Making a Difference

Karina Martos of Encinitas has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the organization’s highest honor awarded to Girls Scouts for demonstrating extraordinary leadership by creating sustainable solutions that address society’s greatest challenges. For her Gold Award project, Karina equipped her peers to cope with mental health challenges.

After discovering that 25 percent of teenagers have been diagnosed with anxiety disorders, Karina led an educational campaign at her school, Dehesa Charter School. She produced videos and interactive presentations to raise awareness about different forms of anxiety and treatment options. The school plans to incorporate her curriculum within its campuses in San Diego, Riverside, and Orange Counties.

Karina joined Girl Scouts in kindergarten as a member of Girl Scout Troop 1228, led by her mother and Girl Scout alum Kim Martos. Karina has previously earned Bronze and Silver Awards, the highest honors for Girl Scout Juniors (grades 4-5) and Cadettes (grades 6-8), respectively. She has also earned Girl Scout Torch Awards for her community advocacy efforts and participated in Girl Scouts San Diego’s Cool Women 2019 event as an Emerging Leader Girl Scout. Karina graduated from Dehesa Charter School in January and is currently enrolled at MiraCosta College with plans to transfer to a four-year university.

Karina was among 61 Gold Award winners honored during a recent ceremony at the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines. “Gold Award Girl Scouts change the world for the better, and change it for good!” said Girl Scouts San Diego CEO Carol M. Dedrich. “Our 2019 honorees embody everything this achievement stands for.” For information on Girl Scouting opportunities contact Tracy Browns at, or visit