A 2015 Statesboro High School graduate has earned the highest award offered in the Girl Scout program. Julia Fechter, 18-year-old daughter of George and Louise Fechter, received the prestigious Girl Scout Gold Award.
The top honor is very fitting for the end of Fechter’s 12-year run with Scouting. Fechter said, “As a younger kid, I started participating in Girl Scouts because my mom suggested it, but I stuck with it because I ended up having a ton of fun.”
A ton of fun with advantages for both Fechter and others.
The Gold Award’s step-by-step requirements culminate with a large service project that has a far-reaching and long-lasting impact. Fechter focused on an issue in the community and developed a plan to combat the issue.
A pre-requisite for the service project is the completion of a “Journey” book, an activity-based guide with activities to build girls’ communication and social skills and activities to learn more about themselves and the world around them.
Fechter then presented a “Take Action” plan to a Gold Award committee for approval. Her plan considered details like a budget for completing the project, participants of the project and details for project completion.
Upon approval of her project, Fechter spent about 80 hours taking action and worked to create a lasting solution to the issue. Once the project was done, Fechter submitted paperwork about the project to the committee.Fechter selected the hot-button topic of Bullying Prevention for her project to bring about critically-needed awareness on the subject in the community. Fechter started a chapter of the Stand for the Silent anti-bullying organization at Statesboro High School.
Fechter said, “One of my close friends had been bullied much of her school career. It made me want to do something about bullying. I thought if the club I started could engage kids in Statesboro and get them to really think about their actions, then maybe bullying wouldn’t happen as much.
“I know an initiative like this takes time, though.”
The SHS chapter of Stand for Silent participated in community events, such as First Friday and the Farmer’s Market this past September. For the Farmer’s Market presence, the club worked with the SHS advanced art class to showcase anti-bullying art pieces.
“I can’t wait to see what the SFTS-SHS chapter accomplishes in the future,” Fechter said of her initiative.
Aside from a huge impact on others with her bullying awareness project, Fechter is aware that her time spent in Girl Scouts will have ongoing benefits in her own life.
“The Gold Award, I’ve heard, is a big selling point with potential employers,” Fechter said. “Girl Scouts and the Gold Award have given me the leadership skills to confidently do whatever I set my mind to, whether that be in my professional or personal life.
“Scouting and the Gold Award have definitely allowed me to step out of my shell and interact with people easier. The Gold Award taught me that organization, communication and firm leadership are key for a leadership position.”
Fechter wasted no time using those skills she learned during scouting. She is already taking courses at Georgia Southern University to pursue a degree in journalism and is actively involved in student media at GSU.
“I plan to stay involved in student media through my four years at GSU,” she said. “Afterwards, I’m not exactly sure what publications or organizations I’d like to write for. I do think it’d be really cool, though, if I could write for magazines such as Rolling Stones or Alternative Press, because I’m interested in music journalism.”