Zoe Runyon, of Hillsboro, Iowa, has achieved the Gold Award, the highest award in Girl Scouts, by working with Board and State library personnel to build a website database for the Hillsboro Library. Her project worked to provide other students and community members with a variety of learning tools accessible through the database. Middle Schools in the area initially did not have access to educational databases, because of her commitment, students now have new methods to collect information. Runyon has a passion for research and education and wanted to ensure that all students in her community had the resources to complete their homework. She hopes the databases use will continue to rise and will be utilized by generations of kids in her community.
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.
Read what Zoe has to say about her project and the value of Girl Scouts!
How long have you been a Girl Scout?
This will be my 12th year in Girl Scouts. I started when I was a Brownie.
What do you love about Girl Scouting?
I love how Girl Scouts helps girls blossom into successful women of the future, which I believe Girl Scouts has done for me.
What inspired your Gold Award project?
I was inspired to do my gold award for two reasons. One reason was I had earned my bronze award and set the dream of wanting to earn my Gold Award. I then earned my Silver award and it started to become more of a reality. Another reason that inspired me to do my Gold Award is because I love my community and I saw a need that I could help with.
What role has Girl Scouts played in your life?
Girl Scouts has played a huge role in my life. When I was younger I was extremely shy. I hated talking to strangers and sometimes even people I knew but wasn’t familiar with. My mom then FORCED me to talk to people I wasn’t familiar with to sell cookies (if I earned the prizes I had to do the work.) If it wasn’t for Girl Scouts I would still be extremely shy and timid. I also have transitioned in my last few Girl Scout years to be an older girl mentor. I help at events and help wherever I can, this has been fun because I get to work with younger girls and get them excited about Girl Scouts as well.
What is your next step after earning your Gold Award?
For my Gold Award I plan to maintain it and continue to improve it until I go to college. The next thing in my GS Career is to apply for Gold Award Scholarships. As for the next step for me I plan continue working, finishing high school, 4-H, GS, band and spending time with family and friends. I plan on going to college at Central in Pella, Iowa. I will be studying Business Finance in the hopes of pursing an Accountant degree.
About the Girl Scout Gold Award
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.