Three graduating seniors at Ladue Horton Watkins High School have earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest achievement possible in Girl Scouting. This prestigious award challenges the girls to make positive, lasting contributions to their communities.
All three projects were geared toward inspiring and interacting with middle school and high school-age students:
- Rachel Steiner’s project launched a new Youth Writing Club in collaboration with the St. Louis County Library. She designed meeting plans, a website and fun activities as a way for teens to share ideas and grow in expressing themselves through creative writing. The club meets on a monthly basis and invites teens from all around the St. Louis community to join.
- Jessica Thoelke’s project established a new after-school coding club for Ladue Middle School students. She applied for and received grant money to purchase a coding curriculum. She then received training so that she could teach the students what she had learned. Throughout her project, Jessica provided more than 50 coding sessions to students.
- Jackie Wong’s brought a global tech competition called the “Technovation Challenge” to the high school by launching an after-school club promoting the girls’ participation in technology-related fields. The club is exclusive to girls who have an interest in entrepreneurship and creating apps. One LHWHS team submitted their app creation into the competition.
“Earning the Gold Award puts Rachel, Jessica and Jackie among an exceptional group of young women who have used their knowledge and leadership skills to make a positive difference in our community,” Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri CEO Bonnie Barczykowski said. “We are very proud of their achievements and join the Ladue School District in congratulating these outstanding young women on their accomplishments.”
All three girls are also members of several organizations at LHWHS, holding leadership positions and getting involved through various groups.
Rachel sings in the Ladue Choir and is active in the Civitas Club, National Honor Society and serves as a co-leader of the Gay Straight Alliance organization. She is a 2016 National Merit Hispanic Scholar and a recipient of the W.G. Eliot Scholarship.
Jessica is a member of Link Crew at the high school, a group that mentors incoming freshmen. She is active in Mock Trial and is president of the Ceramic Arts Club. Jessica is an AP Scholar with Honor & Distinction, a recipient of the Missouri George Washington Carver award and the NCWIT Aspirations in Computing Award, and she was recognized with the Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri scholarship.
Jackie is an accomplished violinist and performs in the Ladue Symphonic Orchestra and the Ladue Strolling Strings. She’s also active in the Talking Rams, the speech and debate team, and serves as the president of the National Honor Society. Jackie is the recipient of the Missouri George Washington Carver award and was one of only seven recipients in Missouri to receive a 2015 Congressional Gold Award Medal.
All three girls are recipients of the Missouri Bright Flight scholarship and plan on attending Washington University in the fall.