After noticing a decrease in the younger generation knowing how to sew, Jade Knight, who has been sewing since she was eight, set out to teach other girls the basics of this useful life skill.

“At school, I would notice girls would get a tear in their shirt or blouse and felt like they would have to throw it away,” said Knight. “This bothered me because most of the time it was an easy fix, so I decided to dedicate my Gold Award to teaching girls how to sew because not only does it save money, but it also comes in handy for many other things.”

The Gold Award is the highest honor available to high-school-aged Girl Scouts, requiring a minimum of 80 hours of work on a project that creates a sustainable solution to a problem identified in their communities.

Historically, many Gold Award Girl Scouts become leaders in their community, with 60% of Girl Scout alum currently involved in volunteer work, community service, or holding public office.

To reintroduce sewing back to her community, Knight first thought about the basics she learned from her grandmothers when she was first learned to sew and then developed a plan to teach others.

“I wanted to host workshops that would teach attendees how to make a simple handbag or shirt and eventually a quilt to represent us all coming together,” said Knight. “But then COVID-19 hit, and I saw a need for masks in our community, and among essential workers, so I thought that would be a great way to teach girls to sew while also serving the community.”

While juggling school as a senior virtually, Knight hosted virtual classes teaching others how to sew masks.

“Through my virtual classes, I was able to teach 15 girls how to sew, and together we made approximately 450 masks to donate to essential workers,” said Knight. “Even after our donation, the girls have continued to sew masks for their friends returning to school and their families.”

As one of the first Girl Scouts in her troop to become a Gold Award Girl Scout, Knight hopes that she has inspired the girls to continue to grow their sewing skills and techniques.

“I have been in Girl Scouts for 12 years, and I would hear people talk about the Gold Award, but at times it seemed unreachable,” said Knight. “Earning my Gold Award is truly an honor and serves as a reminder to other girls in my troop that it is possible with hard work and to remember to give back to the community.”

After graduating high school in May, Knight is now attending the University of Mexico, majoring in pre-medical laboratory sciences. She credits Girl Scouts for introducing her to a career in STEM.

“Through Girl Scouts, I found out that I love science and math,” said Knight. “In the future, I want to pursue a career as a biomedical engineer focusing on making transplants and blood transfusions more donor friendly by increasing access without waiting for someone to pass away.”

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