Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Brittany Jaros, Boulder, “Mission: Suicide Prevention”

Jaros_Brittany

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I created a presentation about suicide prevention for middle school aged students at two Catholic middle schools, Holy Trinity and St. Louis. Along with the presentation, I had the kids participate in a workshop where they put their sources of strength on a posterboard and we hung them around the school. I also created a website, http: wix.com/hope-strength to help spread my work to others. I also handed out stickers with the Sources of Strength wheel with my website domain on the back. The Sources of Strength wheel included family support, positive friends, mentors, healthy activities, generosity, spirituality, medical access, and mental health. Experts say if you have at least two of these sources of strength you will reduce your risk of experiencing depression and/or suicide.

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

I gave the kids an evaluation sheet asking them specific questions about the project and how I can change it. Most of the responses were positive and indicated the kids learned new things from my project.

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

The posters will continue to hang up around the schools. One of the teachers, Tate Hallahan at Holy Trinity, agreed to integrate an aspect of my project into a daily activity. The kids normally do a Life Balance Program called 4-7-40, Four Aspects of Human Awareness (Physical, Spiritual, Mental, Emotional) 7 – Seven Goals – Specific and Attainable / Pertain to the 4 Aspects. Before my project the activity was 3-7-40. He added the mental aspect after I came to the school. Also, he took the stickers I handed out with my website domain to handout to his students in the future. The kids will also continue to visit my website.

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

I emailed four organizations: Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, National Association of France-Depression, European Depression Organization, and Mental Health of America. Lori Salgado from the Board of Directors with DBSA Colorado responded and encouraged me about my project.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned I have the strength to persevere through any difficulties and I can finish anything I set my mind too. I discovered I am a good leader and I love working with middle school students.

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

Standing up in front of people and discussing a tough topic. I also learned to be brave and stand up for a topic I believe in even when others don’t see it as important . This will help me in the future when I have to give presentations in the business world and I’m comfortable with public speaking. I will also have the confidence to stand up for issues in the community and the world and address them.

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

It was the final project and endpoint of my journey as a younger Girl Scout. It has given me the helpful tools to continue Girl Scouts in the future. It helped me to achieve the final leadership tools I need to succeed in college, the business world, and as a future Girl Scout. Without these final tools I would not be as confident in myself before I enter the world.

**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 highestawards@gscolorado.org