Vernon youth completes Gold Award

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Jenna Day of Highland Lakes recently completed her Girl Scout Gold Award by collecting dresses to give away to girls who needed formal attire.

The Girl Scout Gold Award is the highest award a Girl Scout can earn and requires the completion of a leadership project of at least 80 hours. Each girl must discover an issue in the community, connect with experts and community members, and take action to effect positive change.

Day wanted to help students who may not be able to afford all the costs associated with formal events. After collecting more than 300 short and long dresses, she cleaned, organized, sorted, and tagged them. Day held a showing at her local church and gave away more than half the dresses. She donated the remaining dresses to local theater groups and a special needs school.

“I don’t like people to feel left out,” Day said. “I wanted to make a difference in the lives of girls in my community who did not have a new, pretty dress to wear to prom or other formal events.”

Day is a junior at Vernon Township High School, where she is involved in field hockey, DECA, International Thespian Honor Society, Highlands Stage summer theater, and more. After graduating high school, she plans to study marketing in college. Day has been a Girl Scout since kindergarten and is a member of Troop No. 899.

“Girl Scouting has taught me to be proactive and organized,” said Day. “I know Girl Scouts can and will open doors for me.”

The Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can earn, combines leadership development, career exploration and community service. It culminates in an 80-hour leadership project that each girl plans and executes according to her own interests and passions. Within Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey, 12 percent of eligible girls earn their Girl Scout Gold Award, compared to the national average of 6 percent.

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