A Lockport Girl Scout's community project involving lessons on humane education has earned her a top award for public service. 

Samantha Jaeger has been named a 2019 Gold Award Girl Scout for her project titled “Humane Education.”

As part of her project, Jaeger helped teach humane education, with the help of Officer Bob, the humane educator at the Niagara SPCA, to school-aged children all throughout Niagara County.

"This project was important to me because I wanted to stress the fact that adopting a pet should be a choice people make for the life of the pet," Jaeger said. "I felt if I helped to teach humane education, I could make sure the kids understood it’s not ideal to return their pet to the SPCA, or other rescues because they no longer want their pet."

As part of her project, Jaeger also made emergency telephone number cards for the Niagara SPCA to hand out to newly adopted pets’ owners. The cards included phone numbers for the SPCA, emergency veterinarians and poison control. She also made blankets that she donated to the SPCA as well as instruction books on how to make the blankets that were handed out to all the Girl Scout Troops that invited her to do a presentation.

"I sent letters to every school in Niagara County inviting them to have Officer Bob give their students a presentation, and I attended whenever I could," she said "I’m hoping the kids that attended the presentations want to adopt when they are adults, remember everything I taught them on how to care for their pet, and to keep them for the pet’s life."

Jaeger added, “Girl Scouting has made me a more responsible and respectful person. Being a Girl Scout has taught me to always help out when I can with my family, friends and my community.”

The Girl Scout Gold Award is the most prestigious award in the world for girls. Gold Award projects are the culmination of all the work girls put 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 also should 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. Approximately 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.

Jaeger will receive her Gold Award at the Gold Award Ceremony on June 1, 2019.