Hannah Metzger is all about teamwork and loyalty. She joined the Girl Scouts of the USA in kindergarten, and this April, as a senior at Lake Forest High School (LFHS), she’s receiving the highest achievement they give, the Gold Award.
The Gold Award requires the Girl Scout to take on a leadership role by planning and implementing a project outside of the Girl Scouts that provides sustainable and lasting benefit to the larger community.
Metzger received her Bronze Award in fifth grade working with her troop on a Nike Reuse-a-Shoe campaign, putting collection boxes around school and collecting many pairs of used shoes. They donated them back to Nike to be recycled, turning the soles into track and playground material.
Her troop got their Silver Awards working at Green Youth Farm in North Chicago, which provides the local food desert community with organically grown produce at a reduced cost. They grew plants and vegetables from seeds in a local greenhouse before planting them in their final location at the farm.
“I really like getting to see different perspectives of what goes on in communities other than Lake Forest,” Metzger says.
When it came time to tackle the Gold Award, Metzger already knew whom in the community she wanted to help.
She’d previously volunteered her skills as a graphic designer to House of Peace Domestic Violence Center in Waukegan, which provides secure, temporary residence for women and children suffering from domestic violence, when they wanted to update their website. Metzger wanted to find a way to draw people from Lake Forest to help House of Peace.
An opportunity came via the need for volunteers to engage with the children living at House of Peace while their mothers attend a weekly group therapy session called Phoenix Night. First, Metzger enlisted the help of a couple friends for Phoenix Night, going to play with the kids in the House of Peace gymnasium working on crafts and playing games. Soon, she got the activity listed to the LFHS Honor Society volunteer list and enlisted the help of the youth at CROYA (Committee Representing Our Young Adults), Lake Forest’s City-sponsored youth organization.
“There are a few kids who have opened up to me,” Metzger says. “With them I can really feel that our presence makes a difference.”
Metzger balanced all of this while maintaining a successful career as a goal keeper on LFHS’s Varsity Girls Field Hockey, and says winning the state championship this year was “probably one of the best moments of my life.”
Just like Girl Scouts, field hockey is something Metzger took on long ago, in second grade, and she never wavered from it over the years. Next fall, she’ll be starting her freshman year of college as a goalkeeper for DePauw University.
“I’ve always liked having a team,” Metzger says. “I swam for a little bit, but I didn’t like it because it was just this individual sport, it wasn’t about the teamwork involved. I also enjoy community service. Field hockey is a fall sport, so there was always time for me to do Girl Scouts, too. I didn’t have to give up anything to do these two things that I really like to do.”
Do you know a teen doing outstanding work in the fields of charity, science, arts, business, or education? Send your suggestion for Standout Student to firstname.lastname@example.org.