O’FALLON – Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois is pleased to announce that Mia Laing from O’Fallon has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award – the highest award a Girl Scout can receive. For her Girl Scout Gold Award project, she created 26 art canvases corresponding with Biblical scriptures representing each letter of the alphabet to help inspire others at her church.
“I strive to engage people of all ages to find meaning in scripture and to find motivation and a new perspective through the Word of God,” she said.
Laing mentored younger members of her church to design and paint the canvases, while also discussing their faith together. She then hung the canvases in a church community building, where they could be seen during Girl Scout meetings, as well as by preschool students and visitors at weddings and other community events. She even made a corresponding book for the preschool.
“Youth members have come up to me and said thank you for involving them,” she said. “I saw people engaged and wanting to improve their relationship with Christ.”
Laing noted that, along with helping strengthen her faith community, her Girl Scout Gold Award project helped her grow as a leader as well.
“I learned to always be determined and to keep my head held high,” she said. “Most importantly, I have gained more confidence in myself to be myself in every situation.”
Mia is the daughter of Mary Beth and Jim Laing. She graduated from O’Fallon Township High School in 2018 and is currently attending Truman State University where she studies Psychology.
The Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can earn, recognizes a Girl Scout’s commitment to excellence as she develops skills and values to meet present and future challenges in her life. To earn the Girl Scout Gold Award, a Girl Scout Senior or Girl Scout Ambassador must design and carry out a project that fulfills a need within a girl’s community, creates change, and is sustainable. The project must be completed with a suggested minimum of 80 hours of work. Only about 5 percent of eligible girls earn the prestigious Gold Award.