What did you do for your Gold Award project?
I created a guidebook to assist individuals who are wanting to get healthy, but don’t know where to start. More than 70 percent of the United States is considered overweight and many who are don’t understand why and don’t know how to start to change their lifestyle. My family was part of this statistic – growing up we didn’t have money or time to focus on healthy eating and setting healthy goals. In creating this guidebook, I wanted to provide a resource that offered information on creating uncomplicated healthy habits that could easily be incorporated into a busy lifestyle or one that is on a budget. My goal was to provide a resource to encourage a focus on overall health and well-being, making sure individuals gained healthy habits, and not just focused on losing weight. The guidebook is divided into six sections and includes the latest information available to start the journey and also includes a lot of recipes and tips.
How did you measure the impact your Gold Award project made on your target audience?
I wanted to make sure my guidebook was available to a variety of people, so I set it up as a PDF and as a website. I sent flyers and business cards to doctors, nutritionists, hospitals, food banks, and even my school district and school board and asked that they pass them out to their patients, clients, and students. I also promoted it on social media. I requested feedback and suggestions and enabled web analytics to track how many people were looking at and using the information. I made sure that the information presented was clear, concise, easy to use, and was from trusted sources and had been reviewed by nutritionists so that anyone using the information would find benefit.
How is your project sustainable? How will your project continue to impact after your involvement?
By making sure the guidebook was broadly available I was able to receive feedback from multiple contacts. The fact that my guidebook is on the web and on social media will help sustain it and encourage it’s use. I am also updating the content based on the feedback I’m receiving and, as part of my International Baccalaureate work in high school, I’m continuing to add information to provide even more context around the issue like the correlation between early education and a healthy lifestyle.
What is your project’s global and/or national connection?
As part of my efforts to promote the guidebook, I contacted the agencies whose information I had used for parts of my project. Several got back to me and, based on web analytics I can see that others, like the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland reviewed my work.
What did you learn about yourself?
Starting my Gold Award prior to the pandemic and ending it during the virus crisis taught me to be flexible, resourceful, open-minded, and how to truly be a leader. I had to revise my plans multiple times in order to change with the conditions we were all facing. Many of the ideas I had needed to be revised after I was well into the project and my leadership skills were tested by having to ask for resources and assistance virtually. My team was made up of health and nutrition specialists at doctor’s offices and schools who had their own issues with the virus. So, I had to make sure that my project didn’t impact the work that they were doing, with this in mind I kept moving forward which really allowed me to develop as a leader and helped me feel comfortable asking for help and directing people older than me. I’m very proud of my finished product and am looking forward to continued feedback from people who use it.
How will earning your Gold Award impact you in the future?
The Gold Award allowed me to grow in project management, leadership, and creative problem solving, as well as letting me gain in depth knowledge on a subject that was impactful to my family and my community. I feel that being able to refine these skills while I’m in high school will help me in college and my career where I’ll often be asked to do research, lead groups, and make sure I’m heard in professional groups.
Why do you feel the Gold Award was an important part of your Girl Scout experience?
I have been a Girl Scout since I was a Daisy in Kindergarten. I’ve earned my Bronze and Silver Awards and have been looking forward to doing a large, impactful project where I was the leader. Girl Scouts has prepared me for the Gold Award by allowing me to plan, lead, and budget for meetings, badge requirements, service projects, and even parts of trips we took as a troop. The Gold Award was a way for me to take all my Girl Scout experiences and use them to develop something that will continue to benefit the community. I am very glad I chose to complete it and am proud when I tell people that I have earned the award.
How did earning your Gold Award help you become a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader)?
The Gold Award definitely developed my leadership skills – working with, directing, and managing a group of professional adults which was challenging and rewarding and allowed me to realize that I am very capable of managing a team. Earning the Gold Award also helped me be a go-getter – from developing a concept to dealing with a pandemic and having to redo and revise the project as a result – I was constantly working to make sure my project was able to move forward and that I could finish it. As a risk-taker, I tackled a subject that I had a very personal connection to but I didn’t have a lot of knowledge about. I knew I wanted to make something that would be helping people get healthier and I took a risk that I would be able to create something that would inspire and motivate my audience. Finally, I also got to be an innovator by sampling recipes, working with nutritionists to revise them, and thinking up tips and tricks to help people with little free time to eat healthy and take a chance on trying and experimenting with home cooking. I feel the Gold Award definitely helped me become a well-rounded G.I.R.L.
**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.