Lauren G of Wilbraham
School Supplies for Senegal

My pursuit of the Girl Scout Gold Award has opened the door to a place and to people I would have never imagined establishing a connection with—a school and its students in Dakar, Senegal (Africa). The inspiration for my Gold Award project came when my French class was temporarily taught by a teacher from Dakar. I soon learned that it costs 300,000 African francs (50 US dollars) annually for a Senegalese student to attend school and many students struggle to afford it. I worked in my own school to raise awareness of this issue and collected and shipped school supplies to Lycée Blaise Diagne. I was able to send thirteen large packages of supplies to aid students at the school. I became acquainted with some of the Senegalese students and learned a great deal about their culture.  While I had always been aware of issues that faced the global community, directly addressing global affairs seemed a far-reaching challenge. I made a difference on an international level by applying the leadership and organizational skills I learned through Girl Scouting. I will always associate my Gold Award Project with a change in my perspective, and more importantly, with the satisfaction of knowing how I was able to serve others abroad.

Lauren has been a Girl Scout for 13 years. She is the Salutatorian of Minnechaug Regional High School Class of 2012. She is the principal flutist of the Springfield Symphony Youth Orchestra and a member of the Massachusetts All-State Concert Band. Lauren has performed at Boston Symphony Hall and the United States Navy Chapel, as a guest flutist at St. Cecilia’s Parish, and in various other ensembles such as the UMass Honor Band. She is an active participant in the “Wicked Advanced Biology Club.” She has served as President of the Key Club and Co-President of the National Honor Society.  Lauren will attend College of the Holy Cross this fall studying biology and music.