Grace Buckle, a graduate from St. Agnes Academy, has become a Gold Award Girl Scout. The honor recognizes girls in grades 9 through 12 who demonstrate extraordinary leadership through sustainable and measurable community service projects that require a minimum of 80 hours to complete. Less than 5 percent of Girl Scouts earn the award.
Buckle raised awareness for the autism community at her high school and throughout Missouri City. She led a team of 40 volunteers in planning, organizing and hosting various events where participants could gain more resources about autism. Buckle also founded the Autism Awareness Club at her high school and hosted caregiver empowerment sessions in partnership with Hope for Three, a local nonprofit.
“I strove to educate those in my community about autism as well as embrace and empower autistic individuals in my community,” said Buckle.
Buckle also implemented the Safe Return Program with the help of Missouri City Police Department. The program allows families to register their loved ones with autism and their personal information into a database that will be available to first responders to be used in emergencies. According to Buckle, she has experience first-hand the lack of respect and compassion many members of the community have toward her twin sister with autism.
“I used my project as a way to tackle the root issues of ignorance, disrespect and neglect by increasing autism awareness amongst by peers and classmates,” said Buckle, “as well as providing and sharing resources available to those impacted by autism. “
Buckle currently attends Tulane University.
According to the Girl Scout Research Institute’s (GSRI) report, The Power of the Girl Scout Gold Award: Excellence in Leadership and Life, Gold Award Girl Scouts receive greater lifetime benefits than their peers with regard to positive sense of self, life satisfaction, leadership, life success, community service and civic engagement thanks to their experience in Girl Scouting, including earning their Gold Award.