Gold Award Girl Scout: Heather Fleming, Englewood, “There’s Help for You Too”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

My project is oriented to help children and families of alcoholics. From personal experience, living with alcoholics can become chaotic and unpredictable, making you feel lost and alone. My project was directed at putting information in places where it was easily accessible to families and children of alcoholics who need guidance as to where their next step should be. To do this, I wrote a blog which was published on the Colorado Mental Wellness Network’s (CMWN), which is statewide and connected with other states. I developed brochures which were distributed at multiple rehab centers (local and state-wide), the CMWN, and a local library.

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

My blog provided the audience with information and resources and the survey helped measure the effectiveness of the blog and its content. Through this experience, I realized that I wanted to help to make resources, support groups, and advice for people in a similar position to mine more readily available. Due to the confidentiality of this subject and anonymity, it was necessary to conduct my project in a different manner.

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

For my project, I wrote a blog which is part of the Colorado Mental Wellness Network’s website (published June 2019). I also made brochures that detailed symptoms, and resources that would be helpful to families of alcoholics. These brochures were sent to:

Colorado Mental Wellness Network

  • Statewide
  • Main location is in Denver, CO

Rehab Centers

  • Denver Springs
  • Denver, CO
  • They often send patients from their facility to rehab centers out of state.
  • Parker Valley Hope Rehab Center
    • Parker, CO
  • Bradford Rehab Center
    • Alabama (multiple cities throughout)

AA

  • Have contacted individuals in the Denver area who will personally distribute.

When I sent these organizations my brochures, I had Parker Valley Hope, Bradford Rehab Center, and Denver Springs rehab center agree to continue to reprint brochures after my project is finished.

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

My project addressed the issue of alcoholism globally because the resources and support I provided was online and accessible to a variety of audiences. Additionally, I chose organizations to work with that received an audience from a wide range of locations and who could spread word throughout that network. Organizations such as Denver Springs often send their patients to other rehab centers across the country. I have had brochures distributed there in an effort to spread my resources to locations other than Denver. I also sent brochures to Bradford Rehab Center, which is a well known rehab center in the U.S., located in Alabama. They receive patients from many different locations throughout the country and their families sometimes visit the center as well. This exposure to families outside Colorado provides a global connection and can spread my brochures throughout the country.

What did you learn about yourself?

Throughout this project, I learned how to delegate certain activities to a team of people, as well as having the perseverance to continue working on the project and keep trying when it seemed like things would not work out. I learned that being a leader required me to push myself and talk to as many people as possible to create a network. That is extremely important for success. I often had to continuously contact certain organizations due to their inaccessibility. Since they often didn’t respond, I learned how to update organizations about progress on my project so they were aware of my next steps.

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

I have gained many skill sets that will help me in my personal life as well as in my professional career. I understand how to communicate with organizations effectively and I have learned valuable leadership skills.

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

It was an important part of my Girl Scout experience because I had the most personal growth and I learned a lot of skills early on in my life that will be beneficial to me throughout the rest of my life.

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

I learned how to delegate tasks to keep my project moving and accomplish my goals. I learned how to motivate myself to get my work done and set goals that I can accomplish but also gave me a challenge. I learned that taking risks is necessary to keep a project moving and accomplish the most that I can.

**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