Five Alaska Girl Scouts were honored for their contribution to the community with the prestigious Gold Award, the highest honor offered by the Girl Scouts.

They were celebrated at a luncheon ceremony Wednesday, April 18 at the Dena'ina Center with the president of the Board of Girl Scouts USA, Dr. Kathy Hopinkah who came from New York for the event.

The young women from across the state included Allyson Brokaw from Eagle River, Kayla Riefel from Eagle River, Avery Herrman-Sakamoto from Petersburg, Carolyn Pope from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson and Quinn White from Anchorage. Each of the young women found a need in the community, developed a proposal, budget and worked with people in the community to execute their plan.

Allyson Brokaw, awarded Girl Scout Gold Star


Brokaw's project is meant to help kids in a situation she's familiar with.

"We were stationed over in Germany for a few years. I made toy bins that people new moving to the community are able to check out that have kids so that way it makes moving in a lot easier for them," she said.

Kayla Reifel, awarded Girl Scout Gold Star


Riefel says she is an avid mountain biker and she saw a need on a new trail near Mirror Lake.

"They were in need of a kiosk which is a sheltered signpost where you can post community notices or a trail map and so I decided that was going to be my gold award and I built a trail map kiosk," she said.

Avery Herrman-Sakamoto, awarded Girl Scout Gold Star

Herrman-Sakamoto wanted to share cultural skills with her community, such as Tlingit history, food, and dance. She said, "I earned my gold award by hosting a Tlingit culture camp back at home. I noticed there was a lack of Alaska Native-based activities and I decided to host my own."

Quinn White, awarded Girl Scout Gold Star

Quinn said it was important to her that kids learn about media literacy, so she says she did her program at North Star Elementary School.

"I taught kids all the ins and outs of different kinds of journalism, photojournalism, and writing and producing," she said.

Pope was not able to attend the luncheon. According to the Girl Scouts of Alaska, Pope's military family moves frequently so she saw a need to know high school graduation requirements. She created a digital document of high school graduation requirements for all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Department of Defense schools that has been shared nationally.

The Girl Scouts of Alaska say the awards will help the young women in future endeavors from earning scholarships to boosting their resume and even help them enter the military.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the Girl Scout honor was called the Gold Star Award.

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