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Austin Girl Scout earns prestigious Gold Award and national scholarship for tackling pressing healthcare issue


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Girl Scouts of Central Texas (GSCTX) is celebrating change-maker Kashvi Lalchandani, a Liberal Arts and Science Academy (LASA) High School graduate from Austin. Lalchandani is one of 29 Central Texas Girl Scout teen world-changers who invested over 2,300 hours creating lasting impact on issues important to them. This year, Lalchandani was awarded a national scholarship from Girl Scouts of the USA thanks to sponsorship from Arconic Foundation and Kappa Delta Foundation.

As an aspiring physician, Kashvi recognizes health care can be unaffordable without insurance. For her Gold Award project, Kashvi organized a free virtual health fair to provide primary health screenings, such as blood pressure checks, vision tests, and BMI consultations to those who could not otherwise afford it. Included were free consultations with a pediatrician, a gastroenterologist, and a pain management specialist. This free health fair was able to serve over one hundred individuals and is slated to continue annually.

The Gold Award is the highest achievement a Girl Scout can earn, available to girls in high school who create sustainable change on a community or world issue, from making camp accessible for all to film festivals supporting women of color. Gold Award Girl Scouts address the root cause of a problem, spend over 80 hours completing their plan and implementing innovative solutions to drive change, and lead a team of people to success.

“Girl Scouts has provided me with the opportunity to learn about current issues and given me the ability to find a solution using the skills and resources that I have,” said Lalchandani.

Kashvi graduated from Liberal Arts and Science Academy in Austin in June and is studying pre-med at Baylor University and plans to attend Baylor College of Medicine to become a physician.

As they take action to transform their world, Gold Award Girl Scouts gain tangible skills and prove they are the leaders our community and world need. Gold Award Girl Scouts in Central Texas say they’ve become focused project managers, confident public speakers, strong decision-makers, and empathetic leaders. To help finance their Gold Award projects, the majority generated funds, including from their Girl Scout Cookie earnings, which they learned how to budget. These skills give them an edge personally and professionally—research (PDF) shows that 99% of Gold Award Girl Scout alums take on leadership roles in their everyday lives. Also according to recent research (PDF), most Gold Award Girl Scouts get a boost in earning scholarships, in the college admissions process, and in professional advancement.

“The leadership skills, organizational competence, and sense of community and commitment that come from “Going for the Gold” sets the foundation for a lifetime of active citizenship,” said Girl Scouts of Central Texas CEO Paula Bookidis. “Despite of these uncertain times, Gold Award Girl Scouts like Kashvi have persevered. It is my hope that in many years they will be able to look back at this time in their life and celebrate their resiliency.”

If you’d like to connect with Kashvi Lalchandani or Paula Bookidis, contact Emma Acosta at emmaa@gsctx.org.