Girl Scouts receive Gold Award for sustainable project - Brownsville Herald: Local News

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Girl Scouts receive Gold Award for sustainable project

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Posted: Saturday, July 20, 2019 9:28 pm

Four Girl Scouts were awarded the coveted Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can earn, at a ceremony on Saturday at the Historic Brownsville Museum.

Andrea Aileen Aguilar, Lucinda Marie Lopez, Kathryn Leos and Abigail Elizabeth Rocha have been Girl Scouts since the age of 5. They are now in high school, and held the ranks of Daisy, Brownie, Junior, Cadette, Senior and Ambassador.

They earned bronze and silver before and have completed the requirements for the Gold Award, which includes completing a journey book, a take-action project and completing an individual Gold Award project that takes 80 or more hours and is sustainable into the future.

Worried about health and exercise habits, Aguilar’s project was a repair station and bike rack at Resaca de la Palma Battlefield. The project included building a sidewalk from the start and drilling holes for the bike rack.

“ Being a Girl Scout is important because it teaches you how to be a good role model. It teaches you how to be kind and help others and, basically, the life skills that you would normally use on a daily basis,” she said in an interview.

In an attempt to bring a little piece of history home, Lopez created the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace in the Holiday Village. She said the goal of the project was to impact girls and make them feel a little closer to the Girl Scouts founder while creating a fun learning experience.

“ I was fortunate enough to be able to visit the Juliette Gordon Low house on a road trip. Being there made me so proud as a Girl Scout,” she said to the audience. “However, here I was at this amazing historic venue and all I could think about was the girls who couldn’t be here.”

To help fellow students in need, Leos created “Kat’s closet,” a system that allows seniors who qualify for the free or reduced lunch program to obtain free interview attire. The closet is open biyearly to seniors on Saturdays at the school’s gym. Leos said she created the closet because seniors who graduate from the high school she attends are able to graduate with several different certificates that allows them to work. However not every graduate can afford to buy business-casual attire.

“ The project addressed unemployment and unprofessionalism in the work environment for youth who are just entering the work field,” she said. “The impact the project had exceeded my expectations because so many students came for clothing. The closet was almost stripped bare.”

To share with others her love for reading, Rocha created five “Take a book, leave a book” small libraries in both Brownsville and Matamoros. She said reading has always been her passion and when she read about a recent study that states Brownsville is one of the most illiterate cities in the country, she decided to take action.

“ This helps stop the vicious cycle that illiteracy leads to poverty and vice versa,” she said. “My goal is to help my neighbors become educated and informed members of our society.”

At the event, the girls were awarded with a Senate Proclamation from state Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. and a City of Brownsville Proclamation from Mayor Trey Mendez and Commissioner Jessica Tetreau.

“ These four young ladies are role models today and major leaders of the community tomorrow,” Lucio said. “Receiving a Gold Award is something very special in the life of a young lady who is a Girl Scout, and we all know that.”

nreyna@brownsvilleherald.com

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