Gold Award Girl Scout Erica Dennis

Gold Award Girl Scout Erica Dennis

Erica Dennis, a resident of Flushing, is among 25 Girl Scouts honored by Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan with the Gold Award. Gold Award Girl Scouts are change agents who show leadership and citizenship skills that help them stand out among their peers by making a sustainable impact in their communities.

The Gold Award is Girl Scouts’ highest honor and is presented to Girl Scouts who dedicate a minimum of 80 hours to addressing a community issue or problem through a sustainable community change project.

After noticing a decline in independent reading among children and teens, Dennis created a program that brought the community together for the love of books. Dennis worked with the Flushing area library to develop an activity program that encourages K-12 students to continue recreational reading. Through interactive games and crafts, Dennis found an increase of young people in Flushing who became more interested in independent reading in both their favorite and new genres alike.

“Reading is something that we can all benefit from, so it was important to me that my community come together and connect through independent reading,” said Dennis.

“My Gold Award project also helped me become more confident in my leadership and teaching abilities, which has helped prepare for my college courses.”

According to a study on the impact of the Gold Award, by the Girl Scout Research Institute, Gold Award Girl Scouts display more positive life outcomes than non–Girl Scout alums including having a positive sense of self and greater life satisfaction, leadership, community service, and civic engagement. Some universities and colleges offer scholarships unique to Gold Award Girl Scouts, and girls who enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces may receive advanced rank in recognition of their achievement.

“Earning the Girl Scout Gold Award is truly a remarkable achievement, and these young women exemplify leadership in all its forms,” said Denise Dalrymple, chief executive officer of GSSEM. “They saw a need in their communities and took action. Their extraordinary dedication, perseverance, and leadership are making the world a better place.”