Girl Scouts of Western New York recently announced the selection of Julia Frank of Lockport as a 2019 Gold Award Girl Scout. Frank’s project was titled “Wild About Wilderness.”

The Girl Scout Gold Award is the most prestigious award in the world for girls and acknowledges the power behind each recipient’s dedication to not only empowering and bettering herself, but also to making the world a better place for others.

The Gold Award project is the culmination of all the work a girl puts into “going for the Gold.” A Girl Scout’s project should be something that a girl can be passionate about—in thought, deed, and action that encompasses organizational, leadership, and networking skills. The project should also fulfill a need within a girl’s community (whether local or global) and create change that has the potential to be on-going or sustainable. Roughly 80 hours of community service are involved in the project. Completion of the Gold Award also qualifies the Girl Scout for special scholarship opportunities and to enter the military a full rank higher than her peers.

The Gold Award requires a Girl Scout to identify an issue and investigate it to understand what can be done to address the problem. The girl then forms a team to act as a support system, including a project advisor close to the issue who is not a troop leader or family member, while she leads the project. The Girl Scout creates a plan to ensure they know what steps they must tackle while working on the project. The Girl Scout submits a proposal for her project to her local Girl Scout council. After acceptance, the girl begins to work through the steps of their plan utilizing the assistance of her support team where necessary. Lastly, the project is used to educate and inspire others about the cause they are addressing.

As part of her project, Frank collaborated with the Lockport City School District where she worked with a second-grade class at George Southard Elementary. She came into the classroom once every month to teach the kids about a different aspect of the environment, including seeds and plants, water pollution, animals, recycling and insects. 

In addition, she collaborated with the Lockport Service Unit to run an event for Daisy, Brownie, and Junior Girl Scouts where they learned about nature in the winter.

"The purpose of my project was to share my passion for the environment with children in my community," Frank said. "I wanted to teach kids about the importance of protecting the environment and what they could do to help. My project impacted the community by educating local kids on the importance of recycling, cleaning up the community, and helping wildlife.”

Frank credited Girl Scouts with helping her to develop "leadership skills, a creative mindset, and a passion for the environment" that she otherwise might not have received.

"Through Scouting, I met my best friends who are now sisters to me, and I have learned to be considerate and caring and friendly and helpful to everyone I meet," she said. "I have been able to participate in many great experiences that I otherwise wouldn’t have had a chance to do. Girl Scouts is an incredible experience and the memories that I made through scouting will last a lifetime.”

Frank will receive her Gold Award at the Gold Award Ceremony on June 1.