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West Baldwin Girl Receives $5,000 Gold Award Scholarship from Girl Scouts of USA for Creating Field Hockey Program Benefitting Disadvantaged Youth

WEST BALDWIN, ME — Gold Award Girl Scout from West Baldwin, Olivia Marion, recently received $5,000 in scholarship funding from the Girl Scouts of the United States of America (GSUSA) for her outstanding 2023 Gold Award project. This impressive GSUSA scholarship is only granted to one girl per council, making Marion the only Girl Scout in Maine to receive the national honor this year. 


The Gold Award is the most prestigious honor that a Girl Scout Senior or Ambassador can earn by completing a project that addresses a relevant community issue they feel passionately about. According to recent research, Gold Award Girl Scouts are more likely to fill leadership roles at work and in their personal lives and are more civically engaged than their non-Girl Scout peers. This year, GSUSA awarded scholarships to 110 Girl Scouts across the country.

Identifying a lack of accessible sporting programs for youth members of her Sacopee Valley school community, Marion knew she wanted to combine her passion for field hockey with a sustainable solution. She learned that by creating an inclusive sports initiative, she could improve overall health and well-being for younger members of her community while alleviating the financial strain that often accompanies organized sports clubs in high school. 

In collaboration with her local recreation department, Marion developed a comprehensive field hockey program complete with a coaching guide, a donated equipment loan system, and staffing—coordinating a volunteer-hours exchange with the high school’s field hockey team to assist in guidance. Through her rewarding project, Marion gained essential leadership skills such as communication, patience, trust, time management, problem solving, and the ability to delegate tasks. 


“I like the feeling of accomplishing something that benefits others. It is very rewarding,” says Marion upon reflection. 


“The Gold Award showcases the extremely powerful impact that our Girl Scouts have on their communities. Olivia’s project is a perfect example of that. Investing in Girl Scout futures through scholarships such as this one plays a crucial role in inspiring action as these young leaders enter the adult world,” says GSME CEO Mara Robinov-Moorhead. 


Marion was honored with her Gold Award announcement at the Girl Scouts of Maine (GSME) 2023 Annual Celebration on May 13 at Messalonskee Performing Arts Center in Oakland. This year’s GSUSA Gold Award Scholarship recipients from all across the country will be honored in July. 


Currently, GSME is collaborating with Central Maine Community College (CMCC) to provide a Gold Award Internship for Senior and Ambassador Girl Scouts. This unique opportunity enables interns to earn college credit while completing the first five steps of the Gold Award. For more details regarding eligibility and the internship program, please visit the GSME website.




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