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Applications for National Young Women of Distinction


Every year, ten exceptionally inspiring Girl Scout Gold Award recipients are chosen as National Young Women of Distinction (NYWOD).

This honor is given to Girl Scout Seniors and Ambassadors whose Gold Award projects demonstrated extraordinary leadership, had a measurable and sustainable impact, and addressed a local challenge related to a national and/or global issue. These young women are taking matters into their own hands, generating much-needed change!

The NYWOD program perfectly reflects our mission of building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. The program provides these young stars with the opportunity to be an inspiration to girls around the world and throughout the Girl Scout Movement—and serve as incredible examples of what it means to be a G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™.

Who is eligible?

Any girl who completed her Girl Scout Gold Award between April 1, 2016, and March 31, 2017, is eligible to apply.

When can I apply?

Applications will be open from April 1–30, 2017. You MUST be nominated by your council and have a completed Gold Award Project in Go Gold Online to complete an application. Please contact Stephanie Fowle at to discuss your nomination.

How Can I apply?


You can request a nomination directly from your local council or overseas committee chair. If your council decides to nominate you, you must be registered and have your final Gold Award report completed in Go Gold Online.  

How should nominations be submitted to GSUSA?

All nominations should be submitted by a council staff member via Go Gold Online.   Please contact Stephanie Fowle at to discuss your nomination.

I have alreadycompleted my Gold Award and did not use Go Gold online, what should i do?

Log on to Go Gold Online and follow the initial registration steps. Be sure to take note of the prerequisites for earning the Gold Award and guidelines for uploading a profile picture. Once registered, be sure to save your user name and password for future log-ins.

Steps 1–5

This process can be sped up by copying and pasting the information from your existing documents into Go Gold Online. If the information is not available to you, you can enter “N/A” where the system allows. At Step 4, you must enter your project title and dollar amount (even if it is 0), and check the box indicating that you have read the tips and tools provided. At Step 5, click “Complete This Step” and an email will be sent to your council for approval.

Steps 6–7

Once approved, enter the total number of hours and total dollar amount using one entry slot in the time and budget log. Continue using “N/A” or copying data where you have the option to, making sure that your contact details are accurately entered.

Finally, upload photos, videos, the final report and all other documents related to your project using a zipped folder (you can upload documents in Steps 5 or 7) and check the box stating that you have read the tips and tools. Once you have completed these steps, hit the submit button. Your council will be notified of the submission, and once approved, you will be eligible for NYWOD nomination.

Nominations are open from April 1–30. Once nominated, please download the materials located in the NYWOD tab. There you will find a complete list of guidelines for completing your NYWOD application. Please note: This applies only to girls who have already completed their Gold Award project without using Go Gold Online, are within the eligibility dates, and would like to be considered for nomination.

I did my Gold Award through Go Gold Online. What do I need to do to be nominated?

Please contact Stephanie Fowle at to discuss your nomination. 

I am registered with Go Gold Online and my council has nominated me for NYWOD. What should I do now?

With your parent or guardian, read the Expectations and Requirements document provided by Girl Scouts of the USA, which you will find in Go Gold Online. If any of the information does not work for you or your family, let your council know that they will need to nominate someone else. If you are able to meet the requirements, follow the steps as indicated in the application. Feel free to change your profile photo, and be sure to upload any photos or videos related to your project if you haven’t already done so. Also, don’t forget your nomination video!

What size should my profile photo be?

See the headshot submission guidelines on the application page.

What are the requirements for uploading a video?

Your nomination video must be one minute or less, briefly describing your project and indicating why you should be selected as a National Young Woman of Distinction. The video can be made with any recording device, including a cell phone, tablet, or digital camera—just make sure the audio and picture are clear. You can then upload the video to YouTube, Vimeo, or any other video sharing site that provides an accessible link. Ask your council for help if you have problems recording or uploading your video.

How do I determine my therem?


Select a theme that best describes your project area. (A maximum of three themes can be selected from the dropdown menu.) For example, if you created a garden to supply a homeless shelter with fresh vegetables and fruit, the themes would be homelessness and hunger. If your theme isn’t listed, you have the option of typing one in.

My council notified me that they have submitted my application to GSUSA. When will I find out if i am an honoree?


The National Young Women of Distinction honorees will be notified by phone during the first week of July 2017, so keep your phones charged and handy! Official letters to all applicants will follow in the mail; be sure to review your mailing address to ensure that that it is correctly listed on your application.  



Each 2017 National Young Woman of Distinction will receive:

  • An academic scholarship from the Kappa Delta Foundation in the amount of $5,000
  • A Susan Bulkeley Butler academic scholarship in the amount of $10,000
  • Professional training in public speaking and media provided by GSUSA
  • A profile featured on GSUSA’s Facebook page, blog, and other social media outlets
  • Recognition at G.I.R.L. 2017, held in Columbus, Ohio October 4–8, 2017**

*All 2017 NYWOD will have the opportunity to serve as guest panelists and speakers during a variety of activities at the National Council Session/G.I.R.L. 2017 in Columbus, Ohio. Please note that these speaking engagements will be held in front of large audiences. All training will be provided to girls prior to event.