Ainsley Snyder Chloe Stoops Rhiannon Ridley

Three Gilbert Girl Scouts will be honored later this month with the Gold Award.

The Gilbert teens – Rhiannon Ridley, Ainsley Snyder and Chloe Stoops – are among 19 who will be celebrated in a virtual ceremony March 27 for earning Girl Scouts’ highest award.

Considered the hardest to earn, the Gold Award challenges high school-age Girl Scouts to take action in their communities by tackling an issue they are passionate about and developing sustainable solutions. 

“Recipients of Girl Scouts’ highest honor are part of an elite group of Girl Scouts who have distinguished themselves as prominent leaders in their communities and as true change-makers,” said Tamara Woodbury, CEO for Girl Scouts of America Cactus-Pine Council.

Woodbury called the winners “visionary leaders” and noted that this year’s winners have addressed a number of major issues – such as teaching others about climate change and sustainability, helping eliminate the stigma around mental health and creating libraries and activity stations for seniors in assisted living centers.

In addition, their projects help them develop their collaboration and problem-solving skills, while gaining confidence and lifelong leadership capabilities as well as leaving a positive impact.

“Gold Award Girl Scouts are proven to show significantly higher success in life reaching their goals in education, career, and volunteer work, compared to non-alums,” said Woodbury.

With the Gold Award, girls can take advantage of unique scholarship opportunities, be entitled to enlist at a higher pay grade when they join the military, and distinguish themselves among the competition in the college admissions process and when entering the workforce.

Here’s a closer look at the three Gilbert Gold Award winners.

Rhiannon Ridley

While visiting her grandmother at a memory care facility, Rhiannon learned that center had been missing some hands-on activity stations. 

This impacted the residents’ daily routines, and Rhiannon wanted to ensure the residents and her grandmother stayed engaged. 

Using some of her cookie sale proceeds and donations, she installed several activity stations and painted a few pictures to hang up around the facility. 

The stations included a baby station where residents can take care of baby dolls, a pet care station, and a dress up station complete with dresses and ties and hats. 

“The residents have expressed how much joy this brought them and its positive impact on their mental health,” a Girl Scouts spokeswoman said. “A lesson Rhiannon learned during this process was being patient and that anything can achieved with hard work and time.”

A 12-year member of Girl Scouts, she also said her goal is “to be kind and respectful to everyone no matter who they are, how they are, or how they act.” After graduating from Mesquite High School, she plans to attend an in-state college or the Air Force Academy.

 

Ainsley Snyder

The rainwater recycling garden that Ainsley built for Gilbert Classical Academy’s Special Education Department includes sustainable garden boxes and curriculum for students to develop fine motor skills through gardening. 

She created a gutter system to collect rainwater, designed and built the boxes and developed the program guide to make the project sustainable. 

The program focuses on helping students exercise their hand-eye coordination and small muscle movements by caring for the garden. 

The installation of the garden has provided the opportunity for many students to develop their skills for years to come. She called it “very rewarding” to know she provided skill-building opportunities for others for years to come. 

She said being a Girl Scout for 12 years gave her many opportunities she wouldn’t have had otherwise, and helped her become a well-rounded adult. Ainsley is now attending Idaho State University on a golf scholarship, studying chemistry and mathematics for secondary education.

 

Chloe Stoops

Fascinated by science since a young age and getting ready for college, Chloe was concerned about the lack of female representation and role models in STEM fields.

 As she learned of all the challenges women face and the shocking low numbers of women in STEM, she wanted to make sure future generations of women didn’t face these. For several months, Chloe researched and interviewed several female STEM professionals and shared their stories on a website she built called womeninstemgoldaward.com

In addition, she shared resources for girls to help stimulate interest in these fields or to get started in one! 

To spread awareness, Chloe distributed business cards with her website at schools and secured a place in the Arizona State University Chapter of Society of Women Engineers newsletter and website.

 “I hope this will encourage other girls, like myself. Over the course of my project, I have learned that I have the ability to make a lasting impact on others,” said Chloe, a 13-year Scout who plans major in aerospace engineering and minor in astrophysics.