Shelbilyn Mott, of Ponchatoula, 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 Victoria Pham, of Baton Rouge.
The Gold Award is the highest award a Girl Scout Senior or ambassador can earn and is received by only a few select Girl Scouts nationwide.
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. Col. Patrick Widner, commander of the Middleton Chapter of the Military Order of World Wars.
Mott, a Girl Scout ambassador in Troop 31131 in Ponchatoula, was pinned by her mother, Katherine. Mott had a good friend in high school commit suicide after being bullied. She decided to raise awareness about bullying and suicide, creating a presentation and inspirational talk to educate teens on issues that lead to bullying and to stress the importance of respect for self and others. Mott gave the presentation at a local church, as well as to members of Girl Scout troops and junior members of the American Legion Auxiliary.
“Being a Girl Scout, to me, is helping people even when they don’t expect it,” Mott wrote in her final project report. “Knowing that you can help when no one else wants to is a great feeling. I am taking with me honesty, leadership and responsibility. I can be anything, with everything I have learned through my 12 years of Girl Scouts.”
Mott is a 2015 graduate of Ponchatoula High School and will attend Southeastern Louisiana University in the fall. She also is working toward her paramedic license.