Valpo freshman Carly Nieman ’24, an integrated business and engineering major, was awarded the Gold Award by the Girl Scouts of the United States of America. Her Gold Award project involved working with teachers and administration at EBSOLA Dual Language in Kenosha, Wisconsin, to provide access to books for students in the community.

Nieman’s passion for providing access to literary resources came when she discovered unused books while volunteering at the school where her mother works. With no library within walking distance and no other opportunities for students to bring books home from school, she was inspired to create a bilingual book room at the school.

“Being named a National Gold Award Girl Scout is definitely an honor. Finishing this project and seeing the joy on the kids’ faces was so important to me — and it tied together everything I’ve learned through Girl Scouts about supporting my community,” Nieman says. “The students might think it’s just cool to get a story they want to read, but the truth is, once a kid gets a book in their hands, the opportunities are endless.”

The Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest achievement a Girl Scout can earn, acknowledges the power behind each Gold Award recipient’s dedication to not only empowering and bettering herself, but also to making the world a better place for others.

The Girl Scouts of The United States of America is the first and largest girl-led organization in the world, and for more than a century has been preparing girls in grades K-12 for every day leadership by providing rich experiences for them to explore new interests, face challenges, form new friendships and make lasting community contributions.