Chandler, Queen Creek teens earn prestigious Girl Scout award SanTan Sun News

Chandler, Queen Creek teens earn prestigious Girl Scout award

May 12th, 2017 | by SanTan Sun News
Chandler, Queen Creek teens earn prestigious Girl Scout award
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By Colleen Sparks

Three Chandler girls and one Queen Creek girl are getting recognized for giving back to the community.

Kathlene Hartle, Amanda Molina and Claire Mushet of Chandler and Justice Williams of Queen Creek recently earned prestigious Gold Awards from the Girl Scouts – Arizona-Pine Council. The Council gave this highest award in Girl Scouting to 33 girls around the state earlier this year.

Girls who try to earn the Gold Award aim to turn an idea and vision for change into a real plan with sustainable, measurable and wide-reaching results.

The process for pursuing a Gold Award often takes 18 to 24 months and involves asking for donations and consistent volunteering. Girls spend more than 80 hours working on their project to tackle a community problem important to them.

Hartle, 18, wanted to slow the decline of monarch butterflies and persuaded the Chandler Parks Department to give her a 2,100-square-foot space to hold migrating monarchs. She got donations for materials and plants and found volunteers to clear the garden, put in plants and set up irrigation.

“Receiving the Gold Award was the personal culmination of the work I had accomplished, all I had learned in the process and a wonderful end to my journey through Girl Scouts,” Hartle said. “The Gold Award was truly an honor I will always cherish.”

Molina, 18, volunteered with Lost Our Home Pet Foundation in Tempe to create Miles for Mutts, a volunteer-driven program to give dogs more exercise in order to decrease their stress and make them more desirable for adoption. She marketed the project to area volunteer groups, set up a pledge program and got a treadmill for dogs donated.

“Receiving this award has given me a great sense of pride and accomplishment,” Molina said. “To me, it represents the dedication and hard work that I have put into Girl Scouts for the past 12 years that I have been involved.”

Mushet, 17, worked with the City of Chandler to lead hikes at Veterans Oasis Park for elementary school-age children to help them enjoy experiencing nature and get them away from computers. She also held classes to teach the students about outdoor safety and Leave No Trace, a program that encourages conservation.

“My Gold Award experience represented three years of determined work,” Mushet said. “Also, I gained a lot of experience with children. This has helped me focus my career goals. I hope to one-day work with children of all ages as a psychologist.”

Williams, 19, heard that Unified Athletes, a group of students with special needs, was trying without much success to raise money for new uniforms. She hosted a show with her a cappella club, the Perry Pipes, to raise money for the group. Williams helped raise money so the students with special needs could buy soccer shorts and inspired the school principal to purchase matching jerseys.

“Receiving this award represented all the years of my life that I had dedicated to Girl Scouting and it was the biggest example of what is achievable when I can put hard work and dedication into a certain task,” Williams said.
The Gold Award winners were recognized March 25 at the Girl Scout High Award Ceremony at The Bob & Renee Parsons Leadership Center for Girls and Women at Camp South Mountain.

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