Hannah Richard, a resident of Troy, is among 25 Girl…
Casie Paul, a resident of Marysville, is among 25 Girl Scouts honored with the Gold Award and the 2019 Young Woman of Distinction 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 award and is presented to Girl Scouts who dedicated a minimum of 80 hours to address a community issue or problem through sustainable community change. Each year, one Gold Awardee is honored with The Young Woman of Distinction award which recognizes her for extraordinary leadership and her project for addressing a global issue with measurable and sustainable impact.
Paul wanted to make preparing for hospital visits and surgeries easier for anyone who may have anxiety, particularly children. Inspired by her own experience with having her tonsils removed as a young child, and surgeries hypothyroidism, Paul created Hospital Helpers, step-by-step informational resources detailing what to expect during hospital visits. Patients going to McLaren Port Huron can log onto the hospital’s website to view social stories and videos that show everything that may happen, from entering the hospital to surgical preparations. Paul initially worked in conjunction with Levi’s Link, a special needs program at McLaren Port Huron, to develop surgical services content. It was so well received that she has also developed additional videos and presentations for the emergency room and pediatric services departments.
“Everyone has difficulties, but those experiences can be used to create good in the world,” said Paul.
“This project made me more aware of the needs in my community, and I learned if you truly put your heart and mind into something, nothing is impossible.”
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.”