FOREST DALE— Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains (GSGWM) announced April 6 that high school senior and National Guard soldier Christina Wiles of Forest Dale, recently earned her Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor a Girl Scout can earn, for her Arms Open project, a mentoring program between Middlebury Union High School students and Mary Hogan Elementary schoolchildren.
Wiles will advance two ranks in the Vermont National Guard in recognition for her achievement.
For her Arms Open project, Wiles worked for nearly a year developing a student mentorship program that pairs juniors and seniors in high school with students in grades three through six, to provide one-on-one support through reading, writing, playing sports, assisting with school projects and even following teacher guidance to help younger kids who may be having difficulty with specific assignments. The basis of the mentoring program is to bring together kids of all ages within the community to create a bond and eliminate the bullying activities that Wiles witnessed occurring outside of school. A mentoring manual will provide guidance and policies for Wiles’ program and will serve as a handbook for future mentors long after she has graduated.
“Christina Wiles is a part of the next generation of female go-getters, innovators, risk-takers, and leaders. As a Girl Scout Gold Award recipient, she brings distinction to GSGWM and her community,” said Patricia Mellor, CEO of the Girl Scouts chapter. “Her leadership and dedication have created a lasting change in her community through her Arms Open Gold Award project. Encouraging others to continue her footsteps, Christina is an incredible example of what it means to be a young woman of courage, confidence, and character, who is making the world a better place.”
According to the Girl Scout Research Institute’s report, The Power of the Girl Scout Gold Award: Excellence in Leadership and Life, Girl Scout Gold Award recipients receive greater lifetime benefits than their peers with regard to positive sense of self, life satisfaction, leadership, life success, community service, and civic engagement, thanks to their experience in Girl Scouting, including earning their Gold Award.
Joining Girl Scouts in kindergarten as a Daisy, Wiles began working on her Girl Scout Gold Award in the fall of 2017.
Wiles is planning to attend George Mason University in the fall.