Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan honors Jehnya Footitt with the…
Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan honors Rachel Elias with the most prestigious award in the world for girls: the Girl Scout Gold Award. Rachel, of Bloomfield Hills, is among 13 young women who have taken the initiative to bettering their communities through sustainable community change projects. The time and commitment they’ve dedicated towards these projects prove they’re true leaders and exceptional examples for all girls to look up to.
The Gold Award is Girl Scout’s highest honor and is presented to Girl Scouts who address a community issue or problem they are passionate about. They’re required to spend a minimum of 80 hours investigating the problem, creating a plan, and implementing it.
For her Gold Award project, Rachel took action to provide members of her community with many valuable resources about human trafficking awareness. Many don’t know that Michigan is in the top two states for human trafficking in the U.S. Her project addressed this issue by creating educational materials for public school systems and through community outreach events, such as informational presentations and donation drives.
Having a friend who nearly fell victim to the dangers of human trafficking, Rachel realized the lack of awareness to the issue in her community and decided it was time to educate herself and her community. She teamed up with Hope Against Trafficking, a Pontiac-based rehabilitation organization that focuses on educating the community and providing resources for human trafficking survivors, to work to educate her school, church, family, and friend communities. The result was an educated community with a continuing relationship with Hope Against Trafficking, and an education curriculum to be taught in public schools to help teach children in the state of Michigan about how to be safe in public and online.
“Through determination and hard work, I was able to make a difference in my community.”