Category Archives: Take Action/Highest Awards

Loveland Girl Scout awarded Girl Scouts of the USA Medal of Honor for her heroic, life-saving measures 

Girl Scouts of the USA awards the Medal of Honor for “saving life or attempting to save life without risk to the candidate’s own life.” 

Rachel Metcalf, 18, of Loveland, was awarded GSUSA’s Medal of Honor for her heroic, life-saving measures on June 16, 2021, at Boyd Lake State Park. Rachel and others from the GECCCOs (Girls Experiencing Camping, Canoeing and Cycling Outdoors) Girl Scout troop were leading the canoe program at a day camp for Girl Scouts and younger siblings at Boyd Lake last June when a sudden microburst capsized several canoes and day campers into white-capped water. 

Rachel was working on shore when the wind picked up and she took immediate action to help get capsized canoers back to shore. After tying one canoe to her kayak so she could paddle them back to shore, she went back out to help others. Her troopmate was struggling to stay calm as wind-whipped waves continually splashed her in the face, and Rachel was able to calm her down and got her to hold on to her kayak while she paddled her to shore.  

“I was really proud of Rachel for staying calm and having the ability to completely act on her own to decide who she could safely help,” said troop leader Robyn Metcalf, who is also Rachel’s mom. “She had the knowledge to understand that the water was getting too rough to go back out a third time and instead stayed onshore to help out with gear.” 

Awarding of the Medal of Honor is rare. A Girl Scout from Highlands Ranch received the Medal of Honor last June for assisting in saving the life of a classmate who suffered from a seizure; and in 2016, a Girl Scout from Northglenn was awarded a Medal of Honor for saving her mother’s life and a Girl Scout from Steamboat Springs received the recognition for saving lives after coming upon a bus crash. 

“Rachel exercised the courage and the confidence she built through 13 years of Girl Scouting by staying calm and taking action,” say Girl Scouts of Colorado CEO Leanna Clark. “Rachel, along with her troopmates, are excellent examples of the way Girl Scouting builds leaders.” 

Aurora Girl Scout works towards earning her Gold Award by creating Refocus Centers at Parker Elementary school

For her Gold Award project, Girl Scout Maggie Donohue created Refocus Centers for Pine Lane Elementary School. Refocus Centers are tools that teachers and kids can use to take a break from the classroom and recenter themselves, so they are ready to return to learn. Each center is a different Colorado nature theme that includes facts, sounds, and sensory stimulation. Students will find reminders on how to self-soothe that compliments the social emotional curriculum in place, as well as explore each center visually and auditorily.

Maggie’s hope is that students can learn to recognize their stressors and identify ways to rectify them, so their learning is not interrupted. Here is a link to the Refocus Center website to learn more.

Maggie suffers from migraines and non-epileptic seizures.  She spent over 12 weeks in a wheelchair this past year and had to participate in speech therapy, physical therapy, and biofeedback. Despite these challenges, Maggie persevered and was still able to complete her Gold Award project.

Through the process of completing her Gold Award project, Maggie has learned how to balance her ideas with the needs of the community and to advocate for herself and other student needs.

“With Girl Scouts, I have learned how to use my voice to help others,” said Maggie. “I feel like I belong to a much larger family and have met many new people. We have experienced things that we wouldn’t have done as individuals.”

Maggie’s Refocus Centers will continue to have a positive impact for the teachers and students of Pine Lane Elementary for generations to come. Since the Refocus Centers were implemented, staff have noticed that students have improved coping and teachers have had less behavioral interruptions.

Bronze Award Project: Backpacks for Refugee Children

In the fall of 2021, a group of girls from Troop 42733 started brainstorming projects that would have an impact on our community. We came together to share our ideas and took a vote. Once the votes were in, our marvelous troop decided to provide backpacks for refugee children through Lutheran Family Services (LFS) in Colorado Springs. From there we got to work.

First we put together questions to ask Brittney, the refugee coordinator who helps Afghan families. Up next, we discussed how many backpacks we were going to provide, what we were going to put in them, and most importantly, how we were going to pay for the items.

We decided that we were going to have a goal of 18-24 backpacks. Each backpack would contain the following items: crayons, pencils, paper, markers, a visual dictionary, and a small toy.

Now how were we going to pay for all this? We sought donations from local stores, as well as from family members. Staples, family members, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, and 5 Below were all significant supporters of our project. The 5 Below store even let us set up a booth in front of their business, where many kind strangers responded by donating money and buying supplies to include in the backpacks.

After sorting the donations, we stuffed 24 backpacks with school supplies of all sorts, including notebooks, folders, art supplies, and a homemade stuffed animal! On a Friday afternoon, our troop met after school and gave the backpacks to LFS. This concluded our bronze award project. It felt good to work hard as a team for such a worthy cause.

Written By Evie, 5th Grader, Troop 42733

Bats & Benefits, Gold Award Project by Gillian Clark

For her Gold Award project, Gillian Clark from Steamboat Springs partnered with a local environmental education organization, Yampatika, to address the issue of decreasing bat populations by designing, building, and installing bat habitats. The habitats ensure that the bat population in her community will continue to grow and thrive.

Gillian built and donated 23 bat box kits to kids in her community so they could take home information they learned about the bats and build a home to help the bat population locally. “I chose this as my project because I personally don’t see many bats around Steamboat Springs anymore. My favorite part was putting together all of the bat boxes and educating kids on why bats are so important and how they can help,” says Gillian.

Gillian’s Gold Award project taught her how to be confident with public speaking and how to work with people and have a strong work ethic. Yampatika has all of the resources that Gillian created so they can continue to educate future generations on the declining bat population.

 

Preventing Period Poverty

Girl Scout Orrin Jones is working towards her Gold Award. For her project, she decided to focus it around making feminine hygiene products more available. Coming out of COVID was already a challenge for numerous people, especially for women.

One of my greatest friends missed school for a few days; this was not usual for her, so I asked her if she was sick. She replied promptly and stated that she wasn’t sick, she only had her period. This confused me because I assumed that our school had recourses for menstruators. When I spoke to one of my school nurses, she told me that the sanitary napkins were bough quarterly and they ran out of materials to distribute. I further asked her if the district has a budget or lends the school money for these products, and she stated that the district does not do either of those things, and she has to use her salary for such products. This incident sparked my interest in this issue, which I came to find out was more common globally. 1 in 7 women cannot afford sanitary products, and 1 in 3 miss school, work, or other important events to stay home and tend to their cycles. On top of that, there is a Pink Tax that makes female items more expensive than male products.

All of prompted me to take action and try to spread awareness. I decided to create a nonprofit and website (both still in the process) called Prevent Period Poverty, and I have partnered with global nonprofit I Support the Girls to expand my business not only nationally, but in countries such as Pakistan, Germany, and Japan. My nonprofit collects donated sanitary products, creates reusable sanitary napkins, and pamphlets, and sends each item to numerous organizations that will distribute these items to women who need it, schools, and other institutions. I will be working on placing a category on my website where females can order their menstrual products for free and have them delivered to their location.

I am also spreading awareness on my website on the Pink Tax issue, how it is unconstitutional, and ways that each person can help fight against this injustice issue. Though I have just begun my journey, I am excited to see how far my organization can go to make this issue decrease and educate people on how to help and support menstruators.

2022 GOLD AWARD SCHOLARSHIP CEREMONY

Girl Scouts of Colorado Highest Awards Manager Kaitie Lodolce presented the 2022 Debbie Haskins Spirit of Girl Scouting Award and the 2022 Stephanie A. Foote Leadership Prize to Gold Award Girl Scouts on April 20, 2022. This year’s ceremony was a virtual celebration due to COVID-19. In past years, this special ceremony has been part of Gold Award Day at the Colorado State Capitol.

  • Lauren Frisch, Broomfield, Breaking the Cycle of Homelessness – Lauren partnered with the Family Promise organization to create a bridge housing program at her church for families experiencing homelessness. The church now provides short-term housing for families, so they have a self-reliant living situation while they get back on their feet. Lauren is the 2022 Stephanie Foote Leadership Prize winner and will receive a cash gift to recognize her sustainable impact through leadership.

  • Nicole McCloskey, Colorado Springs, Stitching for Good – As an avid seamstress herself, Nicole created an online resource to connect people who love to sew with organizations that take donations of sewn items. Anyone can visit stitchingforgood.org to find places to donate the items they make and find sewing patterns for frequently donated items. Nicole was named 2022 Stephanie Foote Leadership Prize Honorable Mention.

  • Celeste Fullerton, Carbondale, Vaping Prevention Program – Celeste launched a comprehensive awareness campaign to inform students about the dangers of vaping. As part of her campaign, Celeste created a podcast and developed the Junior Vaping Prevention Specialist program. Both allow students to hear from their peers about the negative effects of vaping. Celeste is recognized with this year’s Debbie Haskins Spirit of Girl Scouting Award for her confidence, resilience, and courage in succeeding in life.

Each year, Gold Award Girl Scouts are eligible to earn the Stephanie A. Foote Leadership Prize. This award was made possible through a generous gift to Girl Scouts of Colorado’s Endowment by former Girl Scouts of Colorado President and CEO Stephanie A. Foote. “I am proud to recognize Girl Scouts whose Gold Award projects have made a lasting impact,” Foote said.

In addition, the Debbie Haskins Spirit of Girl Scouting Award is given in memory of Girl Scout Gold Award Mentor Debbie Haskins, who had a passion for working with older Girl Scouts. It recognizes one outstanding Gold Award Girl Scout from Colorado who exemplifies the Girl Scout spirit through courage, confidence, and character.

“Gold Award Girl Scouts don’t just change the world for the better, they change it for good—and these Girl Scouts embody everything this achievement stands for,” said Leanna Clark, Chief Executive Officer of Girl Scouts of Colorado. “Each of these young women addressed an issue that’s important to her in order to earn her Gold Award, and we congratulate each of these Gold Award Girl Scouts on this momentous accomplishment.”

Open only to girls in high school, the Girl Scout Gold Award is the most prestigious award in the world for girls—and the most difficult to earn. The Gold Award project involves seven steps: 1. Identify an issue, 2. Investigate it thoroughly, 3. Get help and build a team, 4. Create a plan, 5. Present the plan and gather feedback, 6. Take action, 7. Educate and inspire. Of the skills learned through Girl Scouts’ Highest Awards, leadership, organization, and critical thinking are the fundamentals of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Universities and colleges offer scholarships unique to Gold Award recipients, and girls who enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces may receive advanced rank in recognition of their achievements.

Regional Highest Awards celebrations are back in-person this year are planned in April and May to honor the 800 Girl Scouts who earned Bronze, Silver or Gold Awards this year. Email highestawards@gscolorado.org to register.

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.

BRONZE, SILVER, GOLD AWARD GIRL SCOUTS HONORED AT WESTERN SLOPE CELEBRATION

More than 40 Western Slope Girl Scouts gathered at Colorado Mesa University to celebrate earning one of Girl Scouts Highest Awards on April 24.

Regional Highest Awards celebrations are back in-person this year are planned in April and May to honor the 800 Girl Scouts who earned Bronze, Silver or Gold Awards this year.

Celeste Fullerton and Jayden Thomason received their Gold Award pin at a ceremony this afternoon at Colorado Mesa University. For Celeste’s project, she launched an awareness campaign to inform students about the dangers of vaping. For Jayden’s project she partnered with the Montelores Early Childhood Council to host a booth at their annual health fair in Cortez, to educate parents and kids about the dangers and impacts of sugary drinks.

View the Flickr album with photos and videos of the celebration.

Bronze, Silver, Gold Award Girl Scouts honored at Northern Colorado celebration

More than 50 Northern Colorado Girl Scouts gathered on a snowy and windy day at Meadow Mountain Ranch to celebrate earning one of Girl Scouts Highest Awards on April 23.

Regional Highest Awards celebrations are back in-person this year are planned in April and May to honor the 800 Girl Scouts who earned Bronze, Silver or Gold Awards this year.

Gold Award Girl Scout Sarah Schumacher received her Gold Award pin. For her project, Sarah created a club for 3rd-5th graders to raise awareness and knowledge about the deaf community and teach students American Sign Language.

View the Flickr album with photos and videos of the celebration.

 

45 Colorado Girl Scouts earn Gold Award, the highest honor in Girl Scouts

Girl Scouts make our world a better place by taking action to address issues facing their local communities. There are no better examples of this Girl Scout spirit and resiliency than the 45 Girl Scouts from across Colorado who earned the distinction of Gold Award Girl Scout, the highest honor in Girl Scouts, this year. Gold Award Girl Scouts are high school girls who address issues they’re passionate about by planning and implementing a project that produces lasting change in their communities and beyond. They include:

  • Kayla Bauer, Aurora, Healthy Kids Healthy Choices – Kayla partnered with Frontline Farming to create an easily accessible online resource to inspire children to choose healthy food options and consider engaging with community gardens. Her website includes healthy recipes, games, coloring pages, and educational materials, in both English and Spanish.
  • Grace Bielefeldt, Highlands Ranch, Mental Health Recognition through Community Art – Inspired by her community coming together to deal with mental health issues after the school shooting at The STEM School Highlands Ranch, Grace wanted to create an awareness campaign to break down the stigma of dealing with those issues. In addition to a robust social media campaign, Grace worked with a local artist to unveil a comprehensive art piece at the community center where students were dispatched during the shooting.
  • Samantha Bonfiglio Oswald, Westminster, Paint the Town Gold – Samantha worked with the City of Thornton to use a pedestrian underpass as a blank canvas for community artists to express themselves legally and freely. The space not only helped beautify her community, but also promotes the appreciation and support for public art. Local art teachers will continue to promote the blank canvas to their students for years to come.

  • Ruby Boswell, Colorado Springs, Closet of Confidence – Ruby wished to make students at her school feel they can be confident, powerful, and brave all the time. To accomplish this, she created the Closet of Confidence that provides free, discrete feminine hygiene products to all students in need. The closet will continue to serve students and be maintained by her school’s National Honor Society and Parent Teacher Organization.

  • Caitlyn Branine, Centennial, A Safe Place 2 Share – Caitlyn developed and created ASafePlace2Share.org. The website helps teens with emotional challenges find peer support through an online community. She also created a podcast and partnered with the Log Off Movement to engage teens in conversations about their struggles and to support one another.

  • Hannah Brothers, Monument, Outdoors Club & Bike Drive – Hannah partnered with Kids on Bikes to organize a bike drive for kids in need. To sustain the annual bike drive, she also established a thriving outdoor club at her school that plans outdoor activities for students to promote a love for the outdoors and an active lifestyle.

  • Kailani Cantu, Denver, Denver Trade School Finder – Kailani noticed a lack of information about education and careers in trade fields for high school students in her community. To address this, she created an online resource for students to explore careers in trade professions, research educational paths in their community, and connect to local professionals.

  • Gillian Clark, Steamboat Springs, Bats & Benefits – Gillian partnered with a local environmental education organization, Yampatika, to address the issue of decreasing bat populations by designing, building, and installing bat habitats. The habitats ensure that the bat population in her community will continue to grow and thrive.

  • Natasha Curzon, Steamboat Springs, Mountains & Mental Wellness – Natasha created a mental health and wellness curriculum centered around mindfulness in the outdoors, in partnership with Rocky Mountain Youth Corps. Her comprehensive program focuses on normalizing mental health issues and provides healthy coping mechanisms, such as meditation, yoga, and journaling.
  • Macy Dehm, Glenwood Springs, Bracelets for Bears – Macy used her talent for making and selling jewelry to help fund the purchase of an acre of land at the Wild Animal Refuge in the name of Girl Scouts of Colorado. She also created a program, took many younger Girl Scouts to visit the refuge, and will continue to make the space available for Girl Scouts to use for years to come.

  • Olivia DiGiacinto, Castle Rock, Holocaust Education Program – Olivia created a comprehensive Holocaust curriculum for middle schoolers to address antisemitism in school environments. By educating students, she hopes to empower Jewish students to not feel marginalized and for their peers to recognize how hurtful that experience can be.

  • Iris Eisele, Colorado Springs, Project Inclusion – Through Project Inclusion, Iris created an online platform for students at her school to be acquainted with the special education population. Having all students engage with her social platform created an environment in which all students know each other and can be inclusive when they are together in class, or in social settings.

  • Brooke Ferrel, Castle Rock, Everybody is a Mutant – In partnership with a professor at the University of Utah, Brooke conducted research on genetic mutations in the mitochondrial DNA of cyamids. Using her own research, she created a curriculum for students about genetic mutation to encourage them to accept differences in all people.
  • Hailey Forar, Littleton, Target Safety – Hailey worked with a local gun range and a Colorado Parks and Wildlife range to create and adapt safety videos geared toward a younger audience. Her videos are a great resource to teach children about the importance of gun safety and will be used in classes and shared with her community for years to come.

  • Lauren Frisch, Broomfield, Breaking the Cycle of Homelessness – Lauren partnered with the Family Promise organization to create a bridge housing program at her church for families experiencing homelessness. The church now provides short-term housing for families, so they have a self-reliant living situation while they get back on their feet.

  • Celeste Fullerton, Carbondale, Vaping Prevention Program – Celeste launched a comprehensive awareness campaign to inform students about the dangers of vaping. As part of her campaign, Celeste created a documentary and developed the Junior Vaping Prevention Specialist program. Both allow students to hear from their peers about the negative effects of vaping.

  • Janae Gadbois, Thornton, Community of Hope Garden – Janae worked with the Intercession Episcopal Church to make their community garden more efficient and functional. The community garden now provides fresh, organic food to families in need.

  • Bella Gigoux, Grand Junction, Sensory Processing Disorder Exhibit – Inspired by her sister’s experience with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), Isabella wanted to raise awareness about SPD. To do so, she collaborated with Eureka! McConnell Science Museum to create a sensory exhibit that provides basic resources and information about SPD.

  • Allison Graham, Colorado Springs, School in the Woods Nature Trail – Allison built a nature trail at School in the Woods to provide the students with a safe, outdoor activity on school property. She also established a volunteer committee of parents who will maintain the trail and continue to promote outdoor education to students and teachers.

  • Laura Greichen, Centennial, The Charlie Project – Inspired by her own experience at The STEM School Highlands Ranch and her support dog, Charlie, Laura created The Charlie Project. The Charlie Project is a nonprofit organization with a mission to connect school shooting survivors to support dogs, along with mental health education, and support.

  • Tessa Griffith, Hotchkiss, Self-Defense Education – Tessa worked with the Delta County Sheriff and Hotchkiss Marshal’s office to create a program at her high school that educates students on self-defense. Future generations of students will continue to learn how to keep themselves safe through Tessa’s program.

  • Kaitlyn Harris, Aurora, Anti-Bullying Education – After noticing that most anti-bullying programs do not address the root cause of the problem, Kaitlyn created a curriculum for students at Smoky Hill High School to learn the importance of empathy and kindness. She hopes that by teaching the importance of kindness, students will be less likely to engage in bullying and more likely to stand up to bullies.
  • Anna Hartwick, Broomfield, Conserve Birds at Home – Anna’s project addressed the issue of declining bird populations due to human-related causes by educating the community on how to reduce their bird-window collisions. She did this by giving many community presentations, sponsored by the Bird Conservancy of the Rockies, creating conservebirdsathome.org, and self-publishing her story, Billy the Bird Visits the City.

  • Jessica Johnson, Colorado Springs, Rise Up! – Jessica wrote, illustrated, and published the Rise of Sorceress, a comic book series with a Black, female superhero, to address the lack of representation of diversity in the comic book world. With her book, she hopes to inspire others in her community and instill confidence in other young, Black women. Rise of the Sorceress is available for purchase on Amazon.

  • Jane Kealey, Denver, #UNIFIED – Jane wanted to strengthen the community of inclusion at East High School by creating the annual #UNIFIED assembly to educate students on their special education program and introduce them to differently abled students. The #UNIFIED club will further develop and promote the assembly for all upcoming East High School classes.

  • Megan King, Monument, Operation Pollination – To address the growing issue of pollinators losing their natural habitats, Megan built and installed bee hotels in her community. Each habitat also includes a QR code linked to an informational website that Megan created to raise awareness about the importance of protecting pollinator habitats.

  • Allison Kisicki, Arvada, In My Head – Allison wrote and developed “In My Head,” a play that helps break down the stigma of struggling with mental health issues. The show highlights six types of anxieties and how the characters learn to cope and accept those issues. The play premiered on YouTube and the book was shared with theater teachers who can stage the play at their own schools.

  • Jackie Lawless, Westminster, The Sea Bunny – Jackie set out to educate Coloradans on the importance of ocean pollution and how we can affect change, even in a landlocked state. She created the Sea Bunny, a character who educates and inspires change through an interactive YouTube channel using footage from the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology. The Sea Bunny and the channel appeals to people of all ages.

  • Ciara Leal, Lakewood, Support for Single Mothers – Ciara created an online donation pipeline of household and baby items to help single mothers at Mary’s Homes of Hope around Colorado. By developing an easy-to-use online donation website, the organization can continue promoting and collecting donations for mothers staying in their homes for years to come.

  • Kendyl MacAskill, Grand Junction, Choose Freedom – Kendyl increased awareness and support of Colorado Discover Ability (CDA) to make the world a better place for children with disabilities. She worked with Camp Freedom to strengthen their fundraising and volunteer program by creating an educational video, highlighting valuable testimonies of campers.

  • Julia Martin, Castle Rock, Castle View High School Recycling Program – Julia developed and implemented a full, in-class recycling program at Castle View High School. By providing bins in classrooms, her program encourages students to take responsibility and ownership over their own recycling.

  • Nicole McCloskey, Colorado Springs, Stitching for Good – As an avid seamstress herself, Nicole created an online resource to connect people who love to sew with organizations that take donations of sewn items. Anyone can visit stitchingforgood.org to find places to donate the items they make and find sewing patterns for frequently donated items.

  • Alexis Mobley, Aurora, Kits 4 Cancer – Alexis supported the Cancer Center at Parker Adventist Hospital to create a donation pipeline of comfort kits for patients. The kits include simple necessities and are handed out while patients are undergoing chemotherapy.
  • Sophie Reynolds, Castle Rock, Exploring Biotech – To inspire girls to consider an interest and career in biotech, Sophie created a biotech workshop and patch for Girl Scouts. Her workshop includes fun, educational activities that allow girls to explore some of the mysteries of biotechnology, hear testimonies from women in biotech, and, hopefully, inspire them to become scientists.

  • Heather Robson, Colorado Springs, Guinea Pig Care – As someone who loves guinea pigs, Heather was concerned about a growing issue of guinea pigs returned to the humane society after adoption. To address this, Heather created an informational program for local humane societies to share with families considering adoption, so they have all the facts before making a decision.

  • Genesis Rodriguez, Arvada, Latinx Girls in the Future – Genesis encouraged more Latinx and female aligned diversity in STEM fields by creating virtual programming for students. Her curriculum takes the students through fun and engaging activities and exposes them to several potential STEM careers. Through her programming, she reached Latinx students from 2nd–12th grade.

  • Corinne Roe, Westminster, Igniting Adventure – Corinne created and ran a day camp to inspire young girls to be more comfortable in the outdoors and consider careers in the military and outdoor professions. Her camp and online resources teach girls survival skills like fire safety, basic first aid, shelter building, and leave no trace.

  • Sarah Schumacher, Berthoud, The Culture of ASL to Our World – Sarah created a club at her local elementary school for 3rd-5th graders that works to raise awareness and knowledge about the deaf community and teach students American Sign Language. The club will continue to serve students and make it easier for deaf students to communicate and be included.

  • Madison Seckman, Centennial, Your Level Reading – Madison created a robust, online resource for parents and students to be informed about potential triggers and mature topics in books they’re reading. Her vast network of volunteers read books and submit information that can be found by readers on her website.

  • Larissa Snoddy, Colorado Springs, Feral Cat Protection – Larissa noticed a lack of education about the difference between feral and stray cats and how the community can work together to handle cats in their area. To address this, she created an awareness campaign and website to educate the community.

  • Zofia Stroman, Steamboat Springs, Documenting a Moment in Time – Zofia directed, filmed, and produced a documentary about the lives of people in her community during the pandemic. She also created instructional materials to inspire and help young people in her community create their own documentaries.

  • Jayden Thomason, Mancos, The C6H1206 Hiding in your Drink – Jayden partnered with the Montelores Early Childhood Council (MECC) to host a booth at their annual health fair in Cortez, to educate parents and kids about the dangers and impacts of sugary drinks. The MECC will continue to take on this issue and promote her information in their community.

  • Alexis Vaille, Dillon, Hope Squad – Alexis created a program to be implemented into her school to break down the stigma of struggling with mental health issues. Her program also teaches students how to identify the signs of mental health issues to create more awareness and peer support within the community.

  • Willow Wilson, Westminster, Save The Stars – Willow set out to address the issue of light pollution by addressing the lack of understanding in the general population and her local government. Her program wasdirected at educating the City of Westminster and local students about how they can affect light pollution and support Dark Sky places and organizations.

  • Hannah Wurl, Aurora, Study Skillz 4 Kidz – Hannah created a program for K-8th grade teachers to use in their classrooms to educate students about different learning styles and how knowing your learning style can help you learn. Her program includes story maps and reading logs to help students with different learning styles.

A Gold Award Girl Scout, no matter her background or ability, learns to tap into the world-changing power within her. She takes the lead in designing and enacting a plan for change and makes a positive impact in her community and beyond.

Gold Award Girl Scouts discover they have the power to create the future they want for themselves and others, and it shows. According to recent research, Gold Award Girl Scouts are significantly more satisfied—with their personal lives, with their education, professionally, and financially—than non-Girl Scouts. Eighty-five percent of Gold Award Girl Scouts say that earning their Gold Award gave them skills to succeed in their daily lives, and eighty-seven percent say it gave them skills to help them succeed professionally.

“Gold Award Girl Scouts don’t just change the world for the better, they change it for good—and these Girl Scouts embody everything this achievement stands for,” said Leanna Clark, chief executive officer of Girl Scouts of Colorado.“Each of these young women addressed an issue that’s important to her in order to earn her Gold Award, and she’s grown as a leader in the process. We congratulate each of these Gold Award Girl Scouts on this momentous accomplishment, and I can’t wait to see what they can achieve in the future.”

Each year, Gold Award Girl Scouts are eligible to earn the Stephanie A. Foote Leadership Prize. This award was made possible through a generous gift to Girl Scouts of Colorado’s Endowment by Girl Scouts of Colorado’s former President and CEO Stephanie A. Foote. In addition, the Debbie Haskins Spirit of Girl Scouting Award is given in memory of Girl Scout Gold Award Mentor Debbie Haskins, who had a passion for working with older Girl Scouts. It recognizes one outstanding Gold Award Girl Scout from Colorado who exemplifies the Girl Scout spirit through courage, confidence, and character.

Open only to girls in high school, the Girl Scout Gold Award is the most prestigious award in the world for girls. The Gold Award project involves seven steps: 1. Identify an issue, 2. Investigate it thoroughly, 3. Get help and build a team, 4. Create a plan, 5. Present the plan and gather feedback, 6. Take action, 7. Educate and inspire.

Gold Award Girl Scouts become innovative problem solvers, empathetic leaders, confident public speakers, and focused project managers. They learn resourcefulness, tenacity, and decision-making skills, giving them an edge personally and professionally.

Changing the world doesn’t end when a Girl Scout earns her Gold Award: 96% of Gold Award Girl Scouts say their experience inspired their ongoing commitment to service or volunteering, and 95% say it made them more responsible members of their communities.

You can learn more about these extraordinary young women and their projects on the Girl Scouts of Colorado blog. You have permission to use the photos and biographies of any of the girls listed above in print or online publications. If you would like to interview any of these Girl Scouts about their project and the impact it had, please contact Hannah Gutkind, Girl Scouts of Colorado public relations manager.