GLEN CARBON - Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois (GSSI) announced today that Katharine Housewright from St. Jacob has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can receive.

For her Girl Scout Gold Award project, Katharine made improvements to the Triad Middle School student courtyard, which was built in the 1960s and has not seen many updates. First, she brightened up the pavement with paintings of a United States map and the Preamble to the Constitution in vivid primary colors.

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Next, she coated bike racks with colorful and protective enamel. To help ensure a lasting impact, she researched paints that would last close to a decade. Hoping to inspire others to take action, she shared her project’s progress on social media and sent a news release to the local newspaper once it was completed. In addition, she also plans to help other Girl Scouts who want to work on earning the Girl Scout Gold Award or complete other community service projects.

“During this project, I learned how to schedule my time, make executive decisions, enforce those decisions and evaluate choices based on budget,” she said. “Going through this project has given me so much experience and has allowed me to begin a tough but worthwhile journey of bettering the world around me.”

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Katharine is the daughter of J. Keith and Helen Housewright and is currently a junior at Triad High School.

The Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can earn, recognizes a Girl Scout's commitment to excellence as she develops skills and values to meet present and future challenges in her life. To earn the Girl Scout Gold Award, a Girl Scout Senior or Girl Scout Ambassador must design and carry out a project that fulfills a need within a girl’s community, creates change, and is sustainable. The project must be completed with a suggested minimum of 80 hours of work. Only about 5 percent of eligible girls earn the prestigious Gold Award.

Today, Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. is the largest voluntary organization for girls in the world. Its sole focus is to meet the needs of all girls (ages 5-17) from diverse racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. Today’s Girl Scouts not only enjoy camping and crafts, but they also explore math and science and learn about diversity, good citizenship, leadership and teamwork. GSSI provides a premier Girl Scout Leadership Experience to over 12,400 girls and nearly 5,000 adult volunteers in 40 ½ counties in southern Illinois.

Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois is a not-for-profit organization supported by various United Ways throughout the region. Girl Scouts is a Proud Partner of United Way. For more information, please call Kim Vrooman at (618) 692.0692.

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