Westminster School student earns Gold Award

FROM STAFF REPORTS

NORTH SHELBY– Lauren Hoaglund, a senior at the Westminster School at Oak Mountain, recently earned the Girl Scout Gold Award.

Hoaglund earned her Gold Award for her project, “Our country. Our voice. We are the people.”

Her project focused on students scoring below proficient in the area of civics and history. Hoaglund believes that through teaching civics and government to students in an engaging way, students will be more interested in participating in government, becoming an informed voter and running for office.

To tackle this issue, she created a website of resources for students and teachers, created a middle school curriculum, met with local government officials and coordinated a “citizenship camp” for middle school aged students at Girls Inc.

“I asked the students at the beginning how many of them would want to one day run for political office. No hands went up at all,” Hoaglund wrote in her Gold Award final report. “The last time I was with them I asked them again. Almost every hand in the room went up.”

“By earning the Girl Scout Gold Award, Lauren has become a community leader,” said Karen Peterlin, chief executive officer of the Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama. “Her accomplishments reflect leadership and citizenship skills that set her apart.”

“Lauren is passionate about educating young people about how government works and each individual’s rights and responsibilities as a U.S. citizen,” said Hoaglund’s project advisor, Jane Birkenfeld, assistant professor and chair of teacher education at Samford University. “Lauren is well-informed and is a creative problem solver. She also understands the importance of placing materials and resources in the hands of teachers so they will be equipped to inform and educate young citizens.”

The girl who goes for the Gold embraces challenges, achieves excellence, and works diligently to make the world a better place, in her own unique way. Her leadership, vision, and boundless energy is an inspiration to all Girl Scouts.

Each girl earning her Gold Award demonstrates excellence through a leadership project totaling more than 65 hours. Girls who earn their Gold Award are also recognized by the President of the United States, the U.S. Congress, the U.S. Armed Services, state legislatures, colleges and universities for admission and scholarship opportunities, and the American Legion.

Universities and colleges offer scholarships unique to Gold Award recipients, and girls who enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces may receive advanced rank in recognition of their achievements.