What did you do for your Gold Award project?
For my Gold Award, I created a program within high schools. This program is both a recycling and donation program. The students’ empty soda cans and other aluminum cans are placed in the collection bins placed throughout the school. Once the collection bins are full (approximately every two weeks but differs for every school), a volunteer for the local animal shelter picks them up and brings them to the shelter. The animal shelter then recycles the aluminum cans for profit. I also created a program guide, educational posters, and wrote morning announcements to develop and implement the program.
How did you measure the impact your Gold Award project made on your target audience?
The aluminum can profits will go directly to the Pikes Peak Humane Society Animal Medical Fund. In 2016, the shelter medicine expenses were $1,393,781. This amount includes $10,431 spay/neuter operations, emergency surgeries, and medical attention from cruelty and neglect cases. In 2013, the aluminum cans generated $7,573.30 for the Humane Society. Over a course of two weeks, the high school gathered $1.05 in aluminum cans. Within a year that will add up to $27.30 for the Animal Medical Fund.
How is your project sustainable? How will your project continue to impact after your involvement?
Cans Can Help will be sustained at Liberty High School through the active participation and management of the student council class through an agreement made with the student council advisor. This class will continue to collect the aluminum cans and prepare them for pick up by a volunteer from the humane society at regular intervals. The pick-up schedule is managed by communication between the humane society and student council management team. The student council will continue to promote my program by creating a class competition to paint the collection bins. The competition will bring awareness to the collection bins and hopefully decrease the amount of trash found in them. The competition will have an animal theme to promote the cause that the aluminum cans are for.
What is your project’s global and/or national connection?
I have created a program guide which was distributed to multiple schools in the community and in a different state. I have distributed my program guide to Rampart High School, Pine Creek High School, Air Academy High School, and Orange High School in North Carolina. I have distributed the program guide by email and presentation. I have emailed Pine Creek, Air Academy, and Orange High School. I have gotten a response from the building managers at Pine Creek and Air Academy. I have also gotten a response from my cousin from Orange High School. I presented my program guide to Rampart High School and have gotten a positive response in return.
What did you learn about yourself?
I learned that I have a passion to pursue a college degree and career that helps animals. I also learned that I know a lot more about animals than I had previously thought. I learned that my leadership can help save animals in the future and the present. I’ve developed leadership skills such as communication and relationship skills.
How will earning your Gold Award impact you in the future?
The many presentations that I have conducted have strengthened my confidence and preparation skills and therefore will help my leadership skills in the future. These skills will help me in college and eventually in my career. This experience has changed me as a person by helping my confidence grow. It helped my confidence in presenting and confidence for making new friends. This experience has challenged me to ask for help. Asking for help has never been easy for me especially when it comes to academics or anything related to academics. However, this project has helped me see that asking for help isn’t as hard as I have always thought.
Why do you feel the Gold Award was an important part of your Girl Scout experience?
Earning a Gold Award is a perfect representation of my life in Girl Scouts. I believe my program is worthy of a Gold Award because it has helped me grow as a person and helped me realize more things about myself than I would have never seen. Earning this award also means a lot to me since it has helped me learn what I love most in this world. The Silver and Gold Awards introduced me to parts of the humane society I would have never been a part of without participating in these awards.
How did earning your Gold Award help you become a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader)?
My Gold Award project helped me become an innovator. I introduced a new program into a high school that links both the high school and local animal shelter and I innovated a way to make that program benefit the humane society with items high school students use every day and end up throwing away.
**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 firstname.lastname@example.org.