Three Scottsdale youths earn highest honor awarded by Girl Scouts

Jamie Behymer and friends celebrate Jamie's "Falcon Awesome" program at Cactus Shadows High School.

Jamie Behymer and friends celebrate Jamie’s “Falcon Awesome” program at Cactus Shadows High School.

Three Scottsdale Girl Scouts have earned their Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor a Girl Scout can receive.

The award requires a girl to stretch her skills and step forward as a leader to meet a local or global need and create a sustainable change. In the process, she develops and enhances her own leadership, determination, creativity and confidence.

“Earning the Girl Scout Gold Award is truly a significant achievement,” said Tamara Woodbury, chief executive officer of Girl Scouts-Arizona Cactus-Pine Council.

“These girls saw a need in their communities, developed a plan and took action to resolve the issue. Their dedication, perseverance, and leadership is making the world a better place.”

Kelsey Yurek

Kelsey Yurek

Completing a Gold Award project usually takes 18 to 24 months and often involves seeking in-kind donations and recruiting volunteers. Gold Awardees distinguish themselves in the college admission process, earn college scholarships and enter the military one rank higher.

The girls were honored at the 2015 Girl Scout Gold Award Celebration March 28 at the Glendale Civic Center.

The awardees are:

* Kelsey Yurek, whose project was “The Tails of Adopting: Human Education and Service.”

Kelsey focused her Gold Award on educating children about the causes and effects of animal overpopulation. She made presentations about the issue to various children’s organizations and organized a donation drive to help the shelter meet current needs, collecting 171 blankets, 315 sweaters and 260 toys.

Lauren Koltes

Lauren Koltes

* Lauren Koltes, whose project was “House of Hope Mural.”

Lauren’s Gold Award focused on beautifying the campus garden at House of Refuge, a faith-based organization that helps families in crisis. To do this, she painted a huge mural of a cross in a dessert landscape. Nearly all the supplies for the project were donated and the mural took five days to complete.

* Jamie Behymer, recognized for her project, “Falcon Awesome.”

Jaimie’s mission was to foster respect and kindness among students. To do this, she encouraged all students to take a “Falcon Oath,” which promotes treating others with respect and striving for excellence. More than 90 percent of students took the oath and the school administration plans to make this a campus tradition.

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