River Valleys Gold Award Recipient Recognized for Unique Project on Disaster Resilience

“None of us are immune from life’s challenges. Sometimes these challenges are small, and sometimes [they are] large, but they are often unexpected, unplanned, and sometimes even unimagined. But what if we thought differently? What if we expected these challenges and anticipated how we might be better prepared?” –Sophia Goettke, a River Valleys Gold Award Recipient

Untitled design (2)

It was these questions that led Sophia to develop her Gold Award Project – “Expect the Unexpected” – which focused on making her town of Rochester, MN more disaster resilient. Sophia created interactive display stations to teach about disaster preparedness and educate her community about how they can prepare and best respond to crisis situations.

This creative and valuable project is receiving a lot of recognition – in addition to the Gold Award, Sophia has received the President’s Volunteer Service Award and a certificate of excellence from the judges at the Prudential Spirit of Community Award.

Sophia has also presented at two college scholarship competitions on community resilience and her abstract about this project was recently accepted by the American Public Health Association. Please join us in congratulating Sophia for her amazing work.

To learn more about Sophia’s Gold Award project, you can visit her website.


  1. Angela Launsbach says

    Sophia joined my Girl Scout troop in the Centennial Day of Action Watershed Clean-up Day. It was cold, rainy and windy that day. Not once did she complain. She spent the morning working hard and singing songs and telling stories to my girls. She was an amazing example! Congrats, Sophia, on a job well done!