Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan (GSSEM) doing great things in their community were recognized for their efforts during a celebration of completion and achievement at Freedom Hill Amphitheater in Sterling Heights.
Among the highest honors was the Gold Awards given to 14 Girl Scouts who dedicated at least 80 hours to projects ranging from teaching teens how to eat better and a sensory path where kids can chill out to addressing literacy.
Nearly 100 Girl Scouts also earned the Silver Award and more than 150 received a Bronze Award. Winners of the Tammie Murray Spirit Award, Jennifer Barnum Spirit Award and the 2022 GSSEM Young Woman of Distinction along with graduating seniors were also recognized for their commitment to the Girl Scout program.
“It was amazing to see this award ceremony come to fruition yet another year,” said Leatrice Thompson, director of council events and partnerships.
All of the awards, which require girls to identify challenges in their own communities and come up with permanent solutions, require a great deal of dedication set Girl Scouts apart. Some even reached beyond Michigan’s borders; all have had incredible impacts on their communities.
Each award recipient — and there were many — was recognized by the entire Girl Scout community, and was given a special award. Each Gold Award Girl Scout was also be awarded with a $500 scholarship to further her education including Maddy Yarema, a Macomb County student who worked to support a food pantry in Armada.
When Yarema saw that the pantry, which services the surrounding communities had a dwindling number of volunteers; she went to work creating the Metro D Food Pantry Index, a resource for volunteers and food pantries. Then, she connected food pantries to the website in order to create an accurate list of food needs in order to cut down on waste and help supply hard-to-acquire resources, such as personal hygiene products. She also connected local Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops to help maintain the resource, spread education and kindness, and allow a continuous community commitment of service to help them flourish.
Yarema told her scout leaders that completing the Gold Award project helped her learn a whole new set of skills including how to use technology in meaningful ways. As a result of the project she has also become an advocate for food security and community outreach in the surrounding areas by educating locals and inspiring local youth to make a difference. Yarema graduated from Armada High School and is a member of Troop 30231.
Other Gold Award winners included: Jennifer Bricker, Sofia Buatti, Victoria Cattermole, Sarah Cromwell, Larissa Dougherty, Sydney Ferns, Emily Forbes, Ingrid Huang, Scarlet Jackson, Nyra Mays, Deanna Moreau, Mikayla Porter and Katina Proen.
“Watching our girls engage with their communities and achieve their goals shows just how much potential they have as they navigate their way through future high award projects and in life. This is what Girl Scouts is all about and how impactful these girls truly are.”
For more information visit: gssem.org/.