GIRL SCOUT GOLD AWARD PROJECT: Delaney Fitzsimmons, Highlands Ranch, “Rank Your Read”


Delaney Fitzsimmons

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award project, I created a list of books surveyed based on criteria including relationship intensity, language selection, reference to drugs and alcohol, types of social and mental issues, and presence of violence. The book list is intended for 5th to 8th grade readers with the purpose of providing a resource for students to find engaging books they will enjoy reading and want to finish. My book list is available online via my website, at Mountain Ridge Middle School, Bear Canyon Elementary School, Starry Sky Girl Scout Service Unit website and in the Arapahoe County Libraries.

How did you measure the impact your Gold Award project made on your target audience?

I measured the impact of my project based on the number of students I was potentially affecting by introducing my book list to certain schools and libraries. My book list is available to over 16,000 5th to 8th grade students due to its incorporation at Arapahoe County Libraries, Mountain Ridge Middle School, Bear Canyon Elementary School and the Starry Sky Girl Scout Service Unit website. I also measured the impact by determining who accessed my website using statistics collected through Google Analytics. I found that people were accessing my book list all over the world. 400 people have viewed my project online in the last four months.

How is your project sustainable? How will your project continue to impact after your involvement?

My project will be sustained with an online website that is regularly updated with new book lists every few months. Karen Sprafke’s 7th grade English class at Mountain Ridge will be continuing to add book entries. Their goal is to survey 100 books per semester. It will continue to impact students by being an available resource at Arapahoe County Public Libraries, Mountain Ridge Middle School, Bear Canyon Elementary, and Starry Sky Girl Scout Service Unit website for all current and future students and Girl Scouts in my Service Unit.

What is your project’s global and/or national connection?

Rank Your Read is connected globally because my website is available to anyone on the internet. Over 400 people have viewed my project online in the last four months. Most views have come from Colorado, California, Texas and New York. There have also been over 100 views internationally with top views from Japan, the United Kingdom, China and Germany.

What did you learn about yourself?

In the process of achieving my Gold Award I learned that I get stressed easily without a plan to break down bigger goals. I learned how to manage my time and take even as little as an hour per week to make progress. I learned how to communicate with my peers, advisors and authorities. I learned that public speaking is a challenge for me but with practice, gets easier and makes me more confident and prepared.

How will earning your Gold Award impact you in the future?

Earning my Gold Award will give me the confidence to tackle big projects in my future. I know where to begin, and I know I can complete any project because I completed my Gold Award. The confidence and lessons I learned about communication allow me to better communicate with my professors and peers.

Why do you feel the Gold Award was an important part of your Girl Scout experience?

The Gold Award was a crucial part of my Girl Scout experience because it taught me the benefit of perseverance. Achieving my Gold Award was a goal I set for myself more than five years ago. It was a big commitment and at times seemed impossible to achieve. By finishing, I proved to myself that I could achieve even the most intimidating projects. My Gold Award gave me the opportunity to use the skills I had learned throughout my twelve years of scouting. I saw the benefit of working with a team as I worked with my advisor, teachers, parents and students. I used my resources at the Girl Scout office to help me distribute information about Rank Your Read. Most importantly, the Gold Award allowed me to make an impact on my community. By completing my project, I know I was able to help kids in my town, within my Girl Scout Service Unit, in Arapahoe County and on a national level. Without the Gold Award, I never would have pursued a project like this, and it is therefore, the culmination of my Girl Scout experience.

**IMPORTANT NOTE: This blog represents only a small fraction of the hard work, dedication and requirements that go into earning a Girl Scout Gold Award. It is simply a brief summary, which is meant to inspire Girl Scouts to Go Gold in the future. For more information on earning your Gold Award, please email

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