Victoria Pham, of Baton Rouge, was one of two Girl Scouts honored at a reception and pinning ceremony at the Governor’s Mansion on June 24 for earning the Girl Scout Gold Award for 2014-15.
The other honoree was Shelbilyn Mott, of Ponchatoula.
The Gold Award is the highest award a Girl Scout Senior or Ambassador can earn and is received by only a few Girl Scouts nationwide, a news release said.
To earn the Gold Award, scouts must demonstrate goal-setting, planning, putting values into action and relating to the community, including planning and executing a community service project with a minimum 80 hours of work.
Speakers and presenters included former Girl Scouts Louisiana East Board Member at Large and Gold Award recipient Mary-Patricia Wray; Girl Scouts Louisiana East CEO Jackie Alexander; and Lt. Colonel Patrick Widner, commander of the Middleton Chapter of the Military Order of World Wars.
Pham was pinned by her father, Moc.
Following the pinning, Pham received the first Kelly C. O’Mahoney Gold Award scholarship from representatives of the scholarship committee from the nonprofit Kelly Kicking Cancer. The nonprofit was formed earlier this year to help combat brain cancer and is named for Kelly O’Mahoney, a Girl Scout Gold Award recipient in 2012 who died last year from a rare form of brain cancer.
Pham, an independent Girl Scout Ambassador, tackled reading for her project, recognizing its importance in a child’s development, yet something that is often neglected.
She created a weekly reading program for children at the East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library on Goodwood Boulevard, where every Sunday she and other teen volunteers helped children practice their reading and test their comprehension. She also educated parents on the importance of reading with their children.
“Over the years, Girl Scouts has taught me how independent and powerful women can be and that their only limit is how they view themselves,” Pham wrote in her final project report. “I will take this knowledge with me to … be a stronger person and so that I will not be bogged down by the views of others.”
Pham is a 2015 graduate of Baton Rouge Magnet School and will attend LSU in the fall, majoring in chemical engineering.