the basement of a church.”
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.
Mansi Mathur 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.
- Eleven young women 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 girls throughout New Hampshire and Vermont, girls discover the fun, friendship, and power of girls together. Visit www.girlscoutsgwm.org .