Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Samantha Vaphiades Earns Gold Award by Assisting Senior Citizens

Samantha Vaphiades, a 2014 graduate of John Carroll Catholic High School, recently earned the Girl Scout Gold Award. Vaphiades earned her Gold Award for her project A Pathway to Beauty. Her project focused on enriching the lives of the senior citizens at St. Martins in the Pines by creating wheelchair accessible activities. Vaphiades organized the building of a stone pathway to the raised gardens so that residents in wheelchairs have access to the planters. Ingram planted vegetables that the residents will take care of, and she says they are relearning the skills of gardening and setting daily goals for themselves.  

“Working on this project has brought me closer to the senior citizens in the community and has helped me to see how disabilities impact so many,” Vaphiades said. “Working with the senior citizens in the gardens has given them a purpose to their day as they take care of their own plants. The pathway and gardens have inspired other Girl Scout troops to participate in planting with seniors.”

“By earning the Girl Scout Gold Award,” said Debbie McDowell-Tate, senior director of membership, volunteers and program with the Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama, “Samantha has become a community leader. Her accomplishments reflect leadership and citizenship skills that set her apart.”

The girl who goes for the Gold embraces challenges, achieves excellence, and works diligently to make the world a better place, in her own unique way. Her leadership, vision, and boundless energy are an inspiration to all Girl Scouts. Each girl earning her Gold Award demonstrates excellence through a leadership project totaling more than 65 hours. Girls who earn their Gold Award are also recognized by the President of the United States, the U.S. Congress, the U.S. Armed Services, state legislatures, colleges and universities for admission and scholarship opportunities, and the American Legion. Some universities and colleges offer scholarships unique to Gold Award recipients, and girls who enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces may receive advanced rank in recognition of their achievements.

About the Girl Scout Gold Award
The Gold Award represents the highest achievement in Girl Scouting; it recognizes girls in grades 9 through 12 who demonstrate extraordinary leadership through sustainable and measurable Take Action projects. Since 1916, girls have successfully answered the call to go gold, an act that indelibly marks them as accomplished members of their communities and the world. For more information about the Gold Award, visit

About Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama
Girl Scouting gives every girl access to life-changing experiences that inspire her to do something BIG! Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama is a United Way community partner and serves over 15,000 girl members grades K-12 and 5,000 volunteers in programs across 36 counties. For more information, call 800-734-4541 or visit