Encinitas Girl Scouts earn Gold Award

Left to right: Alexa Mendes, Lauren Hohmeyer, Karina Martos, and (not pictured) Jenna Levin are new Gold Award Girl Scouts.
Left to right: Alexa Mendes, Lauren Hohmeyer, Karina Martos, and (not pictured) Jenna Levin are new Gold Award Girl Scouts.

Lauren Hohmeyer, Jenna Levin, Alexa Mendes, and Karina Martos of Encinitas have earned the Girl Scout Gold Award. They were among 61 young women honored by Girl Scouts San Diego during a recent ceremony at the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines.

Achieving the award is the pinnacle of the Girl Scout leadership experience. To earn it, Girl Scouts change the world by creating sustainable solutions that address society’s greatest challenges.

For her Gold Award project, Lauren Hohmeyer developed a website for the North Coast Y-Service Club to educate the community about the organization’s mission. Her project elevated awareness and interest in the club and helped increase membership. She also taught club representatives how to maintain and update the website for future use. She previously earned the Girl Scout Silver Award—the highest award for Girl Scout Cadettes—as a member of Troop 1297, led by her mother, Mary Hohmeyer. Lauren graduated from San Dieguito High School Academy in 2018, where she played lacrosse and field hockey. She currently attends Northern Arizona University, majoring in criminology and sociology. She aspires to becoming a forensic photographer and/or detective.

In collaboration with an illustrator and a team of photographers, Jenna self-published a children’s book, A Little Help, a Big Difference, which features a collection of stories comparing mutualistic relationships in nature to how helping others can also benefit one’s own self. She made her book available online and also read it to elementary school students. A member of Girl Scout Troop 1636, Jenna joined Girl Scouts as a Daisy. She earned both the Bronze and Silver Awards. She graduated from San Dieguito High School Academy in 2019, and will attend UC Berkley in the fall, where she plans to major in life science or pre-med and minor in Spanish.

Alexa earned her Gold Award by educating peers about stress management. She produced a website (, videos, and multilingual books describing eight stress-relieving techniques. Alexa joined Troop 1689—led by her mother, Susan Mendes—in kindergarten. The third-generation Girl Scout previously earned the Bronze and Silver Awards and participated in Girl Scouts San Diego’s Camp Exec. Alexa, a member of the San Dieguito High School Class of 2021, played on the CIF championship-winning girls’ varsity basketball team, was the sophomore ASB director, and was twice named Student of the Year by the Encinitas Chamber of Commerce. She is taking neuroscience and fiction writing courses this summer at Stanford University.

After discovering that 25 percent of teenagers have been diagnosed with anxiety disorders, Karina led an educational campaign at Dehesa Charter School for her Gold Award project. She produced videos and interactive presentations to raise awareness about different forms of anxiety and treatment options. Karina’s school plans to incorporate her curriculum within its campuses in San Diego, Riverside and Orange County. She joined Girl Scouts in kindergarten as a member of Girl Scout Troop 1228, led by her mother, Girl Scout alum Kim Martos. Karina earned the Girl Scout Bronze, Silver, and Torch Awards, and was named an Emerging Leader Girl Scouts. She graduated from Dehesa Charter School in January and is currently enrolled in Mira Costa College with plans to transfer to a four-year university.

“Gold Award Girl Scouts change the world for the better, and change it for good!” said Girl Scouts San Diego CEO Carol M. Dedrich. “Our 2019 honorees embody everything this achievement stands for.”

The Gold Award enables young women to distinguish themselves in the college admissions process, earn college scholarships, and enlisting in the military at a higher pay grade. Gold Award Girl Scouts are an elite group of individuals, and many have gone on to become change-makers and prominent leaders in their communities.

Hundreds of family members, friends, community leaders, and Girl Scout volunteers attended the local Gold Award event. The keynote speaker was Coreen Petti, associate vice president of advancement marketing and strategic partnerships at the University of San Diego, and board chair emeritus of Our Lady of Peace Academy. She is a Gold Award Girl Scout, a Girl Scouts San Diego Cool Woman of 2019, a former troop leader, and member of a multi-generational Girl Scout family.

Through programs focused on the outdoors, STEM, life skills, outdoor adventure, and entrepreneurship, Girl Scouts prepares girls for a lifetime of leadership. All girls in grades K-12 and adult volunteers are welcome join any time during the year. For details, contact Girl Scouts San Diego Regional Recruitment Specialist Sara Fletcher at 619-610-0694, or, or visit