The Gold Award, the highest honor in Girl Scouting, has been awarded to 35 local girls this year from the Girl Scouts–Arizona Cactus-Pine Council (GSACPC). The prestigious Gold Award is presented to girls in grades nine to 12 who have utilized the skills acquired in Girl Scouts to showcase sustainable and measurable impact through problem-solving of relevant issues on a local or national level by completing a Gold Award-worthy project.

“Making an impact on our world is what being a Girl Scout is all about. Each Gold Award project is a journey that tells a story of a girl and the cause that is important to her,” says Mary Mitchell, co-CEO of GSACPC. “Gold Award Girl Scouts set the gold standard in our community, and GSACPC is proud to honor an astounding 35 awardees this year who are making lasting change.”
The 2024 Gold Award class represents a variety of service projects that target an array of relevant issues. Projects included establishing programs to improve mental and physical health, sustainability, and animal welfare, as well as addressing gender bias, lack of medical access, gaps in educational curriculum and more.

“Gold Awardees have long laid the groundwork for impactful projects through their involvement in Girl Scouts and this is just the beginning for this group of young innovators,” says Christina Spicer, co-CEO of GSACPC. “Recipients are not only carrying this honor and meaningful change with them for life, but also setting themselves apart in scholarship applications, college admission essays, and job interviews.”

Among the 2024 Gold Award Girl Scouts are these area residents whose impactful projects are as follows:

Payton Dymek
Use Your Voice Platform
After her internship as the head sports broadcaster for Vietnamese Arizona American Television, Dymek’s passion and appreciation for journalism grew, inspiring her Gold Award project. To address gender biases in English language classrooms, and the perception of women in journalism, the Desert Ridge resident created a website containing free lessons to learn about the journalism field, such as writing, broadcasting, and other forms of media. Beyond Arizona, she was able to reach students in other states such as California, Georgia, North Carolina, Texas, Illinois, and New York. She also had students from South Africa engage with her project. After 12 years of Girl Scouting, Dymek plans to expand her skillset and pursue a career in journalism, marketing, and communications.
Amanda Ray
Low-Cost Ingredient Recipes
To help better her community and inspire others, Paradise Valley’s Amanda Ray made a difference through food. Ray created a recipe book with low-cost ingredients and foods that are commonly donated to food banks to help patrons cook higher-quality meals. She also distributed printed and online copies to multiple food banks throughout Phoenix. She received direct staff feedback on her project’s effectiveness, and to test that her recipes were simple, easy, and delicious, Ray hosted a cooking event and taste test with her team to prepare the meals themselves. As a result of her project, she has established relationships with local food banks in her area and donates annually to provide support. Ray is a student at Chaparral High School, and she plans to attend Arizona State University to study business.

In partnership with 6,500 adult volunteers, GSACPC serves over 12,000 girls grades kindergarten through 12 in more than 90 communities across central and northern Arizona. Since 1936, GSACPC has helped girls develop leadership skills and tools for success in a rapidly changing environment.

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