Hanna Schmitt has achieved the Gold Award, the highest award in Girl Scouts, by creating a confidence development program for elementary and middle school kids in the South Winneshiek Community School District. The program, called Junior Warriors CHEER, is designed for students to step out of their comfort zone and make new friends while developing school spirit and building character. In her program, the acronym CHEER represents the five values students will learn: Confidence, Healthy living, Empowering Yourself, Encouraging Others, and Respecting Everyone.
Her accomplishments reflect outstanding leadership and civic engagement. Schmitt wanted to help younger students develop their self-esteem and become more involved in the community. As a cheerleader, she recognized how performing helped her to become more confident.
Read what Hanna has to say about her project and the value of Girl Scouts!
What inspired your Gold Award project?
To me, a successful Gold Award project should be inspired by a combination of a girl's passions and skills. I love cheerleading and working with youth. I also have useful skills when it comes to planning events and programs like communication, networking, leadership, public speaking, and team-building. I took my abilities and applied them to my favorite activities with the goal of providing a new opportunity for local youth. By utilizing my connections to people in various positions at the local college, high school, elementary schools, and churches, I was able to gather the resources necessary to develop a youth cheerleading program. I couldn't have done it without all of the support from my parents, school administration, and cheerleading squad.
How long have you been a Girl Scout?
I started Girl Scouts as a Daisy when I was 5. Since then, I have participated in and planned lock-ins, fun day events, teen dances, and trunk-or-treats. My troop has taken trips to Wisconsin Dells, Minneapolis, Disney World, Village Creek Bible Camp, and many other vacation spots. In addition, I have been able to serve others at nursing homes, local food pantries, community meals, and youth events through Girl Scouts. These experiences have developed me into a dependable leader with a strong work ethic and communication skills.
What do you love about Girl Scouting?
I love that Girl Scouts allows me to pursue my passions and interests with support from caring adults and my sister scouts.
What is your next step after earning your Gold Award?
I plan to graduate from my high school at the top of my class and attend a four year college to major in a STEM-related area. This summer, I plan to continue teaching private riding lessons on my horse and hope to turn my passions for horses, design, and fine arts into a career someday. Wish me luck!
About the Gold Award
A Girl Scout Gold Award project must tackle a broad spectrum of important issues and a young woman who has earned her Gold Award has become a community leader in the truest sense.
Since 1916, Girl Scouts have been making meaningful, sustainable change in their communities and around the world. The Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor a Girl Scout can earn, acknowledges the power behind each recipient’s dedication to not only empowering and bettering herself, but also to making the world a better place for others. These young women are courageous leaders and visionary change makers. They are our future, and it looks bright!
The steps to becoming a Gold Award Girl Scout are rooted in the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. To achieve this honor, a girl must:
- Choose an issue she cares about.
- Investigate everything she can about the issue.
- Get help by inviting others to support and take action with her.
- Create a plan that achieves sustainable and measurable impact.
- Present her plan and get feedback from the Girl Scout council.
- Take action to carry out her plan.
- Educate and inspire others with what she experienced.
- Complete at least 80 hours working on the project.