EWU Student Receives Prestigious Girl Scout Gold Award
Hannah Bednarczyk, an EWU freshman, was recently awarded the prestigious Girl Scout Gold Award on March 12 – the organization’s 111th birthday. Bednarczyk was the first Girl Scout from her hometown of Pasco, Washington, to earn this award in the last 25 years.
The Gold Award requires that participants volunteer a minimum of 80 hours for projects that apply skills they’ve learned as Girls Scouts to help fix a problem in their community or make a lasting impact in the world. The award is a rare honor that is granted to just three percent of all eligible Girl Scouts.
Bednarczk, who is majoring in environmental science and received an EWU Presidential Scholarship for 2022-2023, chose to make her service project a continuation of the one she worked on for her Silver Award. This involved volunteering for Days for Girls, a nonprofit organization.
“I just had to make it bigger,” says Bednarczk, who has been involved in Girl Scouts for 13 years and recently became a lifetime member.
Her Gold Award addressed the issue of the lack of, and limited access to, feminine hygiene products, education and helpful organizations like Days for Girls in third world countries. Girls in these impoverished countries miss a week of school each month because they lack access to such essentials, preventing them from completing their education. They also suffer from increased teen pregnancies, miscarriages and death.
Bednarczyk held two presentations to spread awareness about this issue. She also put on a workshop where she taught participants how to make pad liners and connected them with the Days for Girls team. The completed liners were given to the organization and put into kits that will be shipped to Haiti.
Bednarczk began working towards this award during her sophomore year of high school, but had to pause her project during the pandemic. She resumed this work during her senior year and presented the project to the Girl Scout Gold Committee during her first quarter at EWU.
In addition to recognition, the Gold Award can potentially help recipients advance in the military, if that is the path they choose, by increasing access to scholarships and pay raises. The respected award is also a helpful addition to job and scholarship applications.
“When I got the award, I felt relieved that my dedication and work was not in vain and proud that I was able to make the world a better place, even if just a little bit,” says Bednarczyk.