Distinguished Leader

Roni Nelson of Rancho Santa Fe has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award – the organization’s highest honor – for demonstrating extraordinary leadership by identifying and tackling social issues. For her Gold Award project, Roni founded and led Bishop’s Anti-Stress Hangout (BASH) a school club intended to help combat student stress and mental health issues.

Roni is a fourth-generation Girl Scout, first joining as a Brownie in first grade and continuing through her senior year at The Bishop’s School. She previously earned her Bronze and Silver Award as a Junior and Cadette, respectively. She earned the Senior Community Service Bar, Senior Service to Girl Scouting Bar, a Helping Hands Award, and the Lifetime Achievement Award. She has served on Girls Scouts’ Girl Advisory Board, as a camp counselor-in-training, and as a hiking/backpacking youth program leader. As one of 25 Emerging Leader Girl Scouts of 2018, Roni participated in Girl Scouts San Diego’s Cool Women luncheon and mentoring session in April. She was also Girl Scouts San Diego’s top cookie entrepreneur for seven consecutive years, using her cookie earnings for Girl Scout leadership experiences like community service, camp, and travel.

Outside of Girl Scouts, Roni is an avid dancer. She was named a California Arts Scholar in 2016, a commended student in the National Merit Scholarship program in 2017, and inducted into the Spanish National Honor Society in 2016. She will be attending University of California Los Angeles in the fall.

Roni was among 58 Gold Award winners honored during a recent ceremony at Copley Symphony Hall. “Earning the Girl Scout Gold Award is truly a remarkable achievement,” said Carol M. Dedrich, CEO of Girl Scouts San Diego. “Roni exemplifies leadership in all its forms.” For information about Girl Scouting opportunities in Rancho Santa Fe and surrounding communities, contact Megan Quirk at mquirk@sdgirlscouts.org or visit www.sdgirlscouts.org.