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CHARLOTTE—Dating back to 1916, the Girl Scouts’ Gold Award has been the national organization’s highest honor, and on Saturday, April 28, 31 Girl Scouts Hornets’ Nest Council Girl Scouts earned the Gold Award designation.

During the Hornets’ Nest Council’s annual awards program, the 31 Gold Award winners from Cabarrus, Mecklenburg, Rowan, Union and York Counties were honored for their community projects that demonstrate a creative, impactful and sustainable difference.

The rigorous award process was open only to high school students and required a Girl Scout to create a long-term solution to a community problem. A seven-step, minimum of 80-hour project, sustainable results and a panel review are mandatory to earn the Gold Award.

“The Girl Scouts’ Gold Award is an honor that is significantly challenging to receive, and only the most dedicated girls earn this highest honor,” Angela Woods, CEO of the Hornets’ Nest Council, said. “We really push the girls beyond their comfort zone to leave a lasting impact and to have measurable results. The leadership these 31 girls have demonstrated over the last 12 months is commendable and inspirational.”

The Gold Award recipients accrued more than 4,800 hours completing a variety of sustainable projects in the fields of education, health care, military and veteran affairs, STEM, public safety, and more.

The 2018 Gold Award honorees were:

  • Uwa Akhere of Mecklenburg County for her project Pencils for Progress;
  • Harley Amos of Rowan County for her project To Help Those Who Can't Help Themselves;
  • Samara Archibald of Mecklenburg County for her project Charger Ambassadors Club;
  • Katherine Baich of Mecklenburg County for her project Serving Those Who Served Us;
  • Naomi Benson of Mecklenburg County for her project Gold Girls in STEM;
  • Jacqueline Conlan of Mecklenburg County for her project Little Free Libraries;
  • Dakotah Diggs of Mecklenburg County for her project Street Safe Teens;
  • Hannah Dong of Mecklenburg County for her project Promoting Nutrition One Click at a Time;
  • Thyme Hawkins of Mecklenburg County for her project Library Deserts;
  • Makayla Hrenyo of Union County for her project Believe Achieve Receive;
  • Peyton Johnson of Union County for her project Mind, Body, Soul;
  • Olivia Jones of Mecklenburg County for her project Reading for All: A Lending Library Program for Women and Children at the Center of Hope;
  • Morganne Kay of Mecklenburg County for her project Serve It To Get Fit Tennis Camp;
  • Juliana Koricke of Mecklenburg County for her project SOS: Save Our Soil!;
  • Margarita "Daisy" Lane of Mecklenburg County for her project Empowering Students Through Yoga;
  • Hailey Lilliott of Mecklenburg County for her project Keyhole Garden - Compost, Learn, Grow!;
  • Margarete Mahaffey of Mecklenburg County for her project Charlotte's Not For Sale;
  • Morgan Mayhew of Mecklenburg County for her project Need for Food in the Summer;
  • Brenna McBride of Mecklenburg County for her project The Goddess Campaign;
  • Helen McGinnis of Mecklenburg County for her project Raising Concussion Awareness at Younger Ages;
  • Catherine Palmer of Union County for her project Recycling Crayons;
  • Elise Payne of Mecklenburg County for her project Stalling's Park Butterfly Garden;
  • Kate Prager of Cabarrus County for her project Smarter Than Water;
  • Zaria Reep of Union County for her project The Voice Against Violence;
  • Amy Rhodes of York County for her project Project Linus Blanket Donations;
  • Carolyn (Carrie) Roth of Union County for her project Bee Award;
  • Olivia Samuelson of Mecklenburg County for her project Honey Save the Bees;
  • Jessica Sedotto of Union County for her project C.H.I.P. Chipping Helps Identify Pets;
  • Rachel Sittler of Mecklenburg County for her project The Gourd Tunnel at Hinds Feet Farm;
  • Maia Vierengel of Union County for her project Free Melodies; and
  • Kimani Virella of Mecklenburg County for her project Library Rehab.

In addition, 364 Girl Scouts from six North Carolina and South Carolina counties—including Cabarrus, Mecklenburg, Rowan, Stanly, Union and York—were awarded the Bronze and Silver Awards.

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