Go for the Gold: 2018 National Young Women of Distinction Nominees

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Gold Award Girl Scouts are leading positive change in their communities and the world. Through Take Action projects, Gold Award Girl Scouts raise awareness of critical issues, empower vulnerable groups, and make their neighborhoods better and brighter for everyone.

This year, we’re celebrating 291 GSGLA Girl Scouts who’ve earned Girl Scouting’s highest honor. Among them are three National Young Women of Distinction nominees—Gold Award Girl Scouts whose projects demonstrate exceptional leadership, have a measurable impact, and address a local challenge related to a national (or global) issue.

Meet our council’s 2018 National Young Women of Distinction nominees below.

Smigla, ChloeChloe S.
“Girl Power”
Inspiration: “Girls’ and women’s capabilities all around the world are underestimated, and I was inspired to help change that—as well as statistics where women do not have equality, including compensation, media representation, politics, business, entertainment, and education.”
Summary: “I wrote and produced a female empowerment fairytale honoring self-worth, adoption, and racial diversity entitled ‘Lena’s Quest.’ Along with the book, I made a documentary series featuring inspirational women who broke glass ceilings entitled ‘Inspirational Women Talk to Teens.’ My goal was to empower young children and teens, specifically girls, to believe in themselves and their potential.”
Chloe Smigla (1)Most Proud Moments: “Whenever I have read ‘Lena’s Quest,’ people have been really impressed with the message of the story and the overall design of the book. Many adult women have cried during the reading of the book which makes me feel the message is really making an impact. The documentaries have been equally well-received and the lessons people are learning through them have been very helpful.”
Advice for Other Girls:
“I think anyone would benefit from having to work on a meaningful long-term project [like the Gold Award] from start to finish. I will say that one thing that’s important to remember is that whatever you decide to do [for your project], really believe in it, because it will most likely end up being a major part of your life.”

Pienado, IsabelIsabel P.
“Women Empowerment Mural”
“Being a Girl Scout has inspired me to be a hard worker, determined, and help others. The Girl Scout Gold Award was an amazing opportunity to incorporate my art into Girl Scouts… I wanted people to be inspired and feel warm when looking at my mural. I wanted them to feel connected to it like if they were part of it.”
“I painted a women empowerment mural to bring back arts education, remind everyone we are a country of immigrants, and empower women to seek any job they want. I chose 16 influential women of different backgrounds and cultures because I wanted everyone who passed by the mural to feel represented and connected. The mural became a historical site.”
Isabel Peinado (5)Most Proud Moments: “I got to learn a lot about painting a mural and working with a team. I worked on it every day for several hours and I am so happy and proud of the outcome. I put all of my love and hard work into it.”
Advice for Other Girls: “Girls should join Girl Scouts because not only do you learn about yourself, but you learn about different communities and how important it is to give back and help others. All girls in Girl Scouts should continue because it is mind-opening and gives girls amazing opportunities to do great things that they will remember forever.”

Uehara, JoyJoy U.
Project: “Inspiring Interest in STEM”
Inspiration: “I learned how to 3D print and developed a passion for 3D printing through my FIRST Robotics team (FRC Team 4201 The Vitruvian Bots). I was inspired to teach students of Manhattan Beach School District when I saw an unused 3D printer at one of the elementary schools and was reminded of how my life had been impacted by one friend willing to teach me 3D printing. It was a lost opportunity for those students to further engage in STEM.”
Summary: “I taught nine workshops to teach fifth graders at Pacific Elementary and Grand View Elementary how to prepare and 3D print models and created a manual for future teachers and students. My manual is currently being used in the creation of the MakerSpace curriculum and my workshop has taught students 3D printing and inspired them to pursue STEM and engineering.”
Picture1Most Proud Moment: “After one set of workshops, a parent came up to me and told me that her child had asked for a 3D printer for Christmas as a result of my workshop. I was amazed that after only a few hours of working with that student, he would be so excited about 3D printing that he would seek one for himself. That reminded me of the impact one person can make on another’s life.”
Advice for Other Girls: “Through the Gold Award, you will grow your communication and leadership skills. You’ll practice interviewing and writing professional emails, and learn about the importance of communication. You’ll also learn how to address and work with people in authority and discover the amazing impact that you can make on the world.”

Congratulations to our Girl Scouts on their nominations for the National Young Women of Distinction, as well as earning the Gold Award!

Learn more about the highest honor in Girl Scouting, and cheer on our girls at the 2018 Gold Award Ceremony on June 2.

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