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Tampa Girl Scout striving to earn rare Gold Award by helping improve childhood literacy

Launched book drive for Westshore Elementary
Posted at 4:01 AM, Feb 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-01 08:09:10-05

TAMPA, Fla. — Casey Ingram is a beast on the volleyball court. At six-foot-two, the 16-year-old has plenty of medals to show how well she can block and hit.

What Casey really wants now is gold. Not another medal, but a pin.

"I'm a Girl Scout and I've been a Girl Scout for over 11 years and when you get to the last stage of Girl Scouts you have the opportunity to complete your gold award," explains Casey.

The Gold Award is the highest achievement a Girl Scout can award. It is a mark showing you have already made a difference in the world.

"Only 6 percent of girls earn the gold award nationwide, so it really sets young leaders and young women apart," says Susan Campbell, Casey's Troop 806 Leader.
Earning the Gold Award requires a service project that will have a lasting impact on the community.

Casey chose to tackle childhood literacy. She organized a book drive for Westshore Elementary, a Title 1 school. She wants to make sure every kid has access to books, regardless of their family's income.

"With me helping this elementary school, with giving them more books, that's just not going to help the kids there now, but the ones next year and the year after that," says Casey. "Helping someone learn to read might seem so small, very insignificant, but when you look at facts and how important reading is to your future education and your future opportunities, I feel like it will make a difference and that's what I'm hoping for."

Casey's closet is already filled with boxes of books, but she still needs more donations.

"My goal is to finish somewhere near the end of May and over the summer I'm going to work with a librarian at Westshore Elementary to get all of those books onto the shelves," says Casey.

She is sharing spreading awareness about the importance of childhood literacy and updating her book drive on the Library for Little Learners Instagram page.
"I'm extremely proud. Casey is a natural leader, everything she does in Girl Scouts," says Campebll. "She is now on the CEO Advisory Board. She is our Senior Patrol Leader. She has applied to be a board member of our Girl Scout Council and this Gold Award that she is working on is really from her heart."

For this Girl Scout, earning the Gold Award is proof that not only can she make a difference, she already has.

If you know of a child who deserves a pat on the back, please email Deiah Riley at or contact her on Facebook.