Gold Award Girl Scout: Mia Aguon, Parker, “E-Cigarettes”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

My Gold Award Project was to have businesses of downtown Parker agree to hang up “No Smoking” signs that include e-cigarettes. Public health and safety has been something I feel strongly about preserving. With the growing popularity of e-cigarettes and vaporizers, I quickly became concerned about how it will affect communities, specifically the business community of my hometown of Parker. After seeing people openly use e-cigarettes and vape pens in stores, I knew exactly what my project needed to be. I created my own signs that say “No Smoking Including E-Cigarettes,” made an informative brochure on my project and the harm of e-cigarettes, and designed my own website that includes information, my sign, and brochure. Then, I reached out to several businesses personally and with the help of my team, getting them to hang the sign up, and carry the brochures.

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

There is no perfect way to measure the impact this project. I have so many resources out there and so many ways people can access this project in some way, shape, or form that one can’t quite measure it.

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

There are many sustainable aspects to my project. A huge one is the website I designed. A free domain is being used, therefore no payments will have to be constantly made and it will never disappear. It will always be there as a tool for people to learn about e-cigarettes and more about my project. I have included two PDFs on my website. One is the sign I designed to be hung up, and the other is the brochure I created to be provided at the store. This way my sign and brochure are always available for anybody, all they have to do is download the file and print. I have also partnered up with a wonderful small business owner who agreed to hold multiple signs and brochures at his location for anyone to pick up. This way, anyone interested in supporting my project can go to his location and pick one up. Website: https://e-cigarettegsaguon.weebly.com/

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

For my national and global aspect of my project, I have reached out to the Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) organization. They are a nonprofit organization whose mission is to advocate for innovative legal and policy measures to end the global tobacco epidemic. They have been making efforts against the tobacco industry since 1967, and since 2000 they have been in partnership with the Framework Convention Alliance, a coalition made up of more than 500 organizations in over 100 countries. This means not only does the ASH have global efforts, but they are partnered with tons of organizations that are all over the world. This makes them the perfect organization for me to reach out to in order to broaden the impact of my project. I have emailed the General Inquiries branch explaining what my project is, why I chose to do it, and how they could hopefully help support my project. They would be the perfect outlet for the global expansion of my project.

What did you learn about yourself?

Throughout the process of completing my Gold Award, I learned that if I really want something I will do whatever it takes to get it. No matter how many obstacles I face or how busy I get, I put forward the effort to make it happen. After some self reflection, I was truly impressed with myself for what I had accomplished. I never knew that I had it in me to be so driven and dedicated towards completing such a difficult task.

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

I am currently enlisted in the Air Force and by becoming a Gold Award Girl Scout, I have the privilege of graduating basic training one rank ahead of an average enlistee, meaning I’ll instantly be making a little bit more money. Most will graduate as Airman. I will graduate as an Airman First Class. Not only will earning my Gold Award directly help me in the Air Force, it will help my overall work ethic and everyday life skills. Some important skills that will benefit me would be communication with others, being able to work in a team and even manage a team.

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

I feel like it was important because every skill that I had learned throughout Girl Scouts, I applied to this project. It is like a final test, you show everything you have learned throughout the years, and how you can use your skills and ambitions to make a difference in the world.

How did earning your Gold Award help you become a G.I.R.L.?

My Gold Award taught me how to be an innovator and a risk-taker. My project is focused towards a very newly occurring problem, and when I first had this new innovative idea I was completely ahead of the game. I took a risk by going out and trying to get people to support my project and ideas behind it.

**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