Michelle M. is a great representation of leading by example and setting a standard for the Girl Scout Gold Award. Aware that millions of children are affected worldwide by poverty and neglect, she decided to dedicated her Heart of Life-Gold Award project to the children of Corazon de Vida.

"For my Girl Scout Gold Award, I chose to look at the global subject of children's welfare. My project is dedicated to raising awareness of the orphans of Mexico living in substandard conditions at the US/Mexico border. These under-funded, and otherwise neglected facilities house thousands of abandoned children that would otherwise be living on the streets; providing them food, clothing, shelter and opportunities for a better life through education.

Looking back on this wonderful experience, I believe that the actual demolition and the installation of the tiles was the most successful aspect of my project. The reason I think so was because I really feel that the whole orphanage, even some of the older children got very involved in the actual process of demolishing the old tile and installing the new tile. For example, some of the older children at the orphanage stepped up and told us that they also wanted to help with the manual labor of the project. I, along with the rest of the demolition team, were very touched and with their help the entire demolition went very smoothly.

I really hope that my project can touch the hearts of other young people such as myself to go out into the world and do great things. I think that my project, in essence, shows that everyone can truly make a difference. I also hope that the people that I have impacted have learned and have opened their eyes to the reality of children in other countries such as the children at Casa Esperanza that I have learned to love."

Throughout the course of her project, Michelle contributed with 92-hours in organizing and collecting funds for Casa de Esperanza—raising over $2,000 for the improvements. Thank you Michelle, you are an inspiration to us all!

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