Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Carissa Flores, Westminster, “Inform, Protect, Take Action”

carissa-flores

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I created, coordinated, and led three separate age-related self-defense seminars: children, teens, and adults each with individual curriculum an average of 30 people, 90 people total and started the Women’s Self-Defense Club at Broomfield High School which currently meets once month for an hour with a different focus area of self-defense each month.

At the children’s seminar, I taught for about an hour and 15 minutes then presented a five-minute video to the kids so they could respond to real life situations. At the teen’s and adult’s seminar, I had the Blue Bench present for the first 15 minutes then taught for about an hour. The curriculum, in general, was the same but used different scenarios.

My club empowers and teaches women how to protect themselves against sexual assault; I develop curriculum, run meetings, teach self-defense. The Broomfield High School Family and Consumer Science department is implementing my curriculum into their courses and having me or another instructor from my Taekwondo school come teach self-defense to their classes.

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

I had an entry and exit survey for each seminar age group which all displayed a positive trend of the attendee’s knowledge and self-confidence of self-defense growing. I have the most recent data for the City and County of Broomfield from 2014 and 2013 that shows a decline in the rate of rape in Broomfield.

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

The creation of my Women’s Self-Defense Club at Broomfield High School was the most successful part of my project. It is the one thing that will keep on going after I graduate from Broomfield High School. I have a letter of commitment from my two club sponsors and principal stating that the club will continue and sponsor an annual self-defense seminar and that my sponsor from the Family and Consumer Science department will implement my curriculum into her courses and have me or another instructor from my Taekwondo school, once I graduate come teach self-defense to her classes. At my seminar, I gave two-week free passes to my Taekwondo school or gave people the option to join my club to further their knowledge. My legacy at Broomfield High School will be left in the club I created that will be able to ensure the safety of women at Broomfield High School after I graduate.

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

At my self-defense seminar in April, I had the Blue Bench come in and talk about setting boundaries (verbal and physical), listening to your instincts, common responses to sexual assault (fight, flight, freeze), how to support a survivor, statistics, and a success story. I integrated parts of ATA martial arts Krav Maga training, self-defense I learn in class on a daily basis, and tips and tricks I think important into my curriculum.

What did you learn about yourself?

I love teaching. It is the greatest feeling watching people’s knowledge grow when they have an “ah-ha” moment while I am teaching something to them and to know that I have made an impact in their lives, something they can utilize later in their lives.

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

It has given me skills I will be able to utilize in the future. I learned how to effectively communicate, bring a diverse team together to achieve a goal, utilize social media to reach the masses, organize, plan, and host a large event, manage money, lead, improvise with what I am given, and much more that now just seems natural to me. This directly helped me with the creation of another club at my school in which I had to go through all the same steps I did with the creation of my Women’s Self-Defense club; this time, of course, it was much smoother and I could tell my leadership was much more natural.

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

It allowed me to grow in ways that can’t be taught and that can’t be seen until reflection is done. I was able to execute a project that made a difference in my community addressing a topic that was important to me and doing it in a way that utilized talents I already had and formed new ones. I was able to see all of the things I had learned in Girl Scouts come together giving me the tools I needed to accomplish my Gold Award. I was able to see the impact that Girl Scouts had on my life that I never realized.

**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