Last Friday night, I had the great privilege of speaking at a special recognition ceremony for five Girl Scout Gold Award winners who are Ambassador Scouts of Troop 560. And imagine my even greater delight when I met Diossa Fleming (above, left) and Jazmine Allen (above, second from right) who are Trinity Girl Scout Scholars who will enroll here in the fall! Diossa and Jazmine are wonderful examples of the amazing ways in which participation in Girl Scouts builds confidence and leadership skills.
But wait, there’s more! With Diossa and Jazmine above are Julia Dennis and Camille Zoe Swinson, also Gold Award Winners, who are enrolling in Spelman College this fall! So, it was a “sweep” for women’s colleges! Hooray for that!
At the ceremony, I was so impressed with the presence of mothers, troop leaders, and yes, many of the dads as well. Here it was, a beautiful Friday evening in DC when many other obligations might have intruded — but the parents, families and friends took the time to spend a few hours celebrating the great achievements of these young women. What a powerful example about what’s RIGHT in our community!
The Gold Award projects are quite impressive. Consider what these great young women were doing all year while others might have been doing more frivolous things:
- Jazmine Allen completed a Gold Award project entitled “My Own Keeper” which is a four-week self-esteem program targeting teens who are parents or pregnant. She featured presentations from Mary’s Center and Children’s National Medical Center.
- Diossa Fleming too the challenge of HIV/AIDS education. Her project entitled “Free STI and HIV/AIDS Confidential Testing: Why It’s So Important to Know Your Status” is a great example of peer leadership.
- Julia Dennis focused on arts education with “Raising the Roof for Performing Arts and Arts Education” focusing on the vital importance of keeping the arts in schools.
- Camille Zoe Swinson chose “Identifying Independence” as her theme for a 4-week self-esteem workshop targeting 35 seventh grade girls enrolled in a charter school who will explore self-esteem issues in the media.
- Nylah Garnes who could not be with us on Friday completed a “Water Safety Awareness” educational program promoting the importance of knowing how to swim.
Dr. Carolyn Peoples Viega was another one of the guest speakers and she emphasized the vital importance of maintaining the healthy values of Girl Scouting throughout life. The presence of many accomplished adult Girl Scouts at this event was a great testament to the fact that lifelong Girl Scouts really do run the world!
Congratulations to all of these phenomenal women, Phenomenal Girl Scouts! And a very special “Welcome to Trinity!” to Jazmine and Diossa!