COLUMBUS — A Girl Scout from Gahanna has won a national essay contest titled “Girl Scouts to the Moon and Back,” earning her a badge that has literally been to the moon.
Kendall Smith, a Daisy-level Girl Scout member of Troop 6791 and third-grade student at Gahanna’s Lincoln Elementary School, is one of 81 winners from across the county. She was awarded a Space Science badge that has been to space on NASA’s Artemis I.
This mission is NASA’s first step toward the goal of sending the first woman and the first person of color to the moon.
“When I grow up, I want to be the first African American to walk on the moon. I want to inspire others to be unique and be true to themselves,” Smith said in her essay.” I don’t want them changing themselves just so another person likes them. I want to go to space because I think it will be cool.”
The Orion spacecraft for the Artemis I mission launched on Wednesday, Nov. 16, with the Girl Scout Space Science badges aboard. It splashed down on Dec. 11. She received the badge at the Girl Scouts of Ohio’s Heartland (GSOH) “State of the Girl” event today.
“We are over the moon that Kendall has received this special recognition,” said GSOH President and CEO Tammy Wharton. “Our goal is for our girls to build courage, confidence, and character while pursuing their dreams. Kendall exemplifies that, and we encourage her to keep aiming high!”
The partnership between NASA and Girl Scouts is an ideal match.
The Girl Scouts’ commitment to encouraging girls to discover and excel in STEM fields has yielded real results: Girl Scouts are almost twice as likely as non–Girl Scouts to participate in STEM activities (60 percent versus 35 percent), and 77 percent of girls say that because of Girl Scouts, they are considering a career in technology.
Locally, GSOH and community partners are in the midst of a “Dream Big” campaign for a new STEM Leadership Center & Maker Space that will create solutions to fuel the workforce pipeline. A groundbreaking ceremony for the first phase of the facility is scheduled for May.
To see all of the winners of the Girl Scouts to the Moon and Back contest, click here.
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