Wilton residents Dilshad Dinshaw, Lauren Hanny and Sara Pollak were among the 70 scouts honored at Girl Scouts of Connecticut’s Gold Award Expo and Banquet on June 3, for earning the highest award in Girl Scouting — the Girl Scout Gold Award.

Only 6% of Girl Scouts nationwide earn the Gold Award, which requires scouts in ninth through 12th grade to spend at least 80 hours researching issues, assessing community needs and resources, building teams and making sustainable impacts in their communities.

Receiving the award reflects scouts’ leadership and citizenship skills, setting them apart as community leaders.


Dilshad Dinshaw


Dilshad’s project focused on saving the declining monarch butterfly population and preserving their migratory routes by creating “butterfly stops.”

She gave presentations at preschools, summer camps and troop meetings on the important role milkweed plants play in a butterfly’s life.

She also had students plant milkweed seeds in pots and take them home to transplant in their backyards, created a pollinator garden, and planted more than 140 milkweed plants along the Norwalk River Valley Trail.

Dilshad is a Wilton High School rising senior who plans to study international relations or environmental studies after she graduates.


Lauren Hanny


Lauren worked with New Canaan Mounted Troop, a nonprofit organization that offers riding and therapeutic programs for individuals, to launch a program called Adopt a Horse. The program allows people to virtually adopt horses and ponies, help with daily animal needs and help keep the troop’s barn sustainable.

For her project, Lauren took photographs of the horses and advertised them through newspaper articles and fliers distributed throughout surrounding communities. Lauren rides at the barn and hoped to spread awareness through presentations and by hosting local booths in surrounding towns.

Lauren graduated from Wilton High School in 2017 and is a student at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. The New Canaan Mounted Troop plans to find someone to run and expand the Adopt a Horse program.


Sara Pollak


Sara worked with the myFace Organization, a nonprofit dedicated to transforming the lives of patients with facial differences, to create a video for its Wonder Curriculum.

Sara, who has a rare cranial genetic disorder called Apert syndrome, wanted to share her story and let others know they are not alone through her Gold Award project.

Her video features teens and adults from the myFace support groups telling their stories like evocative poetry, bringing back many good and bad memories. The video will be on a global website for teachers to use as a resource with the book Wonder by R.J. Palacio.

Sara graduated from Wilton High School in 2017 and attends Endicott College in Beverly, Mass., where she’s majoring in hospitality with a concentration in event planning and minoring in communications.

Information: gsofct.org.