Senior Girl Scout Elena Gomez of Vista has earned the prestigious James S. Copley Citizenship Award for “exemplary participation in community life.” Gomez, an honors student who graduated from Rancho Buena Vista High School in June, has been a Girl Scout for 12 years. She was one of four San Diego, Imperial Council Girl Scouts honored at a San Diego Rotary Club luncheon on August 25.
Gomez was recognized for her dedication to community service and for upholding Girl Scouting principles. “Girl Scouts are known for their leadership and service roles throughout San Diego’s diverse communities,” said Girl Scouts, San Diego-Imperial Council CEO Jo Dee C. Jacob.
“We are proud of Elena for exemplifying our high ideals and for being a shining example of volunteerism for other Girl Scouts.”
Several projects Gomez developed and implemented bear out that mandate. For her Girl Scouts Silver Award, she assembled food and supplies for Stand Up For Kids, an organization that supports runaway teens. Two years later, Gomez earned her Gold Award by teaching Monte Vista Elementary School and Lincoln Middle School students how to recycle (and sending them home with recycling bins). She also led the North Coastal Prevention Youth Coalition, dedicated to reducing youth access to drugs, alcohol, and tobacco, and baked cookies shaped like cancer-support ribbons to benefit the American Cancer Society.
On May 10, the mayor of Vista honored Gomez with a “Day in the City of Vista” proclamation; later that month, the Hispanic Heritage Foundation awarded her the Silver Medallion for community service. The 17-year-old just started Chapman University in Orange County, where she will pursue a career in broadcast journalism.