Billings, MT— December 19, 2022 — Girl Scouts of Montana and Wyoming (GSMW) is proud to recognize Opal Besaw for earning her Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest achievement a Girl Scout can earn.
Gold Award Girl Scouts, like Besaw of Kalispell, are changing the world today—their ingenuity enables them to meaningfully address some of the most pressing issues facing their communities and the world.
For her Gold Award Project, Besaw worked to increase inclusion of people with disabilities in mainstream society, particularly in social settings. She did this by hosting a webinar that focused on different types of abilities, including ADHD, Cerebral Palsy, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Down Syndrome. The webinar was recorded and posted on YouTube and shared widely on social media. She also worked with her school’s National Honors Society to start a Buddy Program to promote inclusion. Besaw stated “I got the idea for this project as I watched the life skills students in my high school being ignored by their typical peers.” She presented her webinar to several local special education professionals and national education justice advocate, Merrit Jones.
Besaw has plans to continue developing the Buddy Program between differently abled and typically developing students at Glacier High. “The ultimate hope with this project is to create an atmosphere of inclusion and foster true friendships across minorities” she said. Besaw hopes to become a children’s author and social worker and is currently studying at FVVC. If you’re interested in watching her presentation, you can view it here.
The Gold Award is the highest achievement a Girl Scout can earn, available to girls in high school by developing and carrying out lasting solutions to issues in their communities and beyond. Gold Award Girl Scouts address the root cause of a problem, plan and implement innovative solutions to drive change, and lead a team of people to success. Gold Award Girl Scouts truly are the world changers, rock stars, role models, and real-life heroes we all look up to. They’re excellent candidates for colleges, scholarships, competitive internship programs, and exciting careers.
To learn more, please visit www.gsmw.org.