Girl Scouts builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. The Girl Scout Gold Award is the pinnacle of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, and it's available exclusively to Girl Scout Seniors and Ambassadors (9-12 grade). Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama (GSSA) would like to recognize Booker T. Washington graduate Erica Luckie for receiving the Gold Award.
Through the Gold Award, girls engage in a rigorous leadership process, as they tackle issues they're passionate about to create long-term, sustainable change. To earn the Gold Award, girls typically spend one to two years exploring the root cause of a local or global issue and partner with the community to create lasting solutions.
For Erica Luckie’s project, “Foster Self-Esteem in Foster Teens”, she focused on supplying foster teen girls with the hygiene items they need to inspire a higher self-confidence and positive body image. Erica wanted to address the foster care system in Montgomery, so she reached out to CJ Brown, the founder of Heart to Heart, a foster closet. Brown explained to Erica that the basic needs of foster children, such as hygiene, are not always met and that for them, receiving something as simple as a tube of lipgloss could make them feel special. After speaking with Brown, Erica began brainstorming on how she could make hygiene kits for foster teen girls.
During her research, Erica found a direct link between good hygiene and a positive body image. Erica also talked with people working in the foster care system to find out what the girls both needed and wanted. She then began a word of mouth and digital marketing campaign on Facebook to increase donations for her kits. After just a few months, Erica was able to pack over 170 kits that went directly to girls in the foster care system. She was also able to give some to foster care closets and group homes in Dothan, Cullman, Huntsville, and more. Erica says that, “I took for granted the items I have easy and direct access to before the project. This project has helped me gain more knowledge and ignite a larger passion for the foster care community.” The impact Erica has had on the foster care system is so great that the Kappa Delta sorority is continuing the project so that even more girls will be able to benefit from this.
Erica has been a Girl Scout for the past 13 years. Erica says, “Girl Scouts provided me with the opportunity to grow and develop alongside other girls. We learned valuable skills and knowledge through badgework and took many trips together, giving me opportunities I would not have otherwise.” Erica plans to go to Mississippi College to study Mathematics Education with the goal of becoming a middle school or high school math teacher.
Through Girl Scouting, girls learn to face challenges head-on, embrace failure as a learning opportunity, and find solutions to social issues all while building the skills and courage they need to take the lead every day. Earning the Gold Award is just one of the amazing things girls can do as part of Girl Scouts. To join Girl Scouts or learn more about volunteering, please visit www.girlscoutssa.org.