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UHS senior finds gold in national Girl Scout project
UHS senior finds gold in national Girl Scout project
Posted on 05/21/2021

Utica High School senior Elizabeth Mulvaine has found gold in creating a national support group to help children with siblings of type one diabetics. 

Through her support group T1D Includes Me, Mulvaine has become the first Utica High School student to earn the Gold Award from the Girl Scouts. 

“The whole point of this support group is for siblings to understand that we are not alone, and to tell our story as to what happened the day our sibling was discussed,” she said. “Because Diabetes doesn't just affect the child who has it, or the parents who have to take care of them, but it affects everyone in the family.” 

With the five-year project, Mulvaine’s support group has created an avenue for 116 members to conect for support from as far away as Texas, Florida and California.

The group has  Facebook and Instagram pages, and held local gatherings until the meetings were interrupted by COVID-19. 

For her work, Mulvaine has earned the Gold Award from GSUSA – an honor that only about five percent of members are eligible for across the country.  

To earn the award, each girl must complete two Senior or Ambassador journeys or complete one Senior or Ambassador journey and have earned a Girl Scouts Silver Award. After completing either of these requirements, a minimum of 80 hours is suggested to complete the steps to earn the Girl Scouts Gold Award.

According to a study on the impact of the Gold Award, by the Girl Scouts Research Institute, Gold Award Girl Scouts display more positive life outcomes including a positive sense of self, leadership, community service and civic engagements. Many universities and colleges offer scholarships unique to Gold Award Girl Scouts, and girls who enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces may receive advanced rank in recognition of their achievement. 

Mulvaine is the first Utica High School student to earn the award. 

“I have worked for so long for this, and then to find out I am the first one. My dreams keep getting bigger and bigger,” she said. “When I was little I told my mom that I wanted to do everything that I could in Girl Scouts, so to be the first one in Utica, that is something that I never thought would happen.” 

At UHS, Mulvaine is a Varsity Bowler,  earning 16th in the state as a Junior(on JV)
She has served in the National Honor society since eighth grade, earned several Scholastic Gold and Silver Keys in the Art Competitions, as well as the People's Choice Award from Senator Lisa McLain this year for her photography.

She will be graduating as a Suma Cum Laude, as well as a Utica Community Schools Academic Scholar.

Girl Scout has been an important part of Mulvaine’s life for the past 13 years. Both of her parents are troop leaders and even the family dog is involved, being appropriately named “Scout.” 

“Everyone thinks that Girl Scouts just sell cookies, but that's like saying Boy Scouts just sell popcorn. And both of those statements are far from true,” she said.  “We learn leadership skills, communication skills, and so many more things. So, if you feel shy or uncomfortable with yourself, join Girl Scouts, it not only gets you out of your comfort zone, but it helps you find out what you like to do and what you don't.” 

As a Girl Scout, Mulvaine has earned all three High Awards, Bronze, Silver and Gold. The bronze award was for a birthday party she organized for the children at Grace Centers of Hope and Silver was a summer math packet for the fifth graders at Collins Elementary. 

Other service projects include: Glranrrs, Shelby Clean up Day, sing at nursing homes, read to children at a day care, packed care packages for military, help at a carnival for Friends of Foster Kids. She also volunteers for the Detroit Grand Prix, as well as JDRF.

Mulvaine’s passion for helping others will continue next year when she enrolls in Saginaw Valley state University for a career as a secondary special education teacher. She also plans to continue active in Girl Scout, helping others discover the value of the youth organization more than 100 years-old. 

“My goal is to never stop believing that girls can do anything and everything as long as they put their mind to it,” she said.