Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Helping Veterans Experiencing Homelessness

Submitted by Katelyn M.

Metro Denver

Aurora

I had always wanted to complete the Gold Award. Not just because it is the highest honor a Girl Scout can receive, but also due to the idea that I could make an impact in my community just by using my ambition and brain. Even though this dream was always present, it was really difficult to find a topic that was important to me and that I could tackle in the year and a half I had left as a Girl Scout Ambassador. Then, one day as I was driving to my job and came face-to-face with someone I wanted to help: a veteran experiencing homelessness. 

We all have a connection to the military, whether it is someone in our immediate family, a friend, or a distant relative. Because of their willingness to give their lives to protect the lives of this country, I have the utmost respect for people in the service. My heart broke when I saw a veteran on the street corner as I drove by. When I arrived home, I went straight on my computer to learn more about veterans experiencing homelessness. What I found was shocking. Colorado has the seventh highest population of veterans experiencing homelessness, and it is continuing to grow every year.

And so my project was born. My original plan involved a lot of face-to-face conversations and volunteering, unfortunately due to COVID my project had to be completely rewritten. Instead, I spent my time doing deep research on: the problems this population faces and the reasons they fall into homelessness. I used this information and created a website where people can learn more about this population and hear from some veterans on their experiences. 

In order to share my learning with others, I am creating a documentary video which will be given as an optional assignment for the juniors and seniors at my high school explaining my project and the issue I tackled. Project Homefront doesn’t just hope to bring awareness, and raise clothing and food donations for a population in need, it hopes to teach how to face an issue and start to solve it through education and action.

Every Gold Award will bring challenges. It forces you to grow and learn more about yourself than you might not have had the opportunity to do without it. The biggest impact working on this project has had on me is teaching me that we have the drive to create the world in our dreams, however we can’t do it just with words we have to do it with work and time. If you dedicate time and open your mind to the possibilities of change, you can build a world we all want to call our own.

We want to hear how your girl is using her Girl Scout skills by taking initiative, caring for the community, and Girl Scouting at home. She can send in her story here.

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