Folsom students earn highest honor in Girl Scouting

By: Linneah Flahive
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Girl Scouts Heart of Central California (GSHCC) honored Zainab Abadin, Medha Aiyah, Sayuri Alwis, and Melanie Cooray, four local high school students, who have earned the prestigious Girl Scout Gold Award at the organization’s Girls Who Inspire ceremony.

The award that the recipients achieved is the highest attainable award in Girl Scouting. This award, known as the Gold Award, requires girls to take action in a sustainable way by identifying issues in their own communities or the world and working to resolve the issues for future generations.

Earning the Girl Scout Gold Award is a powerful and transformative experience that could entitle girls to college scholarships or an advanced rank when entering the military.

After volunteering with Ar-Razzaq Food Bank for several years, Abadin noticed that certain important needs weren't being addressed properly by the organization. She created a plan to increase the number of food donations and increase the number of volunteers to help accomplish their mission of feeding the hungry people of Sacramento. The main cause of the issue was that the food bank was not as well-known as some of the other local food banks in the community. Abadin addressed this issue through the use of social media, informational videos, fundraisers and flyers to spread awareness of Ar-Razzaq Food Bank and what it needed to keep thriving.

Aiyah’s project, which helped earn her the Gold Award, addressed the issue of the gender gap in the STEM fields. It exposed how girls are not as encouraged to pursue careers in the STEM fields. She created a three-day camp and a STEM industry tour exclusively for girls to become exposed to the STEM fields and show them how fun and fascinating the field can actually be.

Alwis’s project addressed the lack of education that many students, specifically in middle school, face in regards to mental health. She collaborated with the Family and Marriage therapist at Folsom Middle School and they worked together to create a program called “Mindfulness” which is a ten-week program that was designed specifically to teach kids how to become mindful and aware of their actions. 

At Cooray’s school, Vista del Lago High School, there weren’t many opportunities available for girls to pursue their interests in the engineering field. Her goal for this project was to create an environment where girls felt welcomed and encouraged to come and learn about computer science and engineering. The members of this club gained extensive knowledge about the different fields of engineering.