New Orleans Girl Scouts achieve highest award in Girl Scouting: the Girl Scout Gold Award

[L-R]: 2017-2018 Gold Award Girl Scouts Emily Licata, Haley Messina and Beata Desselle.

Girl Scouts Louisiana East awarded Girl Scouting’s highest honor to three worthy New Orleans Gold Award Girl Scouts from the council at a statewide Gold Award ceremony and reception at the Old Governor’s Mansion on June 13. The 2017-2018 Gold Award Girl Scouts were among 10 Louisiana Girl Scouts who were inspired to find greatness inside themselves and share their ideas and passions with their community. New Orleans Gold Award Girl Scouts include Beata Desselle, New Orleans; Emily Licata, Jefferson; Haley Messina, Kenner.

In order to earn the Girl Scout Gold Award, a Girl Scout must demonstrate her ability and skills in goal-setting, planning, implementing Girl Scout values, and relating to the community. Each girl planned and executed a community service project with a minimum of 80 working hours, which reached beyond the Girl Scout organization and provided a sustainable, lasting benefit to the girls’ larger community.

Earning this prestigious award enables Gold Award Girl Scouts to distinguish themselves in the college admissions process, earn college scholarships, and enter the military one rank higher.

Girl Scouts Louisiana East’s New Orleans Gold Award Girl Scouts

Desselle formed the Big Sibling Safety project to create awareness about the perils of the social sphere, such as teen drinking and drugs, and educated incoming high school freshmen about appropriate social media use. Desselle is a 2018 graduate of Benjamin Franklin High School and will attend John Hopkins, in Baltimore, with plans to major in International Studies.

Licata created 102 activity and craft packets for Ochsner Health Center for Children patients to enjoy while staying in the hospital. The packets included paint, play-dough, stencils, coloring books, bubbles and more for patients from pre-school to high school. The packets also included a note from Emily beginning with “You are loved, you are brave, you are my inspiration.” Licata is a 2017 graduate of St. Mary’s Dominican High School in New Orleans who recently completed her first year at the University of Southern Mississippi majoring in nursing.

Messina’s interest in nutrition and fitness drove her to educate residents at St. Francis Villa Assisted Living about healthy eating and exercising. She is a 2017 graduate of St. Mary’s Dominican High School who recently completed her first year at LSU where she majors in Kinesiology.

The Girl Scouting mission is to build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. Girl Scouts practice everyday leadership by preparing girls to empower themselves and promote the G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader) TM experiences. For more information about Girl Scouts or adult volunteer opportunities, call the council office in New Orleans at 504-733-8220 or visit its website at