Girl Scouts and Sweet Briar award first joint scholarship

Lauren Jones Easter Eggs
Lauren Jones at the community market promoting her Gold Award

Sweet Briar College and the Girls Scouts of the USA have awarded their first joint scholarships. The 2018 Girl Scouts Gold Award Scholarship recipients are Reesa Artz, of Sacramento, Calif., and Lauren Jones, of Danville, Va.

Both incoming first-years, Artz attends St. Francis High School, while Jones is finishing up her senior year at George Washington High School.

To be eligible for the scholarship, each recipient had to be accepted to Sweet Briar and commit to attend; be a current or recent active member in a Girl Scout troop and achieve the Girl Scout Gold Award; submit a letter of recommendation from the troop leader; and write an essay on how she has demonstrated commitment to community service, leadership and/or sustainability. Each award is valued at $2,500 per year for four years, provided a GPA of 3.0 or better is maintained.

Jones completed nearly 800 hours of community service during her high school career. Working in Virginia’s state parks and with special-needs children topped her list of favorite volunteer activities. To earn her Gold Award, she helped bring the Easter Bunny to the Southside Audible Egg Hunt for blind and visually impaired children.

“I imagine myself volunteering for as long as I am able,” she concluded her essay. “I cannot think of a better way to build my community.”

Reesa Artz
Reesa Artz volunteering with All About Rabbits

Artz also volunteered many hours in a variety of ways, from knitting baby blankets for UC Davis Children’s Hospital to rescuing rabbits to launching a teen art group at the Sacramento Fine Arts Center. But no matter what she’s doing, it’s about promoting volunteerism itself, she says.

“I hope my efforts show the youth how important and rewarding community service can be,” Artz wrote in her essay. “I have selected to focus on volunteerism as a whole to increase the kindness and love in society today.”

Both recipients are exactly what the two organizations envisioned when they announced the scholarship in December.

“Sweet Briar College and the Girl Scouts share a commitment to supporting young women who are go-getters, innovators, risk-takers and leaders,” said Melissa Farmer Richards, vice president for communications and enrollment management at Sweet Briar.

Nikki Williams, chief executive officer for the Girl Scouts of Virginia Skyline Council, also saw parallels between the two curricula: “Sweet Briar’s new core curriculum focused on women’s leadership and the Girl Scout leadership experience have a compelling synergy.”

An ongoing opportunity for both organizations, the scholarship will continue to be offered to future first-years. For more information on the Girl Scouts Gold Award Scholarship and Sweet Briar’s more than 250 other scholarship opportunities, visit our financial aid website.