Elizabeth has recently won her Gold Award with a project that aimed to educate, raise awareness and motivate people to pick up trash and properly throw away their trash. She built a website that allowed people to document the difference they were making by helping pick up litter in their area. Her project has has a global impact as efforts from California, New York, Japan, Hong Kong and the Caribbean to name a few were documented. She has learned to be a leader, make a difference in the world and to share her passion with others. She plans to attend the University of Arizona to study Biochemistry and attend Colorado State University after for veterinary school.
Q. How long have you been involved in the Girl Scouts?
A. I have been involved in Girl Scouts since kindergarten. This is my thirteenth year.
Q. Do you think being a Girl Scout will carry over into your adult life? If so, what impact do you think it’s had on you?
A. Yes, it will because I have learned many lessons through Girl Scouts that made me who I am today. For example, we learned to value friendship, especially through a song we sang at camp. The most important line of the song is, “make new friends but keep the old, one is silver and the others gold.” This taught us to value every friend and to never cast one away. By doing my Gold Award project I also realized the power of the Internet and word of mouth. I learned that by giving people an opportunity to make a difference, they will surprise me with their capability for good.
Q. Can you tell us about your website? What is your mission?
A. My mission was to reach as many people as possible and educate them on the detrimental effects of litter and how it endangers animals. I did this by creating a website that educated society and called for them to pick up their corner of the planet. I posted my website on Facebook and gave the public a solution on how to make a difference. A person would go to the website to learn about the detrimental effects of careless littering on wildlife. Participants then worked in groups to pick up and raise awareness on the extent of this issue. People realized how littering has become a part of human nature, and how those habits need to change. As I went back through the photos submitted online, I realized how many strangers I had impacted. Because of this project, a teacher took her class of 22 second graders to work at a local park; she is teaching a whole new generation about responsibility. I was in awe of how people all over the world responded and spread the word. I managed to reach 16 countries from nearly every continent and 15 different states from coast to coast with over 400 participants. I realized that social media’s power can be harnessed to make a real difference in real issues with real people.
Q. Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten years?
A. In five years I hope to be at Colorado State University studying to become a veterinarian. In ten years I hope to be practicing veterinary medicine and working towards a double certification in surgery.
Q. Has there been any one person who’s influenced you the most?
A. My veterinarian, Dr. McComb, has served as a role model to me because of his passion towards animals. Once I saw him in surgery, I realized I want to become a double board certified veterinary surgeon.
His passion for animals inspired me.