The Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio Council congratulates Hannah Long, 17, of Redlands, Ca. on her most recent accomplishment: earning the Gold Award.
“The Gold Award is Girl Scouting’s highest, most prestigious, and most difficult award to achieve. Our Gold Award recipients are our top young female leaders who, now and in the future, make the world a better place for all of us,” said Cynthia Breunig, President and CEO of Girl Scouts San Gorgonio.
For her Gold Award project, a dance workshop titled, “Kid Bridge to the Arts,” Hannah devoted six months of her personal time to providing youth a foundation in the arts. She hosted the workshop for twenty girls, ages 6 thru 10, at the ACES Boys and Girls Club After-school program at Mentone School*.
She began with a ballet base, eventually working into more complicated jazz routines. Hannah came in twice a month to work with the girls on their basics, teaching the parts of the foot and good dance technique, before they began developing a routine.
Jo Bohlman, Site Director of the ACES Boys and Girls Club Afterschool Program, said, “We are always looking for new ways to bring opportunities to our kids that they would not ordinarily get to have. Hannah’s program fit right in. She was completely professional and well organized.”
In December 2013, Hannah directed a Christmas performance starring her students as an avenue for them to display their progress. She also edited a video to commemorate the event. The video can be seen below:
Hannah said, “Looking back on it, I’m proud of what I did. I think that it really benefited the girls. They got a little glimpse into what they could be doing in dance… and for me… the most memorable aspect was the girls. They always called me Miss Hannah. Walking in everyday and watching their faces light up, seeing how I make a difference, that was my real reward.”
Throughout her journey Hannah was advised by her mom and troop Leader, Ms. Becky Long.
Ms. Long said, “As her mom leader, I know there were times when Hannah just felt she couldn’t possibly finish her project [while balancing] classes and costume-making with her many Christmas concerts, her choir at school, AP classes, and her own dance class obligations. But she persevered and earned the award. She’s all gold to me!”
Hannah is also very grateful for the help of fellow-Troop 979 members and friends from school, as well as the Boys and Girls Club of Mentone Elementary School for giving her the opportunity to host her workshop.
She is a full-time AP student at Redlands High School, a dedicated dancer at the Redlands School of Dance and an 11-year Girl Scout of the San Gorgonio Council with Troop 979.
When asked if she would encourage others to complete the Gold Award, Hannah said, “I encourage people in general to be involved in their communities. [As a busy Girl Scout and student] I feel I am in a good place, really busy, but not wasting time. Plus, when you are doing something you are passionate about it is worth every minute you spend on it.”
* We originally listed the facility as the Boys and Girls Club of Mentone.