Cottonwood Heights shines at Girl Scouts Gold Awards
Feb 01, 2018 10:05AM ● Published by City Journals Staff
Kaatje Fisk was awarded the prestigious Gold Award, the highest honor a Girl Scout can receive. (Michele Fisk)
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Five girls in the entire state of Utah recently received the prestigious Gold Award, the highest honor a Girl Scout can receive. Of those five innovative young leaders, two live right in Cottonwood Heights. Kaatje Fisk and Madisen Streich earned their awards by demonstrating their ability to identify and address community issues.
Fisk was honored with the Gold Award for her science project that helps combat invasive quagga mussels in Utah’s lakes and reservoirs. The 17-year-old designed the project to help track and minimize the spread of the invasive species that has been transported to North America by overseas shipping. The mussels adapt well to new environments and can alter a water system’s plant life and food chain.
“This experience proved to be very rewarding,” Fisk said in her award speech. “I learned new skills, met new people, and most importantly, I was able to spread awareness of this critical issue. To support the sustainability of my project, I designed a curriculum for sixth-grade students to help educate them on the impact that invasive species can have on local ecosystems.”
“It’s awesome,” Fisk’s mother, Michele Fisk, said of her daughter’s award and the impressive work she did to earn it. “I am super proud of her and grateful for the opportunities she gets through the Girl Scouts. This is the crowning achievement of all that.”
Madisen Streich earned her Gold Award for tackling a challenge in her own life and helping others with the same issue. The 16-year-old Streich was diagnosed with lupus four years ago. She organized a support group for other teens suffering this painful condition that is caused when the immune system attacks its own tissues.
“Let me tell you this was not an easy project for someone like me to do,” Streich said in her award speech. “I suffer from lupus that kicks me when I’m down, but even with that I can push through to complete such an amazing project like the Gold Award.”
“We are absolutely proud of her,” Streich’s mother, Kiyono Oshiro-Streich, said. “She did a lot of work, hopefully finding a place for people to discuss lupus and help them get the emotional stability they need.”
Fisk is a senior at the Salt Lake Center for Science and Education Charter School. Streich is a junior at Brighton High School, where she plays on the lacrosse team.
“It’s really amazing that two of only five girls in the entire state to receive the Gold Award from the Girl Scouts are from Cottonwood Heights,” Cottonwood Heights Public Relations Specialist Dan Metcalf, Jr. said.
According to the Girl Scouts, only five percent of eligible Girl Scouts successfully earn the Gold Award. Forty percent of Utah’s recent Gold Award recipients reside in Cottonwood Heights.