Girl Scout goes for gold

 

The Girl Scouts started over a century ago, and the group has grown to include 2.6 million girls and women in 92 countries! See how one young woman created a project to help save the environment and took home Girl Scout gold.

"In girl scouting we talk about G-I-R-L, go-getter, innovator, risk taker and leader," says Chelsea Wilkerson, CEO of Girl Scouts of Tropical Florida.

Rachel Mazyck, Girl Scout Troop 347, has earned a lot of badges through her years as a Girl Scout.

"I joined when I was in the third grade or so," Mazyck said.

But nothing means more to her than her most recent project.

That earned her the highest honor in the 100-year-old organization.

"Earning a Girl Scout gold award is truly the culmination of a young woman's girl scouting experience," Wilkerson explained.

At 16, Mazyck proposed a plan to plant hundreds of mangroves along the coastline.

Mazyck said, "I wanted to do this project to bring awareness to the coastal erosion that happened in Florida due to the sea level rise."

She collected over 200 seedlings and raised them at a local university's greenhouse.

"Every week I would go to the FIU Biscayne Bay campus in the greenhouse and I would check on them," she explained.

Eleven months later, they were ready to plant! But Mayzck faced even more challenges when a park said no.

"But it didn't stop me, I just said I'll keep pushing forward until I find a new location," Mayzck said.

"You know this is a young woman who can face the challenge, she can take on obstacles, and she can conquer them," says Wilkerson.

Mayzck recruited middle school students for the planting and now they're reaping what they sowed.

"I get to see the results every time I come back here and know that it's going to last longer than me which truly means a lot," she said.

Looking back at her journey, Mayzck says don't let the details bog you down.

"Setting minor goals until you get to the bigger picture," she said.

Now this golden Girl Scout leaves behind a legacy for generations to come.

Mayzck is now studying geography in college and joined student government. She is also a member of the first and proud organization which is for first generation students. She credits the Girl Scouts for her leadership skills and encourages all parents to have their daughters join. For more information on the Girl Scouts and local councils near you, visit GirlScouts.org.