Local teen receives Girl Scout Gold Award

For Julia Cacciotti from Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High School in Altoona, going gold means earning the highest achievement in Girl Scouting — the Gold Award.

This award, presented to Julia by Girl Scouts West-ern Pennsylvania, recognizes girls in grades nine through 12 who demonstrate extraordinary leadership through sustainable and measurable “Take Action” projects that address important community needs.

Julia is a senior at Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High School and serves in a leadership position as a Philadelphia Shriners Hospital Ambas-sador.

As a Girl Scout member for 12 years, Julia is a Girl Scout Ambassador of Troop 42043.

She was supported in her Gold Award effort by Joan Donnelly, Bob Sutton, Rich Kerr, Mark Sanker many other people.

Her Gold Award project began in January 2018 and was completed in July 2019.

For her Gold Award project, Julia chose to build a grotto at Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High School.

The grotto was designed to be visible to the community and open 24/7 as a place for quiet prayer, meditation and reflection.

After taking a trip to Notre Dame University and visiting the grotto there, she was inspired to express her faith in a similar fashion.

Since the Catholic Church is currently facing a crisis of epic proportions, she wanted to take a risk and express her faith to others.

While thousands of followers are choosing to leave their religion, she is remaining devoted by looking to embrace and live out her faith.

Providing this grotto for her school and local community has been one of the most challenging yet rewarding things she has ever done.

Julia plans to attend college after graduation.

The Gold Award is a national award, with national standards, and it represents a Girl Scout’s time, leadership, creativity and effort contributed to making her community better.

Not only do Gold Award projects help communities, they also give girls important leadership skills, teaching them to seek out the work that needs doing in the world.

There are other benefits to “going gold” as well.

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.

For more information, visit www.gswpa.org