Going above and beyond, Alexandra Lloyd, an O’Fallon Township High School Junior and Girl Scout for 11 years, has earned a Scouts of Southern Illinois (GSSI) Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor a Girl Scout can receive.
For her Girl Scout Gold Award project called “The Teen Show,” Lloyd worked with MindsEye Radio, of Belleville, to develop a variety of radio programming for blind teenagers.
MindsEye Radio is an organization catering to a niche demographic that broadcasts volunteer-read magazine and newspaper articles over the air for blind and visually impaired people to listen to.
Having numerous programs, ranging from news magazines to the Grocery Ads in the newspaper, Lloyd said there was no programming geared towards teenagers.
“Being a teen myself, I felt this was an area where I could help the already phenomenal organization become even stronger, so I developed a teen program including various magazines for young adults,” Lloyd said. “I began designing the show’s content based on magazines that I enjoy, so I ordered a subscription to Seventeen Magazine, which has articles about fashion, makeup and celebrities; Muse, which includes science related articles; and Cicada, which is filled with short stories and poetry.”
Over the summer of 2014, Lloyd recorded twenty 45-minute to hour-long shows consisting of content from the three magazines, offering an array of diverse content.
Recording different magazines that teenagers could listen to, Lloyd then contacted and shared her programming with the Missouri School for the Blind (MSB) and Delta Gamma which both work with blind teenagers.
“I really enjoyed interacting with blind and visually impaired teens and learning about their lives and the technology that makes their lives easier,” Lloyd explained. “This project gave me the opportunity to interact with many different people and I learned a lot from all of them.”
Lloyd also made instructions for accessing The Teen Show, interviewed kids for the program and donated CDs.
“Through my challenging Girl Scout Gold Award project, I learned different communications and broadcasting skills like interview strategies, radio techniques and honed my public speaking skills,” Lloyd explained. “This project also gave me a chance to meet many people and discover how much I have in common with those who live very different lives.”
According to Lloyd, the project didn’t stop at that. She said she was able to go ice skating with the teens she was working with for this project, and was able to be their guide while on the ice. Conducting interviews with teens from both MSB and Delta Gamma allowed Lloyd to modify her show slightly to benefit the listeners’ needs such as adding Sports Illustrated Magazine content, as well as, an additional program highlighting local events in and around St. Louis.
Lloyd is the daughter of Mathew and Kristen Lloyd from O’Fallon.
Being the highest award a Girl Scout can earn, 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 Girl Scout 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 six percent of eligible girls earn the prestigious Gold Award, according to Girl Scout Troop No. 1123 Leader Kristin Lloyd.
“I worked on this project over the course of about a year and ended up dedicating a little over 96 hours to it,” Lloyd said. “I learned a lot and plan to continue volunteering at MindsEye Radio in the future. This project taught me a lot about interviewing techniques and broadcasting because not only did I have to develop the program, I had to learn from the feedback of listeners in order to improve.”
For Lloyd’s Girl Scout Silver award project she did similar broadcasting work developing CDs for entertainment and learning for patients at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital and The Women’s Safe House in St. Louis.