Thursday, April 21, 2016

Gold Award Spotlight: Teen Dating Violence Awareness

Savannah, a Girl Scout Senior from Yorktown, has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement a girl can earn in Girl Scouting.

For her project, Savannah focused raising awareness about teen dating violence. She wanted to educate people in the community about the prevalence of the issue, ways to recognize signs of dating violence and how to get help. In order to do this, Savannah created an informational brochure for Transitions Family Violence Services (TVFS) in Hampton. Savannah partnered with Sanu Dieng from TVFS and Michelle Nicole, a local artist and advocate, to host educational sessions across the Peninsula. At each session, Savannah distributed her brochure, shared facts about teen dating violence with Dieng and helped Nicole share her story about her personal experiences with teen dating violence.

“Teen dating violence is a local and national problem,” Savannah said. “I became aware of the problem in middle school when a friend was in an unhealthy relationship. It is important for teens to recognize the signs of dating violence and know how and where to get help.”

In February, which is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, Savannah held an awareness event at her school. Savannah also gave copies of her brochure to the school, where they are given to students who seek counseling.

The Gold Award requires girls to identify an issue in the community and carry out a Take Action project to address the matter through leadership work. Nationwide, less than six percent of eligible Girl Scouts earn the Gold Award, which adds Savannah to an elite group of female leaders across the country with the honor. In 2016, Girl Scouts are celebrating 100 years of girls changing the world during the centennial year of the Girl Scout Gold Award.