Left to right: Kiana Miyamoto, Kristen Takemura, Kourtnee Kanemaru, Katelynn Sasaki and Megan Fujinami.

The Girl Scout Gold Award is the highest award that a Senior or Ambassador Girl Scout may earn by applying leadership, organizational skills, creativity and planning skills to a special project benefiting their community.

OCBC Girl Scout Troop 881 is proud to have presented the Gold Award to five graduating Ambassador Scouts. Each of the following scouts completed a project they chose based on their own interests with the goal of making a difference in her community:

Megan Fujinami, daughter of Gina and Chris Fujinami, is a graduating senior of Northwood High School. She is planning to attend UC Riverside in the fall, majoring in business with an emphasis in finance.

Fujinami has been a Girl Scout for 13 years and has earned her Silver and Gold Awards. For her Gold Award project, called “Lessons from Your Brain Doctor,” she focused on helping children who suffer from hydrocephalus.

She was inspired by her younger cousin, Ethan, who was born two months premature with Grade 4 bleeding in his brain. Ethan today is 11 years old and suffers from hydrocephalus or fluids in his brain, which forces him to have a shunt inserted in his head. Seeing first-hand how Ethan struggles though life to do simple things so many of us take for granted, Fujinami decided to plan a day of learning about hydrocephalus for children who suffer from this condition with their families.

She worked with Dr. Michael Muhonen, Ethan’s doctor and director of Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) Neuroscience Institute, and Debbie Fields, executive director of the National Hydrocephalus Foundation. The event was attended by more than 100 families and consisted of a child friendly lecture given by Muhonen and his associate Dr. William Loudon, presentations given by four major shunt manufacturers, and craft and game booths to entertain the patients and their siblings.

Kiana Miyamoto, daughter of Louise Miyamoto, is a graduating senior at Kennedy High School. In the fall, she is planning to attend UC San Diego.
Miyamoto has been a Girl Scout for 12 years and has earned her Silver and Gold Awards. For her Gold Award project, she created Get Up and Go!, a running club in La Palma, her hometown. An avid runner and a member of her high school track team for the past four years, she wanted to inspire others to run as a good way to stay active and healthy.

She contacted and spoke to the La Palma City Council about her concerns of the growing rate of obesity in the United States and the importance of physical fitness. She explained how she would like to create a running club where she would meet with the members on a regular basis with the assistance of her coaches and friends from her track team.

After receiving the City Council’s overwhelming and unanimous support, she was able to obtain assistance from the city’s Community Recreation and Services Department in order to obtain authorization to advertise and recruit members during the annual La Palma Run for Fun 5k on July 4.
Miyamoto created fliers and posters to be displayed at her booth at the 5K run to publicize and attract participants to join her club. She was able to sign up new members, met with each of them to discuss their goals, and reviewed how they were going to achieve these goals. She continued meeting with the members throughout the summer, running through parks and around the community. Her ultimate goal is to find running enthusiasts like herself to continue running the club in her place.

Kourtnee Kanemaru, daughter of Robbye and Kregg Kanemaru, is a graduating senior at Foothill High School. In the fall, she is planning to attend Cal Poly Pomona, majoring in apparel design and production. After she receives her undergraduate degree, she plans to pursue in earning a master’s degree in business so that she can start up her own clothing line.

Kanemaru has been a Girl Scout for 13 years and has earned her Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards. For her Gold Award project, she worked with three kindergarten classes at Clinton Mendenhall Elementary School. Together they worked on her “Go Green, Go Recycle” project, where her goal was to educate and inform the kindergarteners about the importance of recycling, and how society needs to become aware of the harmful effects of littering our environment.

In order to achieve this goal, she planned and prepared a two-day event that consisted of a PowerPoint lesson, a craft activity, distribution of handmade reusable recycling bags, and educating on the use of recycle bins. Her lesson consisted of simple, important facts about the importance of recycling by utilizing cartoon characters made from recyclable bottles and cans.

She then sewed 104 reusable recycling bags out of cheap, earthy-looking materials for the kids to encourage them to recycle and help their class by going green. Also, she provided trash bins to be used as recycle bins by the kindergarten classes so that they can collect and store bottles and cans. As a result of encouraging the kindergarteners to recycle, the three kindergarten classes combined raised over $130 during the two-month period of her project.

Katelynn Sasaki, daughter of Linda and Gary Sasaki, is a graduating senior at Cypress High School. She is planning to attend Cal State Fullerton and major in business.

She has been a Girl Scout for 13 years and has earned her Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards. For her Gold Award project, she wanted to work with young girls and help them to develop confidence and high self-esteem, so she contacted the Girls Inc. Foundation.

Girls Inc. is a nonprofit organization that focuses on girls through a network of local organizations and responds to the changing needs of girls and their communities through programs and advocacy that empower girls to reach their full potential and to understand, value, and assert their rights.

Sasaki focused on 5th- to 7th-grade girls by sewing and donating 70 bags filled with comfort items such as lip gloss and nail polish that may not be essentials, but can give a girl a little confidence when she is not feeling her best. Pressures they put on themselves or from others can really take a toll on young girls, and Sasaki believes it is important for them to realize each one of them is special. So in each bag, she also included an activity book that she created to teach the girls to discover who they are and understand why they are special.

Kristen Takemura, daughter of Cathy and Ken Takemura, is a graduating senior at University High School. She is planning to attend Irvine Valley College.

Takemura has been a Girl Scout for five years and has earned her Gold Award. For her Gold Award project, she planned and hosted a holiday party for the families and crew members of a Marine squadron based at Miramar. The purpose of her project was to bring cheer to the military families and have them enjoy the holidays by giving a present to each child, providing fun craft activity stations for the families, and giving a gift to the squadron member’s wives, girlfriends or mothers to enjoy.

She prepared for the party by collecting and wrapping over 150 brand new toys. As gifts for the Raider squadron members’ wives, she sewed 50 cosmetic bags and filled them with new cosmetics and toiletries. At the party, pictures were taken of each child with Santa Claus when they received their presents and the pictures were put in an album on a website for the parents to view and print. The party gave the squadron and families an opportunity spend time together and enjoy the holidays.

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