Asha Wills’ 2012 Future Woman of Distinction Acceptance Speech
Congratulations to Asha Wills, this year’s Future Woman of Distinction! Read below what Asha had to say at the event.
Asha Alexandria Wills, Ambassador Girl Scout and Future Woman of Distinction, Troop 2203
It is with much humility that I accept the 2012 Future Woman of Distinction Award from the Girl Scouts of Greater New York. I recognize that there are many talented young women leaders equally deserving of this Award, so I am extremely grateful to the selection committee for choosing me to represent my sister Girl Scouts.
My 13 years in girl scouting have helped to shape my character and have provided me with a set of morals and principles. As early as age 5, the Girl Scout Law challenged me to always take responsibility for my actions, to treat everyone – my leaders, my elders, my peers and my family – with respect, and to conduct myself with honesty and integrity. My weekly troop meetings highlighted for me the meaning of the word “commitment”. I had troop leaders whose dedication was unfailing. They not only planned trips and activities, they also guiding me through the Bronze, Silver and Gold Award – the Girl Scouts highest honor – which I earned earlier this year
My Gold Award project, entitled “ABC: Aim- Bound for College” encouraged children at an early age to think about furthering their education. I wanted them to focus on excelling in school and to help them build enthusiasm for the learning process, so that they will be ready to pursue higher education. To this end I implemented the following:
- I established mentoring partnerships between responsible adults in my Church community and the elementary school kids in the after-school and Girl Scout programs;
- I personally tutored a second-grader on a weekly basis with special emphasis on reading comprehension, vocabulary building and math skills. This student was recently recognized as “The Most Improved Student” in the first trimester this school year;
- I introduced girls to the Girl Scout College Prep Program to sustain their interest in higher education; and
- I organized and conducted an all-day workshop for elementary school kids, informing them of the benefits of seeking higher education.
In the process of completing this project, I discovered how much fun I was having, how genuinely excited and happy it made me feel to serve others, particularly the young kids in my community. The experience also taught me how to motivate others and effect sustainable change.
Both the values I learned as a Girl Scout and the experiences that I gained helped to spark my interest in serving my community. In the last few weeks it led me to throw myself into relief efforts to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy. This disaster has devastated 40 student families and 10 faculty families in my school community, leaving many homeless and others having to relocate because of flooded basements and unlivable conditions. I was part of a team in my school that arranged several relief efforts to assist these families. We organized and conducted a bake sale, raising $1,300.00 in 2 hours; baby-sat over 100 kids, in a safe place with countless activities, so their parents had to opportunity attend a benefit concert for Sandy relief efforts and to connect with each other. Additionally, I responded to a clean-up effort established by my church home to assist members whose property was affected by the storm. I am deeply moved to have had these opportunities to help my community members who are in need.
I would like to extend my heart-felt thanks to the Girl Scout Troops, Leaders and peers at St. Augustine, where I started Girl Scouting, and to St. Vincent Ferrer, for all their guidance, friendship and support. Thank you to my parents, my family and friends for always believing in me and pushing me to be my absolute best. Without you, all of my accomplishments would simply be a dream.
Lastly, I thank Girl Scouts for giving me the courage, confidence and character that has enabled me to find success in Girl Scouting, in school and in every aspect of my life. My life and the lives of the young women I know who are Girl Scouts have been greatly enhanced by membership in this powerful organization. I am forever appreciative of all that my Girl Scouting experience has given and taught me and sincerely hope that scouting can continue to do the same for young women everywhere for the next 100 years.