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Local Girl Scouts earn highest honor: Gold Award

Encinitas resident Angelina Courtney, Riya Madan of Carmel Valley, and Arden Woltman of Rancho Santa Fe have earned the Girl Scout Gold Award.

The Gold Award is the pinnacle of the Girl Scout leadership experience. To achieve it, Girl Scouts create sustainable projects that impact local and global issues.

To earn her Gold Award, Angelina helped high school students better articulate their ideas by hosting workshops to educate on the intricacies of writing. She shared the curriculum with other local high schools to help build community and understanding through writing.

Angelina Courtney


Angelina Courtney
(Courtesy)

Angelina graduated from San Dieguito High School Academy in 2019 and is now an English major at the University of Washington. She plans to work in publishing and public relations. Angelina was a member of Girl Scout Troop 1228, led by Kim Martos, for 12 years.

Riya joined Girl Scouts as a Brownie in Troop 1240, led by Cindy Collins. As a junior and cadette, she earned the Girl Scout Bronze and Silver Awards. A 2020 graduate of Canyon Crest Academy, Riya is an incoming freshman at UC Riverside this fall, majoring in biology.

Riya Madan


Riya Madan
(Courtesy)

For her Gold Award project, Riya educated teenagers and adults about the importance of having proper posture and daily exercise. She led in-person and Zoom classes, teaching simple back and core exercises, and promoted the exercise videos on YouTube.

Arden helped seniors living at an assisted living facility to know they are part of the community. Her Gold Award project included enlisting kindergarteners at a nearby school to make crafts that the seniors could use to decorate their rooms and hallways as a reminder that people are thinking of them.

Arden Woltman


Arden Woltman
(Courtesy)

She joined Girl Scouts in kindergarten as an “Individually Registered Member” and earned her Bronze and Silver Awards, as well as the I Live My Faith Award. A member of the Cathedral Catholic High School Class of 2021, Arden is captain of the dance team, an executive ambassador, and Options program mentor. She plans to study business and become a leader in marketing and advertising.

Angelina, Riya, and Arden were among 66 Girl Scouts from San Diego and Imperial counties who earned the Gold Award in 2020. They were recently honored by Girl Scouts San Diego during a virtual ceremony (available to view at sdgirlscouts.org/gold). The keynote speaker was 2019 National Gold Award Girl Scout Ana de Almeida Amaral, who described her ongoing work in social justice and racial equity. Ana joined guest speakers Senator Tammy Duckworth, a Gold Award Girl Scout; Girl Scouts of the USA CEO Sylvia Acevedo; and Girl Scouts San Diego Board Chair Liza Crisafi and CEO Carol Dedrich.

Addressing the Gold Award Girl Scouts, Dedrich stated, “You worked hard to create lasting change in communities across San Diego and the world. Today, you join an elite group of women who have achieved this honor.”

At the end of the virtual ceremony, each honoree received a surprise package that included a framed photograph of herself, letters of commendation from elected officials, and handwritten notes from Girl Scouts San Diego staff.

The Gold Award is the mark of the truly remarkable. Since 1916, Girl Scouts have answered the call to drive lasting, impactful change. 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.

Girl Scouts is the world’s best leadership development organization for girls (#BestPlace4Girls). All girls in grades K-12 and adult volunteers are welcome to join Girl Scouts. For more information, contact Girl Scouts San Diego Regional Recruitment Specialist Andrea Renteria at 619-610-0774, or arenteria@sdgirlscouts.org, or visit sdgirlscouts.org.


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