Stephenville – Courtney McGuire recently earned the Girl Scout Gold Award. Open only to girls in high school, the Girl Scout Gold Award is one of the most prestigious award in the world for girls. The Gold Award challenges Girl Scouts to develop projects which address local and global issues with sustainable solutions. For her Gold Award project, Project Melting Pot, Courtney focused on shifting the narrative surrounding what it means to be an immigrant in the United States, capturing and editing a twenty-one-minute documentary on this very topic. Told through the eyes of immigrants living in Erath County, the film uses four personal accounts to convey the legal process and trials of moving from foreign countries to America.
Project Melting Pot strives to address and transform the discrimination of immigrants- both legal and illegal, which Courtney attributes to “lack of trustworthy and easily accessible information” and her observation that “A majority of people in [her] community hear the word immigrant and automatically and unfortunately make the jump to “illegal Hispanic immigrant.” The rhetoric surrounding immigration is a timely topic., A Gallop poll indicating the number of American Citizens who believe Immigration to the United States should decrease has risen from 14% to 31% since 2010. Courtney’s documentary demonstrates the lengthy, expensive, and often frustrating path non-American take to become United States Citizens.
Passionate about art, Courtney channeled her skills of videography and video production to create an informational piece, consciously working to keep the film non-biased. “I chose this project because I feel strongly about making sure that people are informed before they make the decision to pass judgment on their neighbors and fellow community members”, says Courtney. “Also, I have friends and family who are immigrants and I really wanted the chance to share their stories with my community and with, hopefully, the people of my country.” Her documentary has been shown at various places of worship and organizations in Stephenville. Courtney has also utilized social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to expand the reach of her documentary and to facilitate constructive conversation to educate others and to provide a place for civil discussion.
Girl Scout of Central Texas’ Award Specialist, Wendy Riley, encourages the community to support girls like Courtney, saying, “Girl Scouts, as young as five years old, are taking action to make a difference in their worlds. They are the makers of tomorrow and we, as their peers, neighbors, and mentors, must rally around them in support of their groundbreaking work.”
If you would like more information or to schedule a time to interview Courtney, please contact Hannah Bruno at Hannahb@gsctx.org or at 254-253-1366.