Girl Scouts’ Highest Awards For Area Girls

Five East Oahu girls are among these Hawaii Girl Scouts who earned their Gold Award in 2013, recognized April 27 for projects that changed their communities: (front, from left) Alyssa Lau, Dayna Sur, Taylor Weston, Kayla Suganuma, Allexandria Blacksmith, Virginia Rhodes, Cori Yoshida, Chase Suehiro, (back) Alanna Simao, Dana Miyashiro, Corin Thornburg, Erin Yim and Kaila Wang. Photo from Girl Scouts of Hawaii.

Five East Oahu Girl Scouts are among 15 to earn their Gold Award this year, and a ceremony this past spring acknowledged their role in changing the world around them.

Hawaii Kai teen Kaila Wang’s project, Adopt-a-Veteran, already has encouraged other teenagers to spend time with veterans. Four other area scouts also were recognized for their Gold Award projects: Hawaii Kai’s Alyssa Liem for Transforming Young Lives with Mentoring, Kaimuki’s Chase Suehiro for Hawaii 5210 ‘Go!’ Kits for Breakfast, Hawaii Kai’s Taylor Weston for PB&J Awareness Program, and Hawaii Kai’s Cori Yoshida for Helping Buddies for VIP Players.

“The projects have shown that girls and young women today can accomplish anything they set their mind to,” said Candice Naito, senior vice president of First Hawaiian Bank and former Girl Scouts of Hawaii board member. (The bank’s foundation supported the Gold Award process with a $10,000 grant.)

Other Gold winners are Erin Yim (Children’s Justice Center Support Books), Erica Sampaga (Swim Teams), Virginia Rhodes (Tsunami Safety for Seniors), Dana Miyashiro (Mural of Hope), Alyssa Lau (Early Breast Cancer De’Duck’tion), Alanna Simao (Sharing Shelves), Kayla Suganuma (Make a Difference – Special Olympics), Dayna Sur (More Than Just a Game), Corin Thornburg (Hydroponics Taro Garden) and Allexandria Blacksmith (To Give Back Around the World).

“The award provides an extraordinary opportunity for young women to contribute to the community while developing leadership skills,” added board chairwoman Lori Lum.

Each awardee had to devote at least 60 hours to their project, which “must create measurable and sustainable change in the community.”