The schedule of a theatre student at the Mississippi School of the Arts (MSA) is an arduous one requiring hours of rehearsals and performances on top of the academic expectations of high school. Gabrielle Robinson is a senior theatre at the MSA and on top of the expectations has managed to accomplish the highest award possible in Girl Scouts of America. This fall, Gabrielle completed her Gold Award as part of her lifelong commitment to Girl Scouts of America troop 5012 in Hazelhurst, MS.

Starting in kindergarten, Gabrielle has enjoyed participating in the activities of Girl Scouts. Delayed but undeterred by COVID, Gabrielle created a project utilizing what many came to depend on for learning during the pandemic. Using an online platform, Gabrielle created Take Off the Mask, a teenage mental health awareness program. Earning 137 hours of service, the program offered teens the opportunity to gain information on self-confidence and responsibility. Participants also learned about different mental health concerns facing teens today. When she began, she didn’t realize that her program would reach outside of her immediate community to serve people from three states and around the state of Mississippi.

Gabrielle hosted the monthly events with mental health professionals conducting the sessions. Mental health is a major concern among teens today. Take Off the Mask offered not only informational sessions and resources to its participants, but this program can also continue to serve the community. Gabrielle said her best advice to other young women in Girl Scouts is to “never give up.” The Gold Award will create scholarship opportunities for Gabrielle as she goes to higher education and has offered her leadership experience that will serve her for the rest of her life.