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2022 Gold Award Girl Scouts

Congratulations to these 2022 Gold Award Girl Scouts for earning the most prestigious award in Girl Scouting!

⭐ = GSUSA Gold Award Scholarship recipient


South Region

Audrey Galloway | Mason, OH

Audrey is a senior at William Mason High School. She is involved in marching band, outdoor activities, and volunteering. Audrey has been a Girl Scout for 13 years.


Audrey connected with students at her school to create works of art depicting social issues that the students felt needed addressed. The topics were very diverse, ranging from depression, body dysmorphia, and anxiety, to African genocide. She coordinated with local businesses in the community to arrange for the art pieces to be displayed in shops in the area to draw attention to these issues and challenge the perspectives of the viewers. She received positive feedback on the pieces and hopes that the artwork touched people and changes their perspectives.

Dora Gehrum | Cincinnati, OH

Dora is a junior at Mercy McAuley High School. She is involved in vocal ensemble, theatre, and Girl Scouts. She has been a Girl Scout for 12 years and earned her Bronze and Silver Awards.


Recognizing that the pandemic led to many senior citizens feeling lonely, Dora organized a talent show for residents at a local nursing home. The performances were by the 7th graders from St. Ignatius School, who earned service hours showcasing their talents. The shows were live over Zoom, so the students and residents could interact with each other and even sing together. The students were able to bring smiles to the faces of residents and make a meaningful connection with a group who has been isolated by limited visitation. The students had a great time, and the school may host future sessions led by the drama program virtually and hopefully in person for years to come.

Ashley Gowdy | St. Leon, IN

Ashley is a senior at East Central High School. She is involved in ballet. She has been a Girl Scout for 12 years and earned her Bronze and Silver Awards.


With a goal of educating the community of Cincinnati on easy ways to help with environmental sustainability, Ashley set up booths at different festivals and events in the area informing them of what can be recycled and local drop points. She coordinated volunteers, wrote scripts, and created schedules for time blocks to ensure the booths were covered and volunteers were prepared. She also educated the community about the composting program at Findlay Market, shared informative pamphlets for the Cincinnati Recycling Hub, and had a recycling drop point at each of her booths. Ashley had over 150 community members attend her booths.

Madelyn Highfield | Maineville, OH

Madelyn is a senior at Little Miami High School. She is involved in her school's academic team, select choir, and tutoring. She has been a Girl Scout for 13 years and earned her Silver Award.


Hoping to inspire more girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields, Madelyn created a STEM exploration website targeted toward middle school girls. The website included five modules, each centered around a different STEM field: engineering, mathematics, biology, chemistry, and computer science. Each module included an overview, a list of related careers, information about prominent women in the field, and a related activity they can do at home. The website also recommended high school courses and extracurricular activities, and had additional links and resources for further exploration. She advertised her website on social media sites for student-run organizations and created a pamphlet about her project that was shared with middle schools in Warren County.

Natalie Kaminski | Mason, OH

Natalie is a senior at Cincinnati Country Day School. She is involved in golf and has a job at a smoothie shop. She has been a Girl Scout for 13 years and earned her Bronze and Silver Awards.


With a goal of bringing wildlife back to the area around the monument at the Charles Young Property, Natalie worked with a biologist from the ODNR Division of Wildlife and National Park Service for permission to build and install bat houses around the area to help entice bats back to the area. Bats can consume 500-1,000 mosquitoes per hour and their presence in the area helps ensure a healthy ecosystem, naturally controls the mosquito population, and will make the pond more usable for fishing and other activities. She also created an educational pamphlet that is available for visitors to the monument.

Sarah Mansfield | Cincinnati, OH

Sarah is a graduate of Walnut Hills High School and attends Indiana University majoring in theatre and gender studies. She was involved in theatre, marching band, and a Books for Kids club. Sarah has been in Girl Scouts for 13 years.


Recognizing a need for a low-cost summer camp in her area and knowing the benefits to children’s confidence and public speaking abilities that theatre can provide, Sarah partnered with Cincinnati Parks to host a week long theatre camp for area youth with help from local high school students and theatre professionals leading sessions. Everything for her camp, from lunches to craft supplies to camp t-shirts, was provided at no-cost so her camp was accessible to everyone. The theme was "A Midsummer Camp's Dream" and each day had a specific focus on a certain aspect of theatre from movement to improv to tech to performance. Campers wrote, rehearsed, and designed sets for a five minute play with their small groups, drawing inspiration from a classic fairytale that they performed for their friends and family at the end of the week.

Kacy Nagy | Batavia, OH

Kacy is a graduate of West Clermont High School and attends Bowling Green State University, majoring in business. She was involved in National Honor Society, Link Crew, and karate. Kacy was in Girl Scouts for 11 years and earned her Bronze and Silver Awards.


Kacy noticed that the new entrance to the elementary school had students and staff walking through a busy busing area, so she approached the school for approval to build a safer alternative path for the students to use that would be easy to maintain and adhered to the guidelines established by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Kacy managed the installation of the project and oversaw a team of volunteers and professionals who prepped and poured the sidewalk and added a fence at the school. To educate the community on accessibility, Kacy created a brochure outlining ADA regulations for wheelchair accessible spaces to inspire others to create more accessible spaces in their community. The brochure is available in the school office for community members.

Allison Palmer | Monroe, OH

Allison is a senior at Monroe High School. She is involved as a science teacher and plays piano and oboe. She has been a Girl Scout for 13 years and earned her Silver Award.


While volunteering with 3R Development, an organization that provides education and tutoring services to the school district, Allison noticed many students did not eat the healthy fruits and vegetables provided at lunch. To build students’ knowledge of and experience with healthy foods, Allison created and led lessons on growing produce, highlighting the science involved, and providing hands’ on experiences. She also instructed volunteers on how to help students with gardening lessons and projects. The students made their own self sustainable organic garden and were very excited to try produce they had grown and cared for themselves.

Madelyn Summers | Maineville, OH

Madelyn is a senior at Little Miami High School. She is involved in softball and ski club. Madelyn has been a Girl Scouts for 13 years.


Concerned by the significant decrease in the monarch butterfly population, Madelyn worked with a naturalist and a team of volunteers at Cowan Lake State Park to plant two butterfly gardens at the park full of native plants that are beneficial for pollinators. She also organized educational workshops with local beekeepers, environmental experts, and enthusiasts, and a naturalist from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, where attendees learned about the importance of pollinators, chose native seeds to take home and plant in their own gardens, and completed a community service project for the Ohio Pollinator Habitat Initiative. To reach a wider audience, Madalyn created a website and a patch program as well all about monarch butterflies with fun activities participants can do at home on this topic.

Hayley Theil | Cincinnati, OH

Hayley is a high school graduate and attends the University of Cincinnati majoring in nursing. She is involved in debate team, volunteers as a therapy dog handler, and plays piano. She has been in Girl Scouts for 13 years and earned her Silver Award.


While shadowing a nurse at a local health center, Hayley observed that poor education on nutrition and food insecurity were impacting her community. Hayley chose to focus on nutrition education in lowincome communities, specifically educating on sugar content in foods or sodas, and how to select healthier alternatives. She created a poster that illustrates the amount of sugar in foods and drinks, with a QR code to a video she created that explains healthy alternatives. She also connected La Soupe, a local kitchen that provides healthy meals to those experiencing food insecurity, with the health center so they can distribute healthy meals for those in need. Her video is viewed by those in the health center waiting area and the partnership with La Soupe has brought over 718 meals to families in need who use the center.

Jenna Wagner | Cincinnati, OH

Jenna is a graduate of Clark Montessori High School and attends Xavier University, majoring in mathematics and computer science. She was involved in soccer, jazz band, and 4 Paws for Abilities (training service dogs). She was in Girl Scouts for 13 years and earned her Bronze and Silver Awards.


During the pandemic, Jenna understood that not everyone had the same access to protective gear and so she set out to address the critical shortage of projective masks and other items for homeless shelter residents, front-line workers at a local children’s hospital, and students in need at a low-income elementary school. Jenna led a team in making and donating 224 masks and 104 button straps to these organizations, including in each donation a QR code to a video she created with step-by-step instructions to make a simple protective mask and also how to sanitize masks both with and without access to a washing machine. Her project continues on through the efforts of the Women’s Guild at Christ Lutheran Church.


Central Region

Olivia Beller | Springfield, OH

Olivia is a senior at Kenton Ridge High School. She is involved in National Honor Society, corss country, and power lifting (4th in state in 2021). Olivia has been a Girl Scout for 12 years and earned her Bronze and Silver Awards.


Olivia was concerned about the lack of socialization between elderly people who reside in assisted living facilities. Her family loves being outdoors doing all kinds of activities. Olivia worked with Oakwood Villiage Assisted Living to create and build a fire pit along with a seating area to encourage movement and socialization for the residents. Oakwood Village generously donated the funds to purchase the materials. Along with her volunteers, Olivia really enjoyed the experience of building the fire pit and seating area. The best part of the whole experience was getting to watch the residents and staff enjoy being together around the fire, laughing and eating. She held a dedication ceremony which was well attended by residents and staff alike.

Avery Boroff | Mendon, OH

Avery is a graduate of Parkway High School and attends Bowling Green State University majoring in graphic design. She was invovled in bowling, band, and National Honor Society. Avery has been a Girl Scout for 8 years and earned her Bronze and Silver Awards.


Avery approached the Mendon First Church of God with a plan to restore an outdoor courtyard so that the members of the congregation wold have a safe space outdoors for reflection and connection. Working with her team, Avery built multi-use furniture that can be used as tables for small groups or as bench seating, depending on the needs of the group using the space. Avery also created a short informational video, shared with the congregation, about the benefits that spending time outdoors has on mental health. Avery hopes her restoration of the courtyard will give members of the congregation who were nervous about returning to in-person services a safe space outdoors to utilize during the pandemic and will have a positive impact on the health of the church members.

Lily Collins | Wilmington, OH

Lily is a graduate of Blanchester High School and attends Bowling Green State University majoring in criminal justice. She was involved in tennis and drama, and she volunteered at the Wildcat Den Pantry. Lily was in Girl Scouts for 13 years and earned her Bronze and Silver Awards.


Lily has a passion for history, especially in her community. She wanted to bring awareness of all the historical sites in Clinton County and encourage residents to learn more about the history in their area. Lily created and developed a passport booklet with badges highlighting three main sites in the Wilmington area. Residents start at the Clinton County History Center to pick up a booklet. From there, they proceed to the other two sites: The Murphy Theatre and the Clinton County Court House. When residents complete the tours at all the sites, they return to the History Center to get their badge. She created YouTube videos for people to watch if they are unable to visit the sites in person, but still want to complete the program.

Heather Diehl | Tipp City, OH

Heather is a junior at Tippecanoe High School. She is involved in drama club (President), fall plays/spring musicals, and volunteering at her church. Heather has been a Girl Scout for 11 years and earned her Bronze and Silver Awards.


There were no performing arts opportunities for middle school students in Heather's community. She remembers being in middle school and not having any chance to participate in theatre programs. She had to wait until high school to join a theatre group. Because of this, Heather was inspired to create online Zoom classes for middle school students. They would log on once a week and she would teach a new theatre skill per session. These skills included pantomime, improv, comedic acting, voice acting, and many more. Heather then went on to host a week-long workshop where the students would get together in person and use the skills they learned to write, cast, and perform their own mini plays. Heather loved the fact that the students stepped up and led each other.

Remi Fokine | Rockford, OH

Remi is a graduate of Parkway High School and attends Malone University majoring in biology. She is involved in softball, singing, and biology research. Remi was in Girl Scouts for 11 years and earned her Bronze and Silver Awards.


Remi designed and created a biblical garden at a local chruch, utilizing plants that have a biblical meaning and are eco-friendly. Remi educated the children of the church on the plants in the garden's stories and connections to the Bible during a children's service, then had the children help create stepping stones that sybolized the themes of her project. Remi also added a prayer box to her garden so the community can connect with the church when in need of prayer. She created an educational pamphlet about the garden, outlining each plant's biblical connections, that is available to all both in print form in the prayer box and also on the church website. Through these efforts she hopes to inspire more people to explore both horticulture and the Bible.

Audrey Ford | Celina, OH

Audrey is a graduate of Parkway High School and will attend College of Charleston majoring in historical preservation. She was involved in band, hockey, and cross country. Audrey was in Girl Scouts for 13 years and earned her Bronze and Silver Awards.


Recognizing that some members of her community have limited access to books outside the library, Audrey approached her local library and the local park board to receive permission to design and install a lending library at the park so that children can have increased access to literature and improve their reading skills. Audrey hosted a ribbon cutting at the park to introduce this new asset to her community. The library staff has agreed to periodically review and update inventory so that her lending library remains a community resource for the many youth who frequent the park for years to come.

Abigail Hogsett | South Vienna, OH

Abigail is a senior at Global Impact STEM Academy. She in involved in theatre, piano, and works at an antique store. Abigail has been a Girl Scout for 13 years and earned her Bronze and Silver Awards.


Abbie learned to make loom hats for a local homeless shelter when she was a freshman. Because of that, she decided to make loom hats for the Dayton VA Hospital and Nursing Home. Both her parents are in the Air Force, so she thought this would be a good project for veterans. Throughout her project, Abbie was able to teach people how to make the hats and spoke to them about the benefits the Dayton VA offers. She collected yarn and homemade hat donations from family and friends. Abbie did a presentation at the Clark County Fair and had kids color cards to go with the hats. She made kits for the Dayton VA Outreach Center to let other veterans learn the skill. Overall, Abbie was able to donate 157 hats, 6 hat making kits, and 16 skeins of yarn to the VA!

Mikayla Jette | Union, OH

Mikayla is a graduate of Chaminade Juilienne Catholic High School and attends Marian University majoring in pastoral leadership. She was involved in cross country, band (clarinet) and liturgical choir. Mikayla was in Girl Scouts for 12 years and earned her Silver Award.


Mikayla created and developed a one-week free dance camp for 28 boys and girls in kindergarten through 5th grade. Each day had a theme: Discipline, Trust, Teamwork, Confidence, and Expression. Each themed word was a reminder to the children on how to incorporate these qualities into their lives. Mikayla and her team taught the children several dance styles such as ballet, lyrical, tap, hip-hop, jazz, and hula. They made crafts to go along with each style of dance. On the final day, they performed a mini-recital for the parents. Mikayla learned that she loved teaching and being an example for younger generations. Her camp motivated the community to come together after such a long year to find a light and a reason to smile.

⭐ Paige McNachtan | Beavercreek, OH

Paige is a graduate of Beavercreek High School and attends Ohio University majoring in aviation flight. She was involved in swim team, rowing club and flight (Piper Warrior). She was in Girl Scouts for 13 years and earned her Bronze and Silver Awards.


Paige has a passion for flying and photography. She wanted to combine her passions and share her excitement of aviation, photography, and STEM related opportunities with other young girls. The National Aviation Heritage Area (NAHA), which is based in Dayton, contacted her to photograph young girls at each of their 10 sites. Unfortunately, COVID restrictions prevented her from doing this. Paige had to wait until some of the sites opened back up so she could get photographs for NAHA. She then decided to focus on an aviation presentation for school children. She gave two presentations to 3rd grade gifted classes at Trebein Elementary School in Beavercreek. The children were very attentive and asked a lot of questions. In the end, Paige was able to submit aviation photos to NAHA and educate local youths on STEM opportunities in aviation.

Gold Award Girl Scouts are eligible to apply for a Girl Scouts of the USA Gold Award scholarship for college. This scholarship program recognizes and provides financial support to one Gold Award Girl Scout per council.  You’re eligible to apply if your final report is approved in GoGold before the scholarship application opens.

Katelyn Mergy | Kettering, OH

Katelyn is a graduate of Kettering Fairmont High School and attends Sinclair Community College. She was involved in marching band (flute), pep band, and FCCLA. She was in Girl Scouts for 12 years and earned her Bronze Award.


Katelyn addressed the issue of children entering foster care in the Dayton area. They often come in with little or no personal belongings, which leaves many children feeling vulnerable. Katelyn’s goal was to provide stability and positive self-worth to the children with comfort items not available through the state agencies. She organized several drives to collect various comfort items such as toys, stuffed animals, books, journals, and more. Katelyn, along with her team made about 400 “Hope” bags made from a no sew t-shirt. She also provided foster care education to various organizations such as Girl Scout troops, churches and the Junior League of Dayton. While the bags were not able to wipe away the trauma the children experienced, they were able to bring comfort to many.

Sophie Pearson | Fort Recovery, OH

Sophie is a junior at Fort Recovery Local Schools. She is involved in Future Teachers of America, softball, and student council. She hopes to major in early childhood education in college. Sophie has been a Girl Scout for 12 years and earned her Bronze and Silver Awards.


To celebrate local history and honor veterans for their service, Sophie partnered with the city to solicit information and photos of local veterans’ that were used to create and hang 178 banners featuring veterans around the downtown. Sophie presented about her project to various civic groups in the community like the Legion, the Board of Education, and more to help garner community support. She will have community members continue her project after she graduates, as there are plans to add more banners to honor even more local heroes.

Abigail Ragan | Sidney, OH

Abigail is a senior at Sidney High School. She is involved in marching band, student government, and Foreign Friendships. After graduation, she plans on attending the University of Toledo to major in political science. She has been a Girl Scout for 14 years and earned her Bronze and Silver Awards.


Abigail’s school has a large number of exchange students every year. Recognizing that it can be difficult for new students to integrate into the local community and form friendships, Abigail started a club at her school to help the exchange students feel welcome and also to help students at the school learn about other cultures and be more accepting of people from different nationalities and backgrounds. When her school went virtual during the pandemic and her club members could not meet in-person, she worked with her fellow officers to organize virtual meetings and integrated past exchange students into the club meetings. The club has grown in members in its second year and has installed new officers who will continue Abigail’s vision of welcoming internationals and building acceptance for other cultures within her community.

Alison Rowen | Rockford, OH

Alison is a sophomore at Parkway High School. She is involved in volleyball, bowling, and band. Alison has been a Girl Scout for 8 years and earned her Bronze and Silver Awards.


Alison partnered with the local American Legion to design and landscape a newly established memorial that honors those who served in the military. She worked with her volunteers to build a space that was easily maintained and made the purpose of the memorial easier for visitors to read. She also created resources that the Legion shared on their social media that show different ways that community members can also show respect and appreciation to veterans. She showcased her efforts as part of the site’s dedication ceremony on Memorial Day and hopes that her project continues to inspire people to honor those who served.

Claire Schwabe | Centerville, OH

Claire is a graduate of Centerville High School and attends the University of Wisconsin majoring in neurobiology/pre-medicine. She was involved in National Honor Society, color guard and orchestra (violin). Claire was in Girl Scouts for 12 years and earned her Bronze and Silver Awards.


Claire focused on mental health awareness and stress management in school age children. In particular she focused on meditation and how it can benefit mental health. After researching, Claire made ageappropriate slide shows. For children K – 2, the slide shows focused on emotions, while the high school slide shows focused on mental health wellbeing. Claire advertised and hosted Zoom classes about different types of meditation at least once a week. In conjunction with the slideshows, Claire created a meditation club at her high school. Her club focused on the different types of meditation and put them into practice. The club increased in size with every meeting. Lastly, Claire did independent meditation sessions on Zoom. She converted all of her slides into videos and posted them on her YouTube Channel for everyone to experience.


North Region

Samantha Codding | Bowling Green, OH

Samantha is a senior at Bowling Green High School. She is involved in marching band. Samantha has been a Girl Scout for 13 years and earned her Bronze and Silver Awards.


Samantha created and outdoor winding path—a labyrinth—that could be used for prayer, meditation, and reflection. The idea first came up when talking about the activities she enjoyed at her church camp and how she could bring those home for more people to experience. At camp, the "labyrinth" activity is done in silence, so the only thing you can hear is the footsteps on the gravel. Samantha led a volunteer team that dug up the ground and laid the path. She also created a sign that explains the activity, and cards to read inside the labyrinth. She wanted to bring this contemplative experience back to her church congregation but also share it with the surrounding community.

Tara Heitmeyer | Ottoville, OH

Tara is a senior at Ottoville High School. Tara is involved in volleyball, National Honor Society, and the Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America. She has been a Girl Scout for 11 years and earned her Bronze and Silver Awards.


Tara saw a need in her community; the Ottoville park was not as safe as it could be, and it was frequently vandalized. In order to make the park more welcoming for members of the community to come together, Tara researched and educated people on the use of security cameras. She acted as a leader in installing the cameras and getting volunteers coordinated for a park day. Since cleaning up the park, adding these camera systems, and sharing the results online, Tara hopes that other communities are inspired to do the same to keep their parks beautiful and safe.

Leanne Hershberger | Bowling Green, OH

Leanne is a graduate of Bowling Green High School and attends the University of Michigan, majoring in molecular, cellular, developmental biology and gender and sexuality studies. She was involved in dance and was a newspaper carrier for the Sentinal-Tribune. Leanne was in Girl Scouts for 12 years and earned her Silver Award.


Leanne's Gold Award project was to revamp the guidance counselor office space at her high school. Leanne recognized the importance of the guidance counselors and how they are an essential part of her school that provide critical services to the students. She wanted the office to be a welcoming space where students felt calm. Leanne took on this project by repainting, decluttering, and organizing. Leanne took her physical project one step further by taking it online and adding new mental health resources to the guidance office web page.

Madison Phillips | Toledo, OH

Madison is a graduate of Sylvania Southview and is pursuing a writing career. She was involved in art and bowling. Madison was in Girl Scouts for 11 years and earned her Silver Award.


Madison’s project came about out of a love of fishing. In her community, Olander Park has great recreational fishing opportunities with a huge variety of fish in the lake. Her goal was to create an environmentally friendly, sustainable, creative, and easy way to identify the top ten most common fish found in the lake at Olander Park. After researching, creating the design, and getting it approved, Madison produced two vinyl banners. The banners also feature a QR code for quick access to the Ohio fishing license registry. The community and schools will be able to use these banners to help educate and enhance their experience at the park.