Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Maniyah Hart, Colorado Springs, “Autism and Art Therapy”

Maniyah Hart

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award project, I decided to address kids with autism and the effects of art. In my project, I hoped to share something with the kids and young adults that will allow them to open up to their expressive side. In order to do that, I decided to make a manual for autism centers to use to teach their kids the wonder of art through making ceramic candle holders and they can do this through the Manitou Art Center. After I taught a group of kids with Zach’s Place (a local autism center), I planned with Manitou Art Center to have kids come in during the National Autism month in April to come in and make their art.

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

To fully understand the impact my project left on these kids, I simply had to look at their faces. The expression of joy and smiles is all it really took to show me that they enjoyed making a ceramic candle holder. Not only did they smile but I could see a sense of pride inside them for making something of their own unique design.

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

Every year during the National Autism month, which is April, Manitou Art Center will host a day where they invite kids or young adults with autism to come in and make a ceramic candle holder, which will be made with the help of my instructional manual provided for the autism centers. It will continue to impact after my involvement because it is something that the children will enjoy doing.

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

The global connection associated with my project is to raise more awareness on children with autism. This project shows that they have an artistic and expressive side just like everyone else. It allows them to express themselves at times when they don’t feel like talking.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that I can be capable of anything that I set my mind to. I was really afraid at the beginning of my project because of all the hard work I would have to put in. But in the end it is worth it so you can help the world be a better place.

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

Earning my Gold Award will help me become a more independent adult. After putting so much time and effort into this project, it showed me that this is how you become successful in life. I plan to continue on this path of success by putting hard work into everything I do.

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

The Gold Award really caps off the whole Girl Scout experience. This is what the whole Girl Scout journey is about; make the world a better place. You learned throughout the years to make change but to also be the change as one individual among many, who knows how to make the world its best.

**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