On Sunday, June 1st in Torrance, four local teens were ceremoniously awarded the Gold Award, the highest honor bestowed upon a Girl Scout — comparable to the Eagle Scout for boys.

Last year, only 5.4 percent of the eligible registered Girl Scouts in grades ten to 12 attained this exclusive award.

The following Gold Awardees, all members of Westchester Troop 939 and honor students at their respective high schools, completed at least 30 hours in a leadership role, spent a minimum of 40 hours in career exploration, and logged greater than 60 hours planning and executing an individual project that fulfilled a need within the community and created lasting change.

Katie O’Hanlon, a graduating senior at El Segundo High, created a ten-minute video entitled “Flying Through Time” on the historical connection between her hometown of Westchester and its airport neighbor, Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). O’Hanlon has enrolled in Harvard University, where she will be a freshman this fall.

Brittney Pottenger, a graduating senior at El Segundo High, created “It’s Your Move!,” a Web site, movie and network through the Peer Assistance club at El Segundo Middle School, to foster acceptance of new students into the social scene in El Segundo. Pottenger will attend USC this fall.

Anna Rasmussen, who just graduated from Marlborough School, organized a “‘Tri’-it Challenge” workshop for girls 12-18 to introduce them to the triathlon world, and give them the opportunity to learn more about nutrition and set fitness goals of their own. Rasmussen will attend Stanford University this fall.

Caitlin Schultz, who just graduated from Marymount High School, created an educational exhibit, “Destination LAX” that includes an informational brochure and three large displays covering the history of Westchester and LAX. The exhibit is on display at the Flight Path Museum at LAX, along with fellow scout O’Hanlon’s video. Schultz will attend UC Berkeley this fall.

“The leadership skills, organizational skills and sense of community and commitment that come from ‘going for the Gold’ set the foundation for a lifetime of active citizenship” for these girls, says a spokesperson for the Girl Scouts of America.

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