Peoria Girl Scout Plans to Change the World, One Good Turn at a Time

Ariel Carr earns prestigious recognition from Girl Scouts for her visionary leadership.

On any given Friday during her junior year, Ariel Carr could be found sneaking into her high school’s office, concealing a bouquet of flowers in a big black trash bag. The flowers were handed off to a secretary, who then selected a teacher at random to receive them. Filled with happiness knowing that her kind act would bring a smile to someone’s face, Ariel would go on with her day as usual.

Out of this routine, Ariel’s idea for her Girl Scout Gold Award service project was born. “Keep it Kind” is a pay-it-forward kindness initiative. It works like this: Ariel does a kind act for someone. Then she hands the recipient a “Keep it Kind” card, challenging the recipient to perform a kind act for someone else and pass the card along. Thus, Ariel’s first kind act creates a thread of kind gestures that could, in theory, last forever.

“It’s rare to see people go out of their way in everyday life to make some else’s day,” Ariel says, adding that doing a good deed can be as simple as asking how someone’s day is going, and then really listening. “The gratitude that you feel after receiving a random act of kindness is special. I want to share that feeling with as many people as possible,” Ariel says.

A busy student, tennis player and avid volunteer, Ariel knows how easy it is to get caught up in the routines of day-to-day life. But her optimism, generous attitude and willingness to serve others offers a glimpse into why she was selected to receive the Visionary Award at this year’s Women & Young Women of Distinction luncheon.

“To me, being a visionary leader is always looking to improve and make the future better. It’s putting your best self forward, and knowing how to pull the best out of others.”

She attributes Girl Scouts for helping her develop the confidence and courage to step forward as a leader. “I remember working on group projects in elementary school; girls weren’t expected to have ideas or contribute their thoughts. That wasn’t ok with me,” Ariel says.

A senior at Centennial High School this year, Ariel ranks ninth in her class. She has learned to speak her mind; but it’s her unique ability to ensure that everyone else’s voice is heard that makes her a powerful leader.

“Being a leader doesn’t mean you do everything by yourself. It’s important that you have people by your side helping you, and sharing their ideas.”

To learn more about the Women and Young Women of Distinction luncheon, or how you can support girls like Ariel, visit



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