Grace Richardson recently earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest achievement in Girl Scouting, for her “Project Aquarius.”
The project focused on environmental consciousness. She saw that the root cause of many environmental issues, particularly involving the oceans, is a lack of knowledge about where trash ends up or energy comes from. Richardson, a graduate of Hoover High School, sought to raise awareness for ocean conservation and educate others on how they can reduce their environmental impact on the ocean.
She created works of art that portrayed ocean creatures and the current status of their habitat, then displayed them on a website. The website, sites.google.com/view/project-aquarius, also shares tips on how people could help with ocean conversation, such as how to reduce plastic use and how to ensure the purchase of sustainably fished or farmed seafood.
She will donate one of her artworks to Dauphin Island Sea Lab. She visited the lab in ninth grade, and that trip was a major inspiration for her project.
“The ocean connects everyone on the planet, and it’s very important for everyone to respect it and try to reduce our personal effect on it,” Richardson said, “Big change can happen if we all do our best to be mindful stewards of our planet.”
“By earning the Girl Scout Gold Award,” said Karen Peterlin, chief executive officer of the Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama, “Grace has become a community leader. Her accomplishments reflect leadership and citizenship skills that set her apart.”
Richardson is now a freshman at the University of South Alabama majoring in animation. She said earning her Gold Award has taught her confidence and leadership.
“I showed myself that I am capable of doing things that are difficult and out of my comfort zone,” Richardson said. “I’m glad I was encouraged to do this project and pushed myself to accomplish it.”