Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Ashlin Hult, Niwot, “Positive reflections”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

The issue my project addressed was positive body image for middle-school aged girls. I noticed how positive body image was an under looked issue and I decided to make that the topic of my Gold Award. To address this issue, I created a pamphlet and distributed it to middle school girls with a presentation I also created. The media is also a possible root cause of this issue, so I also formed an Instagram account named GS_Positive_Reflections within my project.  Overall, I hoped to raise awareness and increase self-esteem. I made an impact on anyone who received a pamphlet and I wanted to create a long-lasting impact on whoever this project touched.

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

I may not see the direct results of this project in the next year, but I believe that this pamphlet gives my target audience tools to help deal with body image issues in the future. My presentation gave them and an eye-opening experience that they will be able to remember for a long time.  I will know this project is successful if the organizations I reached out to comment on how it helped the target audience and if they ask for more of my pamphlets. If someone who participated in one of my presentations gains more self-confidence that impacts the rest of their lives, then this project will be a success.

Overall, I contacted 12 different organizations, distributed 150 copies of my pamphlets among five of those organizations, made two presentations directly to girls at a local middle school, and have over 70 followers on my Instagram account

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

I sustained my project by giving the organizations more pamphlets as well as digital copy of my pamphlet. They agreed to print out more pamphlets and distribute them when needed. I continue to post messages on my social media account too.

My goal is that someone or a group of people will see my project and try to make a bigger impact out of it. I hope others might join my project and continue to spread the word.  Ideally, counselors and school teachers will talk more often about positive body image in classroom discussions. Another idea is that girl groups could form that take my topic and create more resources for teenage girls.

I believe that my project will still be relevant in years to come and whoever participated in it will remember what I said. Those who were a part of my project now know where to find resources if they, themselves, or someone else they know struggles with positive body image issues.

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

Low self-esteem due to body image happens in our society throughout the whole world. I have noticed that many people feel passionate about this topic and feel that it is under looked as well. This is not just something that happens to middle-school aged girls, but is seen across all the age groups. I used an array of resources from all over and found that this problem is consistent in all areas.

The media can cause people to feel bad because photos can be photoshopped and show an unrealistic image. Some people have tried to fix how we see the images of celebrities, showing how celebrity photos can be fake.

I also contacted 12 organization across the country, from Colorado to California, to distribute my pamphlet and five of those 12 organizations are currently distributing it.

What did you learn about yourself?

I developed better communication skills through practice and gaining confidence. I practiced use of formal interviewing and honed my skills as a presenter. I can use technology more efficiently to reach out to people; I was able to use e-mail to correspond more fluidly.

I learned to better schedule and plan my time to meet deadlines. I learned that I need to use my time more efficiently and to do tasks in a timely manner.

I am easily distracted and do my best work without interruptions. I must set up my workspace so I can focus.

I discovered what I need to do to work smarter, not harder and be more efficient.

I contacted other family members that would be interested in giving me support during my project and they offered me helpful advice.

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

The skills that have shown the most improvement include time-management, scheduling, and communication. This project gave me the opportunity to grow and flourish over the last two years. With my graduation from high school, I am now looking to the future. I am more confident with life skills that will help me with a job or any other type of work. I plan to go to college and these are essential skills for success. I picked up on lifelong skills throughout this project that I will definitely use in the future.

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

I feel that I have learned a lot through this project. I strived to become a better Girl Scout throughout the process and I now have improved on skills that I can use in the future. This project pushed me to use new skills and go outside my comfort zone.

I have improved as a person with these skills and am now ready for whatever the future throws at me. I will become a more successful adult because of this project. I will always be improving and work hard because this project has shown me how hard I can work to achieve a goal.

How did earning your Gold Award help you become a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader)? 

I challenged myself to be a go-getter by reaching out to interviewers and other people that can be used in my support system. Also, when I reached out to organizations, they seemed excited to use my pamphlet.

I used innovative tactics when developing my pamphlet. A pamphlet is something that I have never made before. When I started my project, I ran into a couple of road bumps before I found the correct program to use to create my pamphlet.

I have become more of a risk-taker through this project. I did things on my own that I have never done before, such as drive to organizations and explain what my project is. I improved my communication skills with practice which allowed me to be more comfortable and confident when making connections with others. I also developed skills building relationships through face-to-face interactions but also with e-mails and phone calls.

I became a leader through my project whenever I presented my pamphlet to a group of people. I felt the most successful aspect of my project was when I got to hand out pamphlets at actual organizations. I got to talk about my project and the adults helped me open up a nice discussion with the girls. Those at the presentation seemed intrigued. I have dropped off my pamphlets at four organizations as of right now.

**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