ESCONDIDO — Escondido residents Taylor Cloutier and Bryn Spencer, Karina Martos of Encinitas, Dani Brant from San Marcos, and Vista’s Aleena Record have received the Gold Award, the highest honor in Girl Scouting. Previously, all five earned the Silver and Bronze Awards, the highest accolades for Cadettes (Girl Scouts in grades 6 to 8), and Juniors (grades 4 to 5), respectively. They were among 61 young women honored by Girl Scouts San Diego during a July ceremony.
Cloutier earned her Gold Award by teaching middle and high school students how to prevent Type 2 diabetes by adopting healthy lifestyle choices early in life. She joined Girl Scout Troop 8484 in kindergarten. As an Emerging Leader Girl Scout of 2018 and 2019, she participated in Girl Scouts San Diego’s Cool Women events. She also earned the Family of God, My Promise My Faith, I Live My Faith, and Marian medals; and the Senior and Ambassador Girl Scout Leadership Torch and Community Service Bars. She is a Rotary Youth Leadership Award recipient and member of the National Honor Society, Peer Leaders Uniting Students, and Best Buddies Club. Taylor, who will graduate from Del Norte High School in 2020, has served as class president and vice president. She plans to become a veterinarian.
Spencer taught Spanish and English to children at an orphanage in Tobatí, Paraguay, using curriculum she developed after conducting research on her target population’s needs. She has been in Girl Scouts since kindergarten as a member of Troop 4016, led by mother, Tiffany Spencer. This spring, the troop visited Savannah, Georgia, the birthplace of Girl Scouting. A 2019 graduate of Rancho Bernardo High School, she was the fundraising chair of her school’s Fight Against Hunger Club, which packaged 86,000 meals for Haiti and Poway residents experiencing food insecurity. Bryn will be a freshman at the University of San Diego this fall, majoring in international relations. She aspires to work for a U.S. Embassy or the United Nations.
After creating the Teen Mental Health Awareness program, Martos led an educational campaign at her school to raise awareness about how to recognize and treat various forms of anxiety. Her school, Dehesa Charter School has since adopted her Gold Award project program at multiple campuses. She joined Girl Scouts 13 years ago as a member of Troop 1228, led by her mother, Girl Scout alum Kim Martos. Her honors include receiving the Girl Scout Torch award. Martos graduated from DCS in January of 2019, and is continuing her studies at Mira Costa College with plans to transfer to a university and also study abroad.
Brant’s Gold Award project focused on promoting tolerance. After witnessing other students making hateful and uneducated “jokes” about people from other races or cultural backgrounds, she decided to take action. To combat hate and prejudice, Brant produced a tolerance symposium, a video highlighting stories of minority youth, and an educational pamphlet. A member of Troop 4192, Brant has been in Girl Scouts since kindergarten, and earned a lifetime achievement award for her 12 years of participation in the Girl Scout Cookie Program. She is set to graduate from San Marcos High School in 2020, and plans to become a lawyer.
For her Gold Award, Record wrote a book called “Hope in 90 Days” to encourage foster care children to dream about the future, cultivate hope for their lives, and release bottled-up emotions. She used earnings from the Girl Scout Cookie Program to fund her Gold Award project. The third-generation Girl Scout was a member of Troop 4618, led by her mother, Elissa Record. Record was named Miss Teen Pride of Vista 2016, and has received the President’s Volunteer Service Award. She is a 2019 graduate of Vista High School, where she received the Rising Star of the Month and Volunteer of the Year 2017 awards. She was accepted into California Baptist University, where she plans to study to become a teacher.
Photo Caption: From left, Escondido residents Bryn Spencer and Taylor Cloutier are among the new Gold Award Girl Scouts.