Miramar Girl Scout is One Smart Cookie

Often, when one thinks of Girl Scouts, they think about the iconic annual cookie sale. Although synonymous with cookies, these girls offer much more than delicious confections. The vision of the Girl Scouts of Southeast Florida (GSSF) is to provide girls a place to explore and achieve their fullest potential making them our leaders of tomorrow.

In early May, the organization held their annual Gold Award Ceremony honoring the 2019 class of Gold Award Girl Scouts. Among the eighteen Girl Scouts presented with their Gold Award this year was Miramar resident Kelly Norman, an individually registered member of Girl Scouts. 

The level of commitment to complete a Gold Award project is so great that less than 6% of all Girl Scouts in the world earn it.

Kelly’s Gold Award project titled Tower of Knowledge was inspired by the fact that students with special needs require special care, but most people don’t know what that care involves. The ambitious scout recognized the struggle to enhance special needs students’ cognitive and problem-solving skills and she wanted to empower the children to do something amazing with their lives and to inspire them to make a difference.  

“So many people have a bias towards the autism community, and I used my project to help change that bias for the better. I worked with many people and taught them that autism isn’t something that should be looked down on. These students are brilliant individuals. I gave them a way to channel their energy into something beneficial for both them and the community,” stated Norman.

The project focused on learning more about the autism spectrum and what she could do to help further these students’ education. She worked with the Angel’s Reach Foundation and Silver Lakes Elementary School in Miramar to provide a safe and engaging learning atmosphere for all. By creating an extra-large outdoor Jenga and Connect Four, she combined education and entertainment for the students. These classic games stimulated both their physical needs and cognitive skills by focusing all of their energy into a learning experience.

“The most successful aspect of my project and the part that impacted me the most was the genuine happiness and interest in learning the children radiated around the project. Within minutes, a spark ignited in the children that were not there before,” added Norman.

The Girl Scout Gold Award is the highest award a Girl Scout in grades 9 – 12 can earn. It is accomplished by completing a service project with a minimum of 80 logged hours. The project must fulfill a need in the community, create change, and be sustainable with long-term possibilities. Gold Award Projects demand the highest level of organizational, leadership, and project management skills.