With projects spanning gender identity and food insecurity affecting people and their pets, Wilton Girl Scouts Olivia Buse, Juliana Musilli, and Emily Sklar have earned the Gold Award, the highest award in Girl Scouting. They were recognized at the organization’s Gold Award Celebration on June 2 at Cascades in Hamden.

The Girl Scout Gold Award requires Girl Scouts in ninth through 12th grade to spend at least 80 hours researching issues, assessing community needs and resources, building a team, and making a sustainable impact in the community. A Gold Award Girl Scout’s accomplishments reflect leadership and citizenship skills that set her apart as a community leader.

Olivia developed the LGBT Ed Project to assist local LGBT youth and to educate their families and friends. The four components of her presentation address the various types of romantic attraction, the common categories of sexuality, the spectrum of gender identity, and a “crash course” as a succinct summary. The Gay-Lesbian-Straight Education Network will continue to promote her work throughout the state in the future. Upon finishing her first year at Furman University, Olivia plans to major in history, with the ultimate goal of becoming a history professor or museum curator.

To make healthy meals accessible to food-insecure communities in and around Wilton, Juliana started a YouTube channel called “Recipe for Destiny,” in which she took ingredients donated to the local food pantry and demonstrated how to prepare healthy dishes that adults and children would enjoy. The channel is still active, updated, and accessible to pantry users, as is a list of recipes on hand at the pantry. She graduated from Wilton High School this month and plans to study business at Ohio State.

After discovering many American families’ financial inability to feed their pets adequately, Emily set up a recurring pet-food donation to local pantries, filling a need that over 80 percent of pantries had expressed. All extra donations are given to a nearby animal shelter. A 2018 graduate of the Jewish High School of Connecticut, Emily studies nutrition biology at the University of California Davis with an eye to a career in medicine.

“I am so proud of all of our Gold Award Girl Scouts for taking the lead and spending over 80 hours solving real problems in their communities,” said Mary Barneby, CEO of Girl Scouts of Connecticut. “Nationally, fewer than 6 percent of girls earn the highest award in Girl Scouting. By earning this award, Girl Scouts set themselves apart as leaders in their community and true examples of go-getters, innovators, risk-takers, and leaders.”’

For more information about the Gold Award or how to become a Gold Award volunteer or mentor, visit gsofct.org.