After constructing free libraries to help make reading more accessible to the people in her community and to promote recycling and resource-sharing, Kennedy Ertel of Luling has earned Girl Scouts’ most prestigious award – the Gold Award.
To be considered for the Gold Award, a Girl Scout must show exceptional leadership, organizational skills and complete a community service requirement.
Ertel, 17, was honored this month along with other Gold Award honorees at a reception and pinning ceremony at the Old Governor’s Mansion in Baton Rouge. Gold Award Earners from 2020 and 2021 were recognized since last year’s ceremony was cancelled due to the pandemic.
“While many of us were struggling to find what to do with our time during the pandemic, these girls were out finding solutions to the big problems in their communities,” Rebecca Pennington, GSLE’s Chief Executive Officer, said. “We couldn’t be prouder of their accomplishments.”
Ertel said she started in Girl Scouts as a young girl, and that her loved of reading inspired her project.
“I’ve always really liked reading,” she said. “It’s always been something that means a lot to me and I was thinking of a project … not everyone has access to books, and to some people I know it means a lot to them to own something. I wanted to do something that could give people books forever.”
Ertel’s free library has been installed at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Luling since 2019.
“I just wanted everyone to be able to read and have a book and be able to spread reading and fun,” she said, adding the installation is open to the public. “Anyone can go up and get a book or leave a book.”