Two Mathews High School students have earned themselves Girl Scouts’ highest award. Sophomore Belle Gibson and junior Jorja Bonar recently completed their Gold Award projects, driving lasting change in their communities and beyond.
According to the Girl Scouts of the USA, the Gold Award is awarded to fewer than 6% of Girl Scouts annually. Each Gold Award Girl Scout spends one to two years on her project. Since 1926, approximately one million Girl Scouts have earned the Gold Award or its equivalent since.
For Gibson’s Gold Award Project, she worked with the president of the Vienna Historical Society to create a digital database to track donated historical items. Through her research for the project, she learned the Vienna Historical Society relied on paper forms to track their donations. Those forms were kept in a binder. Gibson’s work will now allow the Vienna Historical Society to keep better records of items they need donated, as well as help the public search out historical artifacts for research or genealogical purposes. In addition to creating the new digital database of more than 300 items, Gibson trained the members of the historical society how to use the system. In addition to Girl Scouts, Belle is a member of the Akron German Family Society dance and youth group, plays in the high school band as well as participating in color guard and flag line, is a member of her church’s youth group, and is active in American Heritage Girls. After graduation Isabelle would like to find a career where she works with young children, possibly as a pediatrician.
Junior Jorja Bonar has been an active part of Girl Scouts for the last 10 years. As she began researching her Gold Award Project, Bonar discovered kids in Liberia often do not have toys, which can limit their creativity and impact their fine motor skills development. In order to bring some joy to those kids, Bonar decided to organize a toy drive. While the toy drive at school was cut short due to remote learning, the local community stepped up to the plate to donate to the cause. Jorja would like to give a special thanks to the Nicola family and their large donation. In addition to collecting toys, Bonar produced a training guide for volunteers who work with the children in Liberia so they can better interact with the kids and encourage creativity. In addition to Girl Scouts, Bonar is a member of National Honor Society and Student Council. She’s also in band and a member of the girls basketball, cross country and track teams. After graduation Jorja plans to study biology and later become a pediatrician.