Celebrating their 100th anniversary this year, the Girls Scouts of America has a long tradition of empowering young women throughout the country by teaching them the value of honesty, confidence, courage and sisterhood. One of these extraordinary young ladies is 16-year-old Joslyn Simmons of the Florida Girl Scouts of Gateway Council, troop #143 in Jacksonville. Joslyn’s work to fight childhood obesity makes us #FloridaProud.
Joslyn joined the Girls Scouts at the age of 5 after a troop visited her elementary school. Originally, Joslyn just wanted to get out of ballet, but then realized that joining the Girl Scouts “sounded cool.” After joining her troop with a few of her friends, Joslyn was hooked, and her parents couldn’t be prouder.
Joslyn’s Gold project was inspired by First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move initiative to combat childhood obesity. “I wanted kids to learn about different sports and for kids to eat healthier,” Joslyn said. Titled “Sports 4 Life”, Joslyn’s project focused on the Choose My Plate model, and aimed to encourage healthy eating and an active lifestyle for young people. Joslyn’s project generated community donations for sports equipment for local children.
After her visit to the White House , Joslyn received a special gift from her role model, the First Lady: a framed copy of the Choose My Plate Model. Even though Michelle Obama wasn’t present during the visit, Joslyn says that President Obama “was happy. He could see the impact of what the Girl Scouts do.”
Joslyn’s advice to young girls who have joined the GSUSA is to “work together and keep good ideas going back and forth. Don’t give up on your ideas.”
And Joslyn is leading by example. Her mother, Angela Simmons, is a proud mother and adult volunteer for the Girl Scouts. “She amazes me and her dad. We are her biggest fans.” Ms. Simmons recalls how Joslyn was “always a self-motivator, a go-getter, and when she sets her mind to something, she does it.”
The Girl Scouts is more than just going camping and selling cookies – it requires hard work, dedication, and a will to help others. Ms. Simmons offers some words of advice to mothers who have young girls who are considering joining the Girl Scouts: “Give it a try. It is time consuming because the troops are very active, but it’s more than meetings and camping out.” Ms. Simmons says, “It’s not for everybody, but give it a try and you’ll see the benefits.”
In September, Joslyn will be a junior at her high school as well as a Girl Scout Ambassador for her troop. Her future plans include going to Florida State to study journalism, getting a few internships under her belt, and becoming a sports journalist for ESPN. This seems fitting since her favorite badge was for writing.
Girl Scouts in Florida
We are proud of Joslyn Simmons work with the Girl Scouts in Florida. To learn more about the Florida Girl Scouts, visit the Girl Scouts of Gateway Council.
We want to hear from you about how the Girl Scouts or other Florida organizations have made an impact in your life. Share your stories about organizations and individuals that make you #FloridaProud, write about them in the comments section of this blog on our Facebook page, or tweet them with the hashtag #FloridaProud.