Rancho Santa Fe residents earn Girl Scout Gold Award


Two Rancho Santa Fe residents — and 2013 Canyon Crest Academy graduates — recently earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the organization’s highest honor, for their outstanding commitment to community service. Troop 1109’s Rachel Marren and Malia Rappaport completed their unique service projects after three years of planning and preparation.

For her Gold Award project, Marren renovated the previously disorganized and poorly stocked general store at Seacrest Village Retirement Communities. Because many residents cannot drive, the Seacrest shop is their only place to buy necessary items on short notice. Marren brought in volunteers to organize merchandise and help employees manage inventory. The new general store gives seniors immediate access to essential products and increases the shop’s potential profitability. Marren will begin her freshman year at Rice University in the fall.

Rappaport, a rising San Diego State University freshman, educated local elementary school students about disabilities through presentations focusing on tolerance and acceptance. Rappaport believes that younger students are more receptive to new ideas and, as such, she felt she could positively influence them to be more inclusive of their peers. Rappaport is a student leader with “I Am Norm,” a national campaign that redefines “normal” and promotes inclusivity. She also created an “I Am Norm” club at Canyon Crest Academy.

Marren and Rappaport are among the 48 San Diego Girl Scouts who earned the Gold Award this year. Just 5.4 percent of Girl Scouts nationwide achieve this level of recognition. The roots of the award are in the history of the organization, whose tradition of the highest leadership awards for Girl Scouts has included The Golden Eaglet of Merit (1916-1919), The Golden Eagle (1919-1938), First Class (1938-1982) and The Curved Bar (1940-1980). In 1980, the name became the Girl Scout Gold Award. Through the years, approximately one million Girl Scouts have earned one of these prestigious service awards.

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