When it came time for Rachel Goldstein ‘16 to create her Girl Scout Gold Award project, the choice was easy.
“When I was in the hospital as a little kid, I was given a dolphin stuffed animal to calm me down,” said Rachel, who is in her 12th year with the Girl Scouts. “I decided to create the Toys for Toddlers to Teens project. It felt good to be able to give back like that.”
Rachel collected stuffed animals and toys for Guardian ad Litem, a legal program that appoints volunteers to speak on behalf of children who would not necessarily have a voice in court. In addition, she created an online public service announcement which was displayed on the Guardian ad Litem website and YouTube to bring awareness to the program.
While Rachel was well involved with doing charity work through her involvement with the Girl Scouts, her leadership acumen truly came into fruition when she transferred from Robinson High School in Tampa to Farragut. “I got really involved in everything once I arrived,” said Rachel, who started at Farragut her freshman year. “The world completely changed. At Robinson, I was focused strictly on the dance team. Here you are able to explore so many different opportunities and thrive in them as well.” Part of the reason exists in the close-knit culture created through the boarding program.
“We’re learning calculus, physics, and history in a group setting,” said Rachel, who is a five-day boarder. “We’re studying together at night and during the day we’re constantly talking about what’s going on. This is basically people’s homes, and even the day students are a part of the family.”
Rachel’s accolades include being the co-captain of cross country, track, sailing and soccer as well as a member of the Student Advisory Committee, the Mu Alpha Theta math club and the National Honor Society. During her senior year, she has taken on the roles of secretary for the Key Club and company commander of the 2nd Company of the Regiment.
Most importantly, Rachel, who was a counselor for the Leadership Academy, was one of five students from Farragut selected for the USNA Summer Seminar in Annapolis, MD. The program, which introduces prospective Naval Academy applicants to the unique challenges of life as a midshipman, typically has approximately 7,000 worldwide applicants each year with 2,500 chosen.
“That’s what pushed me to want to go to the Naval Academy or the Coast Guard Academy,” Rachel said. “Having been at Farragut has opened my eyes to the possibilities and probabilities of accomplishing goals. Attending the seminar at the Naval Academy made me realize how similar a place it is to Farragut, just on a bigger scale.”