Today Girl Scouts announced the 2017 National Young Women of Distinction, and Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson is ecstatic to recognize Elizabeth Klosky, Cornwall, among them.
From the thousands of exceptional Girl Scouts who earn their Gold Award each year, Girl Scouts of the USA recognizes 10 girls as inspiring leaders who have transformed an idea and vision for change into an actionable plan with measurable, sustainable, and far-reaching impact at the local, national, and global levels.
“When I first had heard that I was named one of the National Young Women of Distinction, I was completely ecstatic. I was so surprised to hear the news because I was down in Virginia visiting and working on my uncle’s farm at the time. It’s such an honor to be selected, and I’m so excited to be involved in promoting Girl Scouts. I really hope that I can inspire some younger Girl Scouts to pursue their passion and to become leaders, and I want to encourage them to go for it, one-hundred percent!” says Elizabeth.
Elizabeth chose to address the public’s lack of knowledge and fear of bees, especially among children. She then took it a few leaps further by addressing the need for legislative awareness and support for bees on a state and local level, and the need for habitat protection. Her efforts to “Educate! Legislate! Populate!” began with training a team to present dozens of fun, hands-on educational activities, displays, and workshops. She then connected with environmental education organizations, museums, community gardens, and farms, as well as other groups who rely on bees and the environment.
Through her efforts, she was able to reach thousands of people across New York, Europe, Japan, and Australia directly—and thousands more worldwide through social media. She taught adults and children about bees, and showed how anyone can help them by taking action. She then teamed with local and state legislators, writing and promoting bee-friendly legislation. She brought pressure through grassroots advocacy, including petitions, emails, and phone calls—resulting in Pollinator Awareness Week being established in towns and villages across the state. She then had a bill passed in the New York State Assembly and Senate and signed by Governor Cuomo. Funding for bee research is also being passed in the state budget. To continue her work, she is creating a nonprofit geared at continued public education on the importance of bees.
“My project NY Is A Great Place to Bee is still ongoing, even after I finished my Gold Award project. At this stage I am working with my family and “Worker Bees” to try and make the project into a non-profit one. Hopefully my position as a NYWOD will bring even more attention nationally to the plight of bees everywhere, and promote action in localities beyond my personal reach. Getting more eyes on their rapid decline will hopefully bring many more supporters and more assistance to the bees,” Elizabeth adds.
We could not be more proud of Elizabeth and all her hard work – as well as the other 9 NYWOD from across the country. Everyone of them have done amazing work to better their local and global communities.
From supporting girls’ menstrual hygiene in rural India to creating water conservation technology to help farmers in California, this year’s National Young Women of Distinction are creating positive change to address society’s most pressing issues. They exemplify how Girl Scouts confidently stand up for what they believe in, advocate for causes, and take action to solve community problems and build a better world. You can see the full list of this year’s winners here.