A Belleville resident has been honored with the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award the organization gives.
Anna Bullard earned the honor for a project she completed, helping low-income job seekers be more successful in their quest.
"As a teenager, finding employment helped me develop a level of self-worth and independence," Bullard said. "I thought this would be an opportunity to help others achieve the same."
Bullard worked with Gear Up, which is a St. Vincent DePaul program to assist low-income employment seekers look and feel their best.
She first created flyers to increase awareness about the Gear Up program, which she distributed throughout the community. She also collected donations of professional attire and personal grooming items and worked directly with Gear Up clients to provide instruction about personal presentation and interview skills.
To be sure that the program would get continued support, she secured commitments from members of her church, Blessed Sacrament in Belleville, as well as Helping Hand Ministry to sustain the program with continued awareness campaigns, clothing drives and volunteerism.
"As a result of my Girl Scout Gold Award project, I felt a deeper connection to my community and the diversity of its members," Bullard said. "Working with the compassionate volunteers and clients toward a common goal of improving lives in a positive direction was very rewarding and inspiring."
Anna is the daughter of Laurel Young and Joe Bullard and is a 2012 graduate of Belleville West High School. She is a freshman at St. Louis University.
The Girl Scout Gold Award recognizes a Girl Scout's commitment to excellence as she develops skills and values to meet present and future challenges in her life.
To earn the Gold Award, a Girl Scout Senior or Girl Scout Ambassador must design and carry out a project that fulfills a need within a girl's community, creates change, and is sustainable. The project must be completed with a suggested minimum of 80 hours of work.
Only about 6 percent of Girl Scouts earn the Gold Award.