By: Dan Pittman
Published: January 30, 2023
IRVINE...2022 Gold Award Girl Scout Gabrielle DeCuir, 16, a junior at Placentia’s Valencia High School, will represent Girl Scouts of Orange County (GSOC) as a community hero at the Anaheim Ducks Women in Sports Night, Saturday, January 28, at the Honda Center.
In honor of National Girls and Women in Sports Day (Feb. 1) and International Women's Day (Mar. 8), the Ducks will celebrate trailblazers in women and girls' sports, with the goal of inspiring the next generation of athletes and leaders in the community. As part of Women in Sports Night, the Ducks will raise awareness and funds for Girl Scouts of Orange County through the Anaheim Ducks Foundation.
Ducks' owner Susan Samueli will take part in an on-ice pregame ceremony to present the team's Community Hero award to DeCuir for her Sports and STEM related Gold Award project, Hoops & Coders. Also, a Girl Scouts information booth will be located at the Puck Drop Patio educating Ducks fans about Girl Scouts of Orange County.
Last year, DeCuir completed her take-action project to earn Girl Scout’s esteemed Gold Award. The Girl Scout Gold Award is available to high school girls who drive sustainable change on issues in their communities and beyond.
DeCuir completed her project as a member of the sixth Fellowship cohort of the Dragon Kim Foundation, an Orange County, California-based nonprofit - http://dragonkimfoundation.org - whose mission is to inspire our youth to impact their communities while discovering and pursuing their passions. She was also a finalist in the annual Dragon Challenge.
“We are incredibly proud of Gabrielle for earning Girl Scouts’ highest award for girls,” said Vikki Shepp, CEO of Girl Scouts of Orange County. “Gold Award Girl Scouts are role models and real-life heroes who use everything they’ve learned as a Girl Scout to make a lasting change in their world.”
Along with project partner Shrika Andhe, also a Valencia High School student, DeCuir received a $5,000 grant to carry out their unique community service project that used a curriculum they developed to introduce girls and young women, primarily in elementary and middle school, to computer science and basketball.
DeCuir and Andhe’s goal was to show them they can achieve success in industries where women are historically underrepresented. They developed a 57-page workbook that was implemented at Higher Ground Youth & Family Services, a mentoring organization for underserved youth living in Anaheim, and the Boys & Girls Club of Brea - Placentia - Yorba Linda.
Each participant developed an app based on their personal interests, including softball, music, art, sewing, languages, storytelling, baking, movies, and many more. The project directly benefitted 45 students and indirectly touched another 106 people. The teens received an additional $5,000 grant at the Challenge to continue their work.
This year’s class of Gold Award Girl Scouts invested over 350,000 hours in taking action to destigmatize conversations about mental health, raise awareness about racism in the healthcare system, organize a youth movement for environmental advocacy, document teens’ experiences of the pandemic in state archives, increase LGBTQ+ inclusion, and more.
“We are proud of Gabrielle for achieving her Gold Award and she and Shrika for being role models for the young women their brilliant Fellowship project served,” said Dragon Kim Foundation Board Chairman and Co-founder Daniel Kim.
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