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Gold Award Girl Scouts: Issues of the world, meet your match.

Gold Award Girl Scouts

Issues of the world, meet your match. 

Gold Award Girl Scouts are the dreamers and the doers who take “make the world a better place” to the next level.

The Girl Scout Gold Award is the mark of the truly remarkable—proof that not only can she make a difference, but that she already has.

Seniors and Ambassadors who earn the Gold Award tackle issues that are dear to them and drive lasting change in their communities and beyond. Think of the Gold Award as a key that can open doors to scholarships, preferred admission tracks for college, and amazing career opportunities.


2022 Gold Award Girl Scouts

Charlie: Cancer Education: A Cycle of Ignorance
Charlie Woodcock_Web

Charlie W.
Cancer Education: A Cycle of Ignorance

Approximately 90-95% of cancers are preventable and only 5-10% of cancers are inherited (National Cancer Institute, 2017 and American Cancer Society, 2020). However, cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide (CDC/National Center for Health Statistics, 2020). The question becomes if the majority of cancers can be prevented, why are millions of people dying from this disease every year?

Acknowledging the lack of education and the subject of cancer not being properly addressed in schools, Charlie created a committee at her school and worked with teachers to ensure that cancer education will be taught in different classes to ensure all students are reached. 

“I learned that as difficult as it was, being able to research something that had never been done before and work to make a change was super fun, exciting, and rewarding. I learned that I am much stronger than I realize and that I have the courage and strength to talk to oncologists, to make these suggestions to teachers, to conduct a school-wide survey to ensure that cancer curriculum is effective. I learned that I can persevere.”

Jillian: Growing Up in the Secret City

Jillian P.
Growing Up in the Secret City

Growing up, Jillian heard many stories about the people of Los Alamos.  As she grew older and the elders in the community were lost, she saw that many of those stories were no longer being told.  She wanted to capture the stories to the fullest extent while still maintaining as much accuracy as she was able.  

Jillian created a comic book based on these stories and a children's program tied to the comic that teaches kinds about Los Alamos history and how they can create their own comic. To purchase a copy of the comic, please visit the Los Alamos Historical Society. 

“I learned that I have the ability to converse with adults to learn information and that asking for help is only going to improve my project and my knowledge. I also learned that I have the drive to complete quality projects while under pressure (some of it self-induced). I enjoyed learning the art program and creating digital art, a medium I had never used before..”


2021 Gold Award Girl Scouts

Bryna: Empowerment Through Little Free Libraries

2021 Gold Award Girl Scouts


Bryna K.
Empowerment Through Little Free Libraries

During times such as the COVID-19 pandemic, people do not have easy, free access to books because the libraries and schools are closed. In a time when it is more important than ever to give people, especially kids, the opportunity to get lost in the world of literature as a coping mechanism, it is more important than ever to create little free libraries that are accessible to every corner of Albuquerque and throughout rural regions of New Mexico as well. Books are one of the best ways to empower while in the midst of social distancing. The neighborhoods most in need of books are the ones with the least amount of Little Free Libraries accessible in the area, which needed to change in a pandemic that especially hit the lower class so hard.

“I wanted the Little Free Libraries  to be put to good use wherever they were installed. I filled the Little Free Libraries with a mix of children's and adult books and resources to serve all ages in this time of crisis when so many other resources are not available.”

Isabella: Crossroads for Women Family Library

Isabella C.
Crossroads for Women Family Library

Isabella's Gold Award project was an easy decision for her.  She has been volunteering at Crossroads for Women since she was a Brownie.  Crossroads is a transitional housing therapeutic program in Los Lunas. 

Isabella focused on the importance of the mother-child bond.  She purchases supplies to make stuffed teddy bears with pre-recorded messages from parents to their children and sent these as part of care packages that also included earmuffs/scarves, activity kits, and various goodies. 

She was also able to raise enough money to help purchase equipment for the Pavillions family room, including a foosball table and basketball net, as well as collect and deliver over a thousand books.

“Parent reunification during time is important because it helps children know that their parents love and care about them. This project centered on building the bond between mothers and children. Moms have been separated from their children during incarceration and it is important to build positive communication between them during this separation period.

To learn more about Isabella’s Gold Award Project, see Girl Scout-led project connects separated families during pandemic | KRQE News 13 and Local Girl Scout connects families during COVID-19 pandemic – Crossroads for Women (   

Jenna: Rainbow Writers Creating Music

Jenna T.
Rainbow Writers Creating Music

When young children are in a safe and fun setting with interactive learning, their minds are more open to learning and enjoying what they learn. Many children do not feel comfortable learning to read, write, or learn music in larger groups. When they are in smaller groups, and the learning content is colorful and interactive, they might feel more confident in their abilities and be able to take that confidence back into the mainstream classroom.

Jenna addressed this issue by developing an interactive curriculum that proves to produce the most positive impact when used with a  small group of children and hosting classes at Music on the Westside.  The elementary students she worked with gained the basic writing and piano skills needed to adequately express themselves. 

She also created the "Rainbow Writers Creating Music" YouTube channel to share her curriculum with the world. 


“Soraya Yavari, my global project advisor, has received my project curriculum/video and has announced plans of implementing my curriculum with her young students in Brussels, Belgium at the Roots and Wings Primary School. My video has been shared with other international contacts as well. I believe that my YouTube video also serves as a national/global link since it has been made accessible, via YouTube's education tab, to anyone anywhere in the world. Dr. Patty O'Sullivan, my second project advisor and founder of Envision Your Future, has also been meeting with me on a monthly basis to discuss my project's impact. She has invited me to become a part of Envision Your Future's emerging Advisory Board  where I will have the space to continue sharing my project's impact with local and national educators..”



2020 Gold Award Girl Scouts

Natalie: Engineering a Solar-Powered Helicopter Pad

Natalie A.
Engineering a Solar-Powered Helicopter Pad

Natalie was also selected as a 2020 National Gold Award Girl Scout.  Click here to learn more about this prestigious honor. 

Natalie’s take action project addressed two issues. The Pajarito Ski hill needed a faster, more efficient way of transporting patients from the scene of an accident to the helicopter pad. The original helicopter pad at the base of the ski hill required additional ambulance transport in order to get the patient to the helicopter landing zone. This extra transfer created more movement with the patient, which puts the patient at more risk. The new helicopter landing zone is now accessible by snowmobile, so the patient can be taken directly from the point of injury to the Air Medical Services without the additional ambulance transfer. This can provide better and more efficient critical care to the patient.

The second issue addressed the lack of women pursuing STEM careers, namely engineering. As a young woman hoping to pursue engineering, the absence of other female peers in her robotics and basic engineering classes was distinctly noticeable. However, the encouragement from older female members from previous robotic classes kept her motivated to continue. With this workshop, she hopes to provide the same encouragement to the younger girls in her community and to inspire STEM learning. Girls could explore basic elements of engineering and feel more empowered with the support of female peers.

“I felt proud to be able to encourage a younger group of girls to take on engineering. It was so refreshing to see so many girls as passionate about engineering as I was. I want to contribute to putting more minds in STEM, and I felt that this project helped me to do so.”

Ainsley: Collecting Their Stories - The Experience of Female Helicopter Pioneers
Ainsley Martin_GA

Ainsley M.
Collecting Their Stories - The Experiences of Female Helicopter Pioneers

After reading Contact! Britain! by Nancy Miller Livingston Stratford, a book about Nancy's stories of her time as a ferry pilot during WWII, Ainsley realized there are so many fascinating stories like it from women in aviation that haven’t had the chance to be told and documented.

Ainsley was able to collect the stories of 28 female helicopter pilots, one of which was Nancy Livingston Stratford, WhirlyGirl #4 (the numbers are determined by the order in which they received their helicopter license).

“From listening to the pilots’ stories, I learned a lot about perseverance, following your passions,  thinking ahead, self-confidence, and the importance of supporting each other. It was especially interesting to listen to some of the older pilots about their experiences. They really paved the way focurrent female aviators and take pride in their success.”

Eleanor: Bradbury Science Museum Association Teen Advisory Board
Eleanor H

Eleanor H.
Bradbury Science Museum Association Teen Advisory Board

Eleanor formed a teen advisory board for the museum. She discovered that an international museum that sits right in her hometown was not being utilized by teens. Eleanor took charge by finding a way to make science fun again. She recruited students from her community to apply for these board positions and was very surprised by the number of applicants. She found her review & acceptance process of a new board member “tedious but rewarding”. The teen board quickly went to work and created Bradbury Teen Nights, the first event put on and it was a “smash success” Teens enjoyed activities such as science trivia, robot demos, puzzle contests, Bill Nye movie screenings, and of course FREE food! Eleanor is successful in that the teen board she developed is an official corollary to the Bradbury Science Museum Association as part of their “Org Chart” and it also has a yearly stipend from the association to fund events.

“Seeing other people get excited about making meaningful impacts within the board and at the Bradbury is so much more rewarding than doing all the work. I’ve come to realize that I would love to have a career in leadership in some capacity, and my Gold Award has taught me how to do that effectively.”

Danielle: Youth BLAST Relaxation Space
Danielle Bilotta for Web

Danielle B.
Youth BLAST Relaxation Space

Danielle's project helps to address the need for a safe, quiet space for youth in Albuquerque. Through providing a space to read and relax, literacy skills will be grown and Albuquerque youth will be able to learn better relaxation skills for life. This space primarily serves homeless youth in Albuquerque, as well as providing a space for those who don't have safe spaces to go during the day when school is not in session.

“Poverty, homelessness, and lack of literacy are important issues which face people all over the world, not just in Albuquerque. Through this project, I hope that the center I helped to build will become an example to others across the nation for approaching these issues.”

Emily: Pioneering Women in Los Alamos Walking Trail

Emily H. 
Pioneering Women in Los Alamos Walking Trail

Emily saw that women have historically had a hard time being recognized for their work.  So she wanted to create awareness of the amazing women, especially those from her hometown of Los Alamos, who have had a tremendous impact in their respective fields and on local history, especially those in STEM fields

Emily was able to educate the Los Alamos community about these women by creating a trail the community can follow to find the posters and learn more. She also created a digital gallery for those that were not comfortable leaving their homes due to the pandemic. 

"I didn't choose women just who were born in New Mexico, but those who had connections to locations across the world. I also think that this willingness to overlook women and their academic/artistic contributions is a common theme in the world, and through my project, I was able to reduce some of that ignorance and help people in my community (and anyone from anywhere in the world who saw the posters from outside of my town) learn more about these women. Additionally, this project recognized that 2020 is the  centennial anniversary of women's suffrage in the US, so we were able to celebrate women and this landmark anniversary through the project."

Heidi: Arroyo Safety Rap
Heidi Crutchfield for Web

Heidi C. 
Arroyo Safety Rap

Before coming up with the arroyo rap idea, Heidi never really heard about arroyo safety. She didn't think many people have either, so her goal was to educate others. Arroyo related accidents are highly preventable, so she created the video to help them become less common. Not only should this video keep people safe, but it should also help keep trash and debris out of arroyos.

“I learned that I have more confidence than I thought. It takes a lot to rap for people you don't know. When you create a piece of media, you are exposing a side of yourself to the world. It was scary at first, but when I let it happen, people were genuinely impressed.”

Kaitlyn: Crocheted Covers for the New Mexico Behavioral Health Institute

Kaitlyn B.
Crocheted Covers for the New Mexico Behavioral Health Institute

Kaitlyn notices that there was a lack of joy, happiness, and color present in the New Mexico Behavioral Health Institute. The patients' surroundings are lonely, out of reach, empty, and depressing.  By creating colorful, crocheted blankets and covers to be given to each and EVERY patient within the New Mexico Behavioral Health Institute, she hopes they will act as a reminder to those stuck there that they are not forgotten, that they are cared for, and that they deserve happiness every day.

Kaitlyn also held a Learn to Crochet Day where both children and adults attended to learn to crochet. With the help of these attendees, Kaitlyn was able to deliver 180 "lap-ghans" to those staying at the institute. 

"I learned that my brain works at a faster rate than that of which my mouth can speak. I had to learn how to voice my ideas and thought processes in logical and linear ways."

Kathryn: Halloweekend Pet Parade

Kathryn H.
Halloweekend Pet Parade

Kathryn has spent many years donating her time with the Los Alamos County Animal Shelter.  Over the years, she became increasingly aware of the lack of funds. In recent years the shelter was not able to participate in the New Mexico transfer program because they did not have the money to support more animals. Los Alamos County considered making the shelter a transfer station only where the police department would be in complete control due to the shortage of funding.

She knew she needed to find a creative way to increase the awareness and involvement of her animal-loving community.  So she created Halloweekend Pet Costume Parade which has become part of the annual Halloweekend event in her community.  Through the Pet Costume Parade, money was raised to help subsidize the funds the shelter receives from the county.

"With my help, the shelter raised enough awareness and funds to be able to have the tools necessary to be able to stay in the state transfer program. The transfer program is important because it gives shelter animals another chance at finding a forever home. "

Girl Scout Gold Award pin
You can pursue your Girl Scout Gold Award if:

You're in high school (ninth through twelfth grade, or equivalent) 


You're registered as a Girl Scout Senior or Girl Scout Ambassador


You have completed two Senior or Ambassador Journeys OR earned the Girl Scout Silver Award and completed a Journey

The Benefits of Going Gold

The Benefits of Going Gold 

Girl Scout Gold Award recipients do well in life! They rate their general success significantly higher than their peers and report greater success in reaching their goals in many areas.

Higher education and career

  • Distinguish yourself in the college admissions process
  • Earn college scholarships
  • Enter the military one rank higher

Life skills

  • Be seen as a role model and distinguished leader
  • Master time management skills
  • Make the world a better place


  • Use your vision for change
  • Tackle an issue, locally or globally
  • Establish a lifetime network
  • Create your community legacy with a sustainable solution to a problem

Source:  Girl Scouting Works: The Alumnae Impact Study, a report from the Girl Scout Research Institute, 2012

Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails Gold Award Scholarship

Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails Gold Award Scholarship

The Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails (GSNMT) Gold Award Scholarship was established to help Gold Award recipients further their education. The scholarship is awarded to Girl Scouts who exemplify Girl Scouting ideals. Selections will be based first and foremost on the applicant’s contribution to society through service and her desire to continue this contribution through a life attitude of helping others.

By earning the Gold Award, you are also eligible to apply for many scholarships and awards.  Click here to learn more! 

National Gold Award Girl Scouts

Who are National Gold Award Girl Scouts?

Every year, ten exceptionally inspiring Gold Award Girl Scouts are chosen as National Gold Award Girl Scouts.

This honor is given to Girl Scout Seniors and Ambassadors whose Gold Award projects demonstrated extraordinary leadership, had a measurable and sustainable impact and addressed a local challenge related to a national and/or global issue. These young women are taking matters into their own hands, generating much-needed change!

How are the National Gold Award Girl Scouts chosen?

Councils are asked to select their top three Gold Award Girl Scouts using GoGold Online. Girl Scouts who would like their councils to consider nominating them as National Gold Award Girl Scouts are required to use GoGold Online. GSUSA then ensures a rigorous review process, during which each application is thoroughly evaluated by GSUSA staff and an external panel of trusted partners. Once the list is narrowed, GSUSA's internal National Gold Award Girl Scout team selects the top ten.

When are the National Gold Award Girl Scouts selected?

Councils are asked to nominate candidates annually from April 1 through April 30. Following a two-month review process, ten new National Gold Award Girl Scouts are announced in July.

Did you know?

  • National Gold Award Girl Scouts represent GSUSA as speakers at local and national events.
  • All selected National Gold Award Girl Scouts receive professional public speaking training.
  • National Gold Award Girl Scouts have the opportunity to reach a broad audience while highlighting the importance and impact of their projects.
  • National Gold Award Girl Scouts are awarded college scholarships and other opportunities to sustain their Gold Award projects.  In 2020, National Gold Award Girl Scouts were awarded $20,000 in scholarships!
Girl Scout Gold Award Steps

Complete your Silver Award and one Senior/Ambassador Journey - OR - two Senior/Ambassador Journeys (including the Take Action Project) to hone the skills you'll need to earn your Gold Award. 


Complete Gold Award Training.   Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails requires that all girls interested in earning their Gold Award attend training prior to beginning their project.  Training is 1.5 hours long.  Contact us for information on the next scheduled Gold Award training.


Brainstorm to identify an issue you care about—then investigate it thoroughly.


Build your team and find a Project Advisor.


Create a plan and complete your Gold Award Project Proposal.


The Gold Award Committee will review your proposal, provide feedback, and work with you to improve your plan.  The GAC meets every 2nd Thursday of the month at 5:30pm at the Girl Scout Council office. All paperwork needs to be submitted to council two weeks before the committee meets.

The GAC is committed to supporting girls in earning this prestigious award. Contact us to be put on the next agenda.


Once your project is approved, take action to carry out your plans!


Turn in your completed Gold Award Final Report and submit your photo to officially receive your Girl Scout Gold Award.

Gold Award projects should be submitted by September 30th of the Girl Scout year to be honored at the annual awards ceremony.

Graduating Seniors must have their Final Report submitted by August 1. *


Reflect on your hard work, share your story, and celebrate your work!

Gold Award Forms & Resources
Project Advisor/Volunteer Forms & Resources

Interested in volunteering for the Gold Award Committee, being a Project Advisor, or a volunteer to help girls Go For the Gold?  Contact us!

Project Fundraising

Girls can solicit funds as donations via donation letters.  Anything under $249 can be deposited directly into the girl’s troop account; anything over $250 must come to the council and then we will re-issue the funds upon completion of the Opportunity Fund form and send the check to the troop.  All High Award project monies must be retained by the troop since the girl has no individual “girl account”.

Girl Scouts should work closely with their troop leader for possible troop donations towards her project.  Of course, this would be voted on by the troop so all troop girls have an equal say as to if the troop should support their fellow Girl Scout.

The following  are some examples of fundraising activities that are permitted:

  • bake sale
  • car washes

GoFundMe is not permitted.

Troop Leaders should submit the Activity/Money Earning Application on behalf of the girl.  A parent/guardian may submit on behalf of Juliette Girl Scouts. 

Money Earning Notification Form

Please refer to Customer Care with any questions or concerns.

Join the Gold Award Committee!

Adult members council-wide are invited to join the Gold Award Committee.

The role of a committee member includes:

  • Hear Gold Award Project Proposals from girls proposing
  • Make recommendations about their proposals, approve proposals, and, upon completion, approve the award
  • Volunteer to be a mentor to one or more girls
  • Guide and support the girl in attaining her gold award until completion
  • Attend monthly Zoom meetings of 1-2 hours

Contact us for more information at [email protected] or 505.343.1040.

2021 High Award Deadline Update

Due to issues many girls/troops may have faced in completing their Bronze Award/Silver Award as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails has made the decision to extend the deadline for girls achieving their Bronze and Silver Awards.  The new deadline will be December 31st, 2021.  The Gold Award deadline will remain the same, September 30th, 2021 (or August 1, 2021, if the girl is a current high school 12th grade Senior).