Torrey Pines High School Girl Scouts earn Gold Award

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Four Torrey Pines High School (TPHS) students have earned Girls Scouts Gold Awards: Carmel Valley residents Ashley Hanson (Class of 2021), Cady Hsu (2021), and Samaya Patel (2020), and Siena Fischel (2019) of Solana Beach.

The Gold Award is the pinnacle of the Girl Scout leadership experience. To achieve it, Girl Scouts create sustainable projects that impact local and global issues.

To earn her Gold Award, Ashley created an injury awareness and wellness program for dancers, focusing on children and teens. She held presentations about how dancers can use stretching, nutrition, and rest to avoid preventable injuries.

Ashley Hanson


Ashley Hanson
(Courtesy)

Ashley is a member of Girl Scout Troop 1668, led by Michelle Mitchell, and part of a three-generation Girl Scout family. She and her grandmother, mother, and sister were all active in Girl Scouting from kindergarten through high school. Ashley earned the Girl Scout Bronze and Silver Awards as a Girl Scout Junior and Cadette, respectively. She also a recipient of the Congressional Gold Award. Ashley is on the TPHS varsity dance team and serves as a hospital volunteer. She aspires to become a nurse.

For her Gold Award project, Cady educated youth about entrepreneurship. She worked with Wells Fargo and the nonprofit VentureLab to create a free summer program that integrated entrepreneurship and financial literacy into a unique curriculum for elementary and middle school kids. She hosted two workshop series, created a website, hosted a booth at a STEM festival, and led a Product Designer badge event for Junior Girl Scouts. Her project will be continue through lesson plans she provided to local elementary school teachers.

Cady Hsu


Cady Hsu
(courtesy)

She joined Girl Scout Troop 8703, led by Betsy Benning, seven years ago. As a Cadette, she earned the Girl Scout Silver Award. At TPHS, she is co-captain of the TPHS debate team and founded a DECA chapter.

To earn her Gold Award, Samaya created Books Without Borders, a club to raise funds for underprivileged children in South Africa. Her project was dedicated to bettering their lives through education and providing resources needed for success. The club will continue indefinitely under the leadership of others.

Samaya Patel


Samaya Patel
(Courtesy)

Samaya previously earned the Bronze and Silver Awards. She has been a member of Girl Scout Troop 1240, led by Cindy Collins, since second grade. She served as TPHS’s captain of a speech and debate public forum and as an ASB member, and participating in Future Problem Solvers International. Another noteworthy achievement is dancing a solo performance of Indian classical dance in 2017. She plans to attend UC Berkeley majoring in either economics or business administration. Samaya aspires to a career in investment banking.

Siena addressed the nationwide need for nutrition education for youth for her Gold Award project. She held workshops at the Solana Beach Public Library to help children ages 5-12 understand how the food they eat affects their health, and how to make affordable, healthy food choices. Their families learned new, budget-friendly recipes and the importance of eating nutritious snacks and meals.

Siena Fischel


Siena Fischel
(Courtesy)

After joining Girl Scouts as a Junior, she earned her Bronze Award and went on to earn the Silver Award as a Cadette as a member of Girl Scout Troop 1754, led by her mother, Melissa Fischel.

At TPHS, Siena was captain of the cross country track and field teams. She is an incoming freshman at San Diego State University, majoring in kinesiology/pre-physical therapy.

The TPHS Gold Award Girl Scouts were among 66 Girl Scouts from San Diego and Imperial counties who earned the award in 2020. They were recently honored by Girl Scouts San Diego during a virtual ceremony (available to view at sdgirlscouts.org/gold). The keynote speaker was 2019 National Gold Award Girl Scout Ana de Almeida Amaral, who described her ongoing work in social justice and racial equity. Ana joined guest speakers Senator Tammy Duckworth, a Gold Award Girl Scout; Girl Scouts of the USA CEO Sylvia Acevedo; Board Chair Liza Crisafi; and CEO Carol Dedrich.

Addressing the Gold Award Girl Scouts, Dedrich stated, “You worked hard to create lasting change in communities across San Diego and the world. Today, you join an elite group of women who have achieved this honor.”

At the end of the virtual ceremony, each honoree received a surprise package that included a framed photograph of herself, letters of commendation from elected officials, and handwritten notes from Girl Scouts San Diego staff.

Girl Scouts is the world’s best leadership development organization for girls (#BestPlace4Girls). All girls in grades K-12 and adult volunteers are welcome join. For more information, contact Girl Scouts San Diego Regional Recruitment Specialist Andrea Renteria at 619-610-0774, or arenteria@sdgirlscouts.org, or visit sdgirlscouts.org.


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