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Girl Spotlight: Gold Award Girl Scout, Marissa

Girl Scout of Tropical Florida alum, Marissa T.’s Gold Scout Gold Award project “Community For Counseling” might have come to an end but the work that she did to support the Kristi House will live on for years to come. Kristi house, known as the only Child Advocacy Center in Miami-Dade County is dedicated to eradicating child abuse and child sex trafficking, a topic that Marissa is passionate about. The 18-year-old, first-year student at Florida State University has declared a double major in psychology and criminology with the intent of entering the law enforcement field to continue the work she did at Kristi House. “I want to work in law enforcement,” she previously told Miami’s Community News writer, Linda Rodriguez Bernfield. “I’ve always thought of working in the human trafficking division of the FBI.”

With one internship with the Eleventh Circuit Court complete, we look forward to following the Palmetto Bay native’s journey as she continues to work toward making our community a safe one for all-ages to enjoy.

Tell us about your project

I designed and launched an awareness campaign supported by an informational website, and a materials drive for the Kristi House and children impacted by sex abuse and trafficking.

How is your project sustainable?

The website itself continues to provide updates to community members on how they can help.

What gave you the inspiration to approach this topic the way that you did?

The proximity of the Kristi House offices to my home and my passion for their cause.

Why is this project important to you, personally?

I really believe in the work they do and wanted to do whatever I could to give back on behalf of my community.

What was the biggest challenge you overcame and how?

The pandemic derailed my plans significantly, but despite delays I was able to complete the project thanks to the flexibility of the GSTF team.

How does this project contribute to your goals for the future?

In addition to majoring in criminal justice, I am continuing to support this cause in my free time through volunteer efforts with the support of my sorority, as well.

What did you learn about your community in this process?

How deep this problem runs as a result of the lack of awareness it receives.

What did you learn about YOURSELF?

That I am capable of persistence despite completely unpredictable challenges that present themselves.

“Girl Scouts has made me a competent and driven woman unafraid of taking on big goals”