On June 29, 2023, Laura Summerfield, a member of the Girl Scouts of South Carolina – Mountains to Midlands Council, was awarded the GSUSA Gold Award Scholarship for her work supporting access to, funding for, and youth education around South Carolina’s 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.
Ms. Summerfield was one of two Girls Scouts to speak before a SC Senate committee early in 2021 prior to the May passage of the Student Identification Card Suicide Prevention Act. She was subsequently invited to the bill signing. She also spoke at a SC Joint Citizens and Legislative Committee on Children meeting, before the Greenville County School Board, and with other teens at the Unmasking Mental Health event to urge support for fully funding 988 services in South Carolina.
A part of her work focused on youth education around 988, which included development of a lesson plan for use by middle school classroom teachers. Historically, 63% of Suicide & Crisis Lifeline chats and texts have come from youth, so putting 988 educational materials in the hands of educators who work with these ages every day serves a critical need.
This national scholarship award recognizes and provides financial support to one Gold Award Girl Scout per council. Scholarship recipients must have completed Gold Award projects that demonstrate extraordinary leadership, measurable and sustainable impact, and address an issue of national and/or global significance.
For middle school educators, counselors, and mental health advocates interested in the lesson plans and materials on 988, please email MHAGC at email@example.com.