Laura Bryant, 11th grade student at Santa Fe Christian Schools, has recently earned herself the coveted Gold Award, the highest and most prestigious award in Girl Scouting, comparable to the Boy Scouts’ Eagle Scout honor. She will be presented with the Gold Award in a special ceremony on June 15, 2019 at the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines.
The Gold Award is presented to girls in grades 9-12 who have planned and executed significant Take Action projects in response to community needs, demonstrating outstanding leadership and citizenship, in a project that takes over 100 hours and up to two years to complete. Fewer than 6% of all Girl Scouts nationwide earn the Gold Award each year.
Laura has been a Girl Scout for the past nine years. She began her scouting journey as a Daisy in kindergarten and is now a troop Ambassador. In addition to earning her Gold Award, Laura is also the primary leader of a Girl Scout troop of younger girls.
Laura’s younger sister Michelle, who is in 7th grade at SFC, is also a Girl Scout. “I love being involved with my sister’s troop,” Laura says, pointing out, “Through Girl Scouts, Michelle gets to do things she wouldn’t do on her own, like learn CPR, earn a Bronze Award by helping with Second Chance Dog Rescue adoption, and go camping. And together, we sold 800 boxes of cookies this year!”
“I love being a troop leader because I get to watch girls learn and grow into courageous and confident leaders of character. In ninth grade, I stepped up to lead my younger sister’s troop when they were fourth and fifth graders, and now it’s my third year. The Girl Scout way is for girls to challenge themselves to do new things. We earn badges, go on awesome trips, fundraise by selling cookies, explore science, get outdoors, and do community service projects, all with the Girl Scout mission, promise and law in mind,” explains Laura.
Laura’s most memorable experience was a four-day trip to San Francisco to walk with thousands of other Girl Scouts over the Golden Gate Bridge, which symbolized the bridging from the Junior to the Cadette level of scouting. Through this adventure the girls grew in independence, fiscal responsibility and accountability, broadened their horizons, bonded with each other, and made friends with girls in other troops.
Girl Scouts is focused on offering a strong leadership program for young women. According to Forbes, more than two thirds of U.S. Congresswomen and an incredible 80% of female business owners were Girl Scouts. Especially as girls get older, there are increasing opportunities to step up and take leadership positions in their troops, service units, camps, and communities. Laura says, “Too many girls think they can’t fit scouting into their schedule as they get to middle school and high school, and I would like to encourage them to stick with it. In addition to the Gold Award, Girl Scouts offers many other leadership programs. One of these is Camp Exec, which I attended last fall, where 34 Girl Scouts in grades 10-12 spent a weekend at Camp Whispering Oaks in Julian, learning about career success and leadership from 20 high-achieving professional women.”
Laura has many other interests on campus, too. She was a cast member of the Upper School musical, “Newsies,” is a member of the Chamber Chorale, and attends math club where she competes on the math team. Her college interests include mathematics, computer science, business and music education with a long-term interest in school leadership.
This was Laura’s first year at SFC. She admits, “Coming in as a new junior, I was worried about making friends, but everyone was so welcoming which made the transition very smooth. My friends this year are the most kind, caring, and unselfish people I have ever met, and I’m so blessed to have them in my life.”