Monday, July 29, 2013

The Rights Stuff

Molly Girard with Guidance Counselor and the Advisor 
for the Gay Straight Alliance Jen Arnst
With the news last week that the first same-sex couple to obtain marriage licenses in Pennsylvania hailed from and were issued licenses by Montgomery County, a national debate about marriage and equal rights for non-traditional couples has become a very local story.

But Loreen Bloodgood and Alicia Terrizzi are not the only people on the front line of this issue.

Molly Girard, who graduated in June from Owen J. Roberts High School, will be honored Aug. 8 at the National Libery Museum in Philadelphia as part of the the Young Heroes Award ceremony for her work pushing for more rights and understanding for lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, trans-gender citizens.

The award honors young people who have championed liberty through civic engagement, conflict resolution, promoting diversity and school or community leadership.

All winners receive recognition at an awards ceremony at the Museum; a certificate of recognition, medallion and gifts; and a plaque featuring their story in the Museum's Young Heroes Exhibit. 

Here is why she is being honored:

One of the most dedicated members of the Owen J. Roberts Gay Straight Alliance Club, Molly sits on the Executive Officer Board. 

According to her nomination, she has been a huge motivating force behind their ability to reach out to faculty in other schools. After a discussion with staff addressing anti-lgbt language and bullying, Molly and her peers arranged to visit other buildings to help educate staff about LGBT issues and sensitivity to differences. 

So far they've visited the middle school and all elementary schools in the district. 

They coordinated scheduling the visits and planning the presentations and training her peers on running break out portions of the workshop. 

Outside of school, Molly has promoted LGBTQ student equality and understanding and presented at the first annual Rainbow Connection Student Leadership Conference at West Chester University. She presented to student leaders from other high school GSA clubs there.

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