This Teen Is Empowering the Next Generation of Female Voters

Photo Credit: vesperstock/Shutterstock


Girl Scout Lauren Crane has a passion for social change and civic duty. But as a 17-year-old too young to vote, she’s had to find other ways to get involved in the democratic process. She did this by spreading awareness about the importance of registering and voting to those who are eligible to go to the polls. This mission was the focus of Crane’s Girl Scout Gold Award project — the highest honor a Girl Scout can receive. 

“I have always seen the value in voting as a key part of democracy, and as much as I supported this movement, I also felt a little left out,” Crane tells CircleAround. The San Diego native — who has already earned the Girl Scout Bronze Award and Girl Scout Silver Award — wasn’t about to let something as small as her age get in her way. 

As part of her Girl Scout Gold Award project, Crane launched a voter awareness campaign in her city to provide vital information for young people and encourage them to register to vote. She also set up democracy badge workshops for young Girl Scouts and attended high school club meetings to talk about the importance of voting and voter preregistration. 

Crane didn’t stop there. She made sure to be present at community outreach events where she could provide curious or undecided voters with materials and resources. She also distributed informational flyers with key voting dates and facts, and even created a High School Voter Registration Tool Kit with resources specifically for students who would soon be of age to vote. 

The final component of Crane’s Gold Award project included hosting an event to paint a mural in City Heights, an area with historically low voter turnout. “My project engaged many individual members of my community by showing them the importance of voting,” Crane says. “Beyond the impact my project had in increasing voter registration, I think I also showed my community — and the world — the power of youth.” 

Through the process of earning her Girl Scout Gold Award, Crane not only learned the value of having a voice as a young person, but the importance of having a voice as a young woman.

For Crane, the most challenging part of her Gold Award project was kicking it off. She worried about its overall success, deadline pressures, and other potential obstacles. But with the help of her support network, she was able to successfully envision and execute her plans.

“My project was carried out by young people for young people,” Crane says. “I engaged my friends, peers, and fellow youth in distributing flyers, helping me to come up with curriculum for badge workshops, painting the mural, offering feedback on my social media toolkit, and coming to community outreach events.”

Jennipher Harris — a Girl Scouts San Diego Gold Award Committee Mentor and Crane’s project adviser — recognizes Crane’s courage, determination, and dedication. “I revel in the opportunity to tell my mentees that I am proud of them,” Harris says. “Not many of our youth hear that phrase often enough. … It is leaders like Lauren that make this world a better place for all of us.”

Through the process of earning her Girl Scout Gold Award, Crane not only learned the value of having a voice as a young person, but the importance of having a voice as a young woman.  

“Something I’m trying to do every day as a woman striving for equality is to not let people speak over me,” she tells CircleAround. “As women, we owe it to ourselves to let our voices be heard. Once people stop talking over us, they might just listen to us and we can grow closer to achieving equality.”

Crane hopes her Gold Award efforts will inspire new generations of Girl Scouts to rise up, take action, and fight for what they believe in. “You are not alone; you are never alone,” she states. “There are people out there who want to support you. And maybe you haven’t met them yet, but they are there rooting for you.”

Click here to read more stories about the girls who are changing the world and the women who are supporting them.

CircleAround is operated by a wholly owned subsidiary of Girl Scouts of the USA. The site serves women nationwide by providing content that is uplifting, thought-provoking, and useful. We make revenue distributions back to GSUSA so they can further their mission of building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place.

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