PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- The Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida recognized local girls in their area with a ceremony Sunday evening.
19 girls received the Gold Award, the highest honor in scouting. The award recognizes girls who have thoroughly researched and issue and taken action to address it while inspiring others to do the same.
One of those gold award recipients was Anne LeVasseur. She started a project called "Goodnight All", to collect pajamas for foster kids being shuffled around from home to home, taking only the clothes they're wearing with them. LeVasseur tells Four in Your Corner, getting the Gold Award is the perfect opportunity shed more light on an issue she cares so much about.
“It feels like everything has finally paid off and I’ve been able to help my community", she said.
Also receiving the Gold Award was Valentina Zuluaga. She started a program to help engage people of all ages in critical issues, locally and globally. She hopes to one day pursue a career in foreign service. She tels Fox 4 the best part about being a Girl Scout is the bonds formed with other members.
"To be able to learn how to overcome these challenges with a group of girls that I’m extremely close to now has been very rewarding and fulfilling for me.".
The bond Valentina described isn't limited to just the older members of the Girl Scouts. Younger girls like Keymani Dillingham often feel the influence of older girls who help mentor them through the organization.
“It’s kinda like a second home for you", she told Four in Your Corner.
Dillingham was recognized for selling more than 1,000 boxes of cookies. She says that the knowledge she receives from older girls helps her strive to achieve higher goals, like the Gold Award, while also making friends.
Other awards given during the ceremony included the Silver Award, Bronze Award, Journey Summit Awards, Religious awards, the Dr. Elinor Crawford Girl Scout College Scholarship and the Lyndi Cyphers Memorial College Scholarship.