CUMMING, Ga. – Mary Elizabeth Burke of Cumming will receive the Girl Scout Gold Award March 2 at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta.
The highest national honor in Girl Scouting is achieved by less than 5 percent of all Girl Scouts. For her Gold Award project, entitled "Remembering Autrey Mill," Burke spent more than 90 hours planning, coordinating and completing the refurbishment and restoration of 12 informational kiosks at the Autrey Mill Nature Preserve and Heritage Center in Johns Creek.
Additionally, she created an educational module on cotton and trained personnel at the center to administer the program. She has been an active Girl Scout for 11 years and serves as an ambassador in Troop 23426 under the leadership of Karen Mujica and Nancy Meredith in the Dunwoody Service Unit.
She has participated in Girl Scout Camp CEO, a mentoring program in which high school girls spend a weekend with Atlanta's top female executives in a leadership development environment. She was a committee member on the Destinations Scholarship Committee that awards scholarships to local area Girl Scouts who qualify for the adventure abroad program.
An honor student at Wesleyan High School, Burke is also a member of the National Charity League and has completed 450 hours of community service. In 2011, she received the U.S. Congressional Award for Youth for demonstrated merit in the areas of community service, personal development, physical fitness and expedition.
That same year, she received the President's Volunteer Service Award for Youth's Gold Medal given by President Barack Obama for distinguished community service. She serves on the National Teen Advisory Board for Girl Talk and is a member of Youth Leadership Forsyth. She worked as a legal intern for the Atlanta Bar Association last summer and hopes to pursue a law degree at Georgetown University specializing in child advocacy.