Celestina Pint, a Knoxville Catholic High School junior, a parishioner of the Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, and Girl Scout Ambassador in Troop 20269, has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the most prestigious award that Girl Scouts can earn.
In an effort that began nearly a year ago, Celestina used her resources and skills to help extend the life of the 50-year-old West Knox Fish Pantry (WKFP). WKFP is an ecumenical, cooperative food pantry located at the Church of the Savior that Celestina has been volunteering for since she was a Daisy Scout. Her family has been deeply involved in this pantry on behalf of the cathedral parish for more than 20 years. Growing up as part of the pantry team, Celestina has been able to appreciate the level of food insecurity in the local community. Through her Scouting and school activities, she has also developed an awareness of the impact that food insecurity has on a child’s education.
Celestina had long observed that the pantry needed some physical maintenance and improvements, and she wanted to help the pantry to be able to continue its important work in feeding families. She also noticed that it needed more visibility among a younger audience, as the majority of its volunteers and leadership are senior citizens. Working with adviser Laura Derr, WKFP coordinator for First United Methodist Church of Farragut, and others on the WKFP leadership team, she developed an ambitious three-part project: physical improvements, new online visibility, and updated pantry reference materials.
Last summer, Celestina recruited and managed about 20 volunteers to clean and paint and install new shelving, signage, and LED light fixtures and to stabilize the assembly line with a new wooden structure. In the fall and winter, Celestina used her graphic design and communications skills to create a new website and social media accounts for the pantry. In order to update nutritional information and volunteer procedures, Celestina assembled and wrote a new volunteer manual, created designs for printable flyers and posters, and completed a comparison of the contents of WKFP food bags with current nutritional recommendations.
The process, which required more than 100 service hours, has been a tremendous growth opportunity for Celestina, and she is very thankful for all of the support she received from WKFP and the pastor of Church of the Savior, the Rev. John Gill, throughout the process.
Celestina completed the project in January and received final approval Jan. 21. She will receive the Gold Award at a High Award Ceremony in April. In 12 years of Scouting, Celestina has also earned the Bronze and Silver awards and the Catholic I Live My Faith, Marian Medal (Mary, the First Disciple), and Spirit Alive awards.