Despite Pandemic, Local Girl Scout Launches Successful Bike Safety Initiative on Aquidneck Island
Newport, R.I. (December 1, 2020)— Jordan Brown, a Girl Scout Cadette and 9th grade student at Middletown High School, has successfully initiated, designed, and implemented a bicycle safety education program for her community on Aquidneck Island and beyond in order to earn one of the highest achievements in Girl Scouts, the Silver Award, second only to the Gold Award.
After witnessing a friend experience a major fall on their bicycle while not wearing a helmet, Brown was inspired to learn more about bicycle safety, its importance, and take the necessary steps to educate fellow students and Girl Scouts alike in her community. To earn a Silver Award, a Girl Scout must complete an in-depth project where she identifies a need/issue in her community (local, state, national, or international community), researches it and plans a project to address it at the root cause. It requires a minimum of 50 individual leadership hours to implement and includes requirements for the project to be able to be sustained beyond the girl who created it. The project needs to be proposed to a highest awards committee at Girl Scouts of Southeastern New England and once approval is given the project may begin.
Brown’s Silver Award Project was originally a six-week after school educational program at the two Middletown elementary schools on bike safety and knowledge in April/May 2020 in partnership with Bike Newport. However, in March, schools statewide were closed due to COVID-19 and Brown had to adapt her project. She had intended to hold a community event during the summer, but with Covid restrictions still in place, Brown had to make adjustments once again—finally settling on two pieces to her project.
The first half centered on the purchase and installation of two bike repair stations in Middletown—one at Gaudet Middle School and one at the Middletown Public Library. The two stations cost over $2600.00. Brown held two car washes to raise nearly $1200, received private community donations, and requested and received funds from the Middletown Town Council. She also worked with the Superintendent of Middletown Schools, the Principal of Gaudet, facilities departments of the schools, Town Council, the Town Administrator, the Library Director, the Town Engineer, Girl Scout representatives, as well as local mentors and advisors in order to see the project through to completion.
The second portion of her project was the educational factor. Since reaching out to her local community was not possible during this pandemic, Brown created a Girl Scout Patch Program on the safety, based on the history/social implications of the bicycle accessible to Girl Scouts on a national level. The patch program has been offered through the Girl Scouts of Southeastern New England website (GSSNE.org) and through Girl Scout Facebook Groups across the country. The patch program consists of numerous activities for girls ages 5-18 to complete and earn the patch. She designed the patch and went to production for 300 patches to be given to the first 300 girls to complete the patch, free of charge. However, the patch program was so successful, Brown had to produce 500 more to meet demand.
“The Silver Award is the highest accomplishment a Girl Scout Cadette can earn, and Jordan should be especially proud of the work that she’s done towards her project and making her community a safer place. Within minutes of releasing her bike safety patch order form, all 300 patches from the initial order were claimed; she has 500 more on the way, and Girl Scouts across the country will be able to earn the patch while learning about bike safety! Girl Scouts of Southeastern New England could not be more proud of the impact of Jordan’s Silver Award project as she exemplifies the Girl Scout mission of building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place,” said Anna Lyons, Senior Manager, Girl Experience GSSNE.
Normally, the deadline to qualify for Highest Awards (Bronze, Silver, and Gold) is September 30th of the year a Girl Scout enters 9th grade, however this year, a three month extension was allotted for consideration due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Brown had proved that through hard work, adaptability, and a little gumption, she could successfully launch a critical safety program despite the odds against her.
About the Girl Scout Silver Award
Since 1916, Girl Scouts have been making meaningful, sustainable change in their communities and around the world through the Girl Scout Silver Award. The Girl Scout Silver Award, the second highest achievement in Girl Scouting, acknowledges the power behind each Silver Award Girl Scout’s dedication to not only empowering and bettering herself, but also to making the world a better place for others. These young women are courageous leaders and visionary change makers. They are our future, and it looks bright!
Over the course of the last century, millions of Girl Scout alums have positively impacted their communities and the world with their creative, impactful, and sustainable Take Action projects. It’s not only Girl Scouts who understand the value of the Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards. Some universities and colleges offer scholarships unique to these award recipients, and girls who enlist in the U.S. armed forces may enter at a higher pay grade in recognition of their achievements.
Earning the Silver Award is just one of the amazing things girls can do as part of Girl Scouts. To join Girl Scouts or learn more about volunteering, please visit
About Girl Scouts of Southeastern New England
Girl Scouts is the world’s preeminent girl leadership organization where, in an accepting and nurturing environment, girls build character and skills for success in the real world. Girl Scouts of Southeastern New England, in partnership with 2,700 adult volunteers, serves over 6,000 girls from Rhode Island, thirteen communities in southeastern Massachusetts, and Pawcatuck, CT.
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