Category Archives: Take Action/Highest Awards

Gold Award Girl Scout: Emily Clark, Colorado Springs, “The Art of Being a Naturalist”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I developed a years worth of art lesson plans for fourth graders at School in the Woods. These lesson plans meet the Colorado Department of Education standards for Art for fourth graders, but are unique in that they are tailored towards outdoor education.

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

I used feedback from School in the Woods and their students as my lesson plans were used to measure the impact of my Gold Award. My lesson plans are now a part of their ongoing classroom curriculum.

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

My project is sustainable because the lesson plans include instructions on how to teach each lesson, so they can be used by anyone. I designed them specifically to be implemented by parents, or adults who have no prior art education. This means they can be used by parents homeschooling their children in addition to parents assisting in the classroom.

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

I sent .pdf files of the lesson plans to the national parks service, homeschooling groups, and some local art programs. These lesson plans have been shared across the United States, and I know they have been used in California, Colorado, and Ireland.

What did you learn about yourself?

Through my project I learned teaching really isn’t my thing, but I learned a lot about art through teaching art and creating art lesson plans. While I don’t intend to be a teacher, I do plan on pursuing a career in art.

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

The lessons I learned through my Gold Award Project will stay with me for the rest of my life. I can use what I learned on future applications for jobs or scholarships. Skills I learned and utilized include time management, leadership, teamwork, collaboration, and how to research and revise my work.

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

The Gold Award teaches girls how to organize a project and set goals through a subject they enjoy and are passionate about. I feel I used the skills I learned in teamwork during Reach for the Peak, goal setting I learned through cookie sales, and skills from other Girl Scout events, projects, and workshops all came together to help me achieve success in earning my Girl Scout Gold Award.

How did earning your Gold Award help you become a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader)? 

Earning my Gold Award helped me become a G.I.R.L. because it challenged me to take risks. It helped me become a risk-taker because I had to try new things and reach out to people in order for my project to be successful. I couldn’t just rely on the skills I had, but had to ask others for their assistance to make my project successful.

**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

Silver Award project: Installing Little Free Libraries at community parks

Submitted by Hailey and Megan T.

Western Colorado

Grand Junction

We love reading and wanted to share that with our community. As Girl Scouts, we decided to make this our Silver Award project and partnered with Grand Junction Parks and Recreation. We started with a Little Free Library at Lincoln Park playground. We designed, built, and installed the Little Free Library on Earth Day 2018. The theme was trees because it went with the tree theme at Lincoln Park playground. Then, Grand Junction Parks and Rec asked us to build another Little Free Library at another city park, Canyon View, and we agreed. We kept the same design for the most part, but had a sports theme for this library because it fits in with the theme of sports at this park. We learned a lot from this experience including woodworking skills, patience, and time management. We really enjoy reading, so this was a great opportunity for us to help the community read more and earn our Silver Award.

News Channel 11/KKCO-TV in Grand Junction even featured our project on one of their broadcasts.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VwA_-jxga-E

This story was submitted using the Share Your Stories form. You can share your Girl Scout moments, too.

Gold Award Girl Scouts impact Colorado communities and beyond

Twelve Girl Scouts from across Colorado have earned the distinction of Gold Award Girl Scout, the highest honor in Girl Scouting, after completing Take Action projects benefiting their local communities and those around the world.

  • Brittany Argo from Aurora, Cherokee Trail High School, built a prayer garden at St. Michael’s the Archangel and aided in the construction of a prayer garden at a church in the Philippines.
  • Evyn Batie from Loveland, Mountain View High School, led a team of students to create the Northern Colorado Student Mental Health Resource Guide, an electronic compilation of some of the best youth mental health resources across the region.
  • Bryce Civiello from Evergreen, Conifer High School, designed a pamphlet for teens that can help them take the first steps toward getting help from a mental health professional.
  • Angela Foote from Centennial, Arapahoe High School, developed a relationship between the organizations Family Promise of Denver and Denver Tech for All to ensure low-resource students and families have ongoing access to computers.
  • Madeline Ford from Englewood, Cherry Creek High School, partnered with the Boys & Girls Club to create a five-session literacy program, which promotes a positive reading environment and teaches children new ways to express themselves through books and poetry.
  • Littlepage Green from Breckenridge, Summit High School, created a lesson plan and video to educate students about food allergies. In-person lessons also included training on how to properly use an epi-pen.
  • Maya Hegde from Englewood, Cherry Creek High School, partnered with the Mangala Seva Orphanage in India and Brydges Centre in Kenya to teach girls how to make reusable sanitary pads using materials they already have. The program she developed also taught the girls how to sell sanitary pads in their own communities to tackle the stigma around the menstrual cycle.
  • Grace Matsey from Highlands Ranch, Mountain Vista High School, created a music tutoring program for elementary and middle school musicians, which was run by members of her high school’s Music Honor Society.
  • Annarlene Nikolaus from Colorado Springs, Discovery Canyon High School, oversaw the construction of a series of buddy benches for local K-12 public schools. Students also participated in age-appropriate lessons led by Annarlene about buddy benches and what they can do to be better friends.
  • Bailey Stokes from Buena Vista, Buena Vista High School, created outdoor-based lesson plans for the use of fourth grade science teachers across Colorado. Topics covered included investigations, habitat, and adaptations.
  • Emma Lily from Longmont, Silver Creek High School, designed a website, created a podcast, and wrote a children’s book celebrating the Longmont Sugar Beet Factory and its historical significance.
  • Katherine Walden from Larkspur, Castle View High School, taught elementary school students about the importance of bees and how to install bee boxes that local bee species and other pollinators can call home.

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.

“Earning the Girl Scout Gold Award designation is truly a remarkable achievement, and these young women exemplify leadership in all its forms,” said Stephanie Foote, President and Chief Executive Officer of Girl Scouts of Colorado. “They saw a need and took ownership of helping to develop a solution and took action to make it happen. Their extraordinary dedication, perseverance, and leadership is making the world a better place.”

Girl Scouts of Colorado is 32,000 strong—more than 22,000 girls and 10,000 adults who believe in the power of every G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ to change the world. Our extraordinary journey began more than 100 years ago with the original G.I.R.L., Juliette Gordon “Daisy” Low. On March 12, 1912, in Savannah, Ga., she organized the very first Girl Scout troop, and every year since, we’ve honored her vision and legacy, building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. We’re the preeminent leadership development organization for girls. To volunteer, reconnect, donate, or join, visit www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org.

Gold Award Girl Scout: Angela Foote, Centennial, “Computers for All”

 What did you do for your Gold Award project?

My project helps provide computers to families in need. My project works directly with Family Promise of Greater Denver. Family Promise of Greater Denver is an organization that is dedicated to serving families experiencing homelessness. I chose to work with Family Promise of Greater Denver to help provide them with computers for high school students enrolled in their program. My project then grew to getting computers for the entire family.

I learned about Family Promise of Greater Denver through my church. Our church hosts families four times a year. I volunteer for them by making meals and by providing babysitting when the families are at our church. I have met several homeless teens going to school without a computer. I couldn’t imagine not having a computer for school. This is what has helped me identify the need for my project.

In my search for computers, I found another non-profit, Denver Tech for All.  Denver Tech for All has agreed to provide the computers to Family Promise of Greater Denver families in need. Currently, more than 100 computers have been distributed since January 2018.

I wanted to help Denver Tech for All by hosting a computer equipment collection. This allowed my project to help other individuals that needed a computer that are not part of Family Promise of Greater Denver.

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

One long-term impact for my target audience is learning computer skills that will serve them over their lifetime. Family Promise of Greater Denver shared this success story.

“A single mom and her two teenage daughters all got laptops.  Because of that, the mom (who had been unemployed) was able to search for jobs and apply online, and she got hired and is now employed full-time!  And her daughters are able to do their schoolwork at home now – and one of them made the honor roll and won an award for ‘most improved 9th grader’.”   

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

Denver Tech for All has agreed to provide computers to five families every week through Family Promise of Greater Denver.  These computers are free and the individual can come back to Denver Tech for All for technical support at any time.  Additionally, six companies have agreed to provide Denver Tech for All any computer equipment they no longer need.

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

I have shared the success of my project with Family Promise headquarters in New Jersey.  There is an article published on their website about this project (https://familypromise.org/category/the-latest/) and it was shared on social media.  Additionally, my project success has been shared with over 200 Family Promise affiliates around the United States.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned I am a hard worker and I really enjoy helping in the community. I learned how to communicate with people and get my point across.

At the computer equipment drive, I learned I had great leadership skills. I helped organize the collection of the computer equipment and trained my volunteers.

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

Earning the Gold Award has prepared me not to give up, even if I receive rejection or run into obstacles. During my project, I had times when it became difficult, but I pushed past the obstacles and completed strong.  Knowing I can do this will be invaluable in my future.

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

The Gold Award was an important part of my Girl Scout experience because I identified a need in my community and I found a solution. I have my troop to thank. The years leading up to my Gold Award, we did several projects and I learned a lot about completing projects. I was lucky to belong to a great troop full of love, friends, and support.

How did earning your Gold Award help you become a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader)?

Earning the Gold Award helped me become a go-getter.  All of the goals that I set; I have surpassed. I wanted two tons of computer equipment for Denver Tech for All to be donated and so far, they have received 2.5 tons; I wanted all teens enrolled in Family Promise of Greater Denver to receive computers (about 20-30 teens) which they did plus computers have been given to all family members over the age of five enrolled in Family Promise of Greater Denver. I wanted to get five companies to continue donating computer equipment to Denver Tech for All and I have six companies.

**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

Gold Award Girl Scout: Evyn Batie, Loveland, “Northern Colorado Student Mental Health Resource Guide”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Girl Scout Gold Award Project, I led a team of Mountain View High School students in creating and compiling the Northern Colorado Student Mental Health Resource Guide. This guide is an electronic compilation of some of the best youth mental health resources across Northern Colorado, listing organizations from therapy groups to trainings on how to talk to people in your life about suicide. The organizations listed in the guide had been selected based on participation in another event I planned and hosted last year, Mountain View’s first-ever “Spread The Health,” a mental health awareness night, and each group had proven themselves to care deeply about youth mental health. My team created this guide to ensure that, whether or not students had attended this event, any student could all have access to the mental health resources many in our country, state, county, and school district need.

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

The impact of the guide was measured through surveys my team and I designed and distributed in various classrooms around Mountain View. We asked students questions about the current state of their mental health and whether the resources in the guide would be helpful to them in the future. We found the majority of students said that they will most likely utilize one of the organizations in the future the most prevalent being safeTALK, a suicide awareness training that 31 out of 50 kids said they are likely to utilize.

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

This project was designed to be sustained without my involvement. By creating an electronic resource, training a youth team with students of various grade levels, working with the MVHS Advisor Board (a team of teachers who gave approval for the publication of this guide), and working without a budget, I have ensured my project is sustainable. An electronic resource ensures that even as I step away from this project, others are always able to continue its development and publication. My team is well-rounded and large enough that, even if one person doesn’t continue, there will be someone able to sustain the project for years to come. Choosing to initiate this project without a budget not only made the process less stressful for me, but also ensured the school district’s continued interest as they do not have much money to spend. Additionally, Mr. Smith, one of Mountain View’s counselors, has passed the guide on to other local high schools which secures the guide’s future as a resource in the Thompson School District.

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

The complex task of working to improve mental health, provide resources, and deal with the stigma of getting help is a problem facing our entire country and world today. Mental Health America states that, “56% of American adults with mental illnesses do not receive treatment.” And according to stats from Our World In Data, “15% of all the world’s population has mental disorder of some kind.” The same process used for this project at Mountain View High School in Loveland, Colorado, could be used to help students in schools all around the country and the world facing so many of the same things.

What did you learn about yourself?

Through my Gold Award, I learned that we can always keep growing. I have taken on huge leadership projects and commitments in the past, but nothing like the Gold Award. Working on a project, creating something important, is a very different phenomenon when you’re working alone. However, the Gold Award committee challenged me and pushed me to broaden my leadership skills, expand my team, and release the reins of control that I often hold so tightly. I learned a lot about myself as a leader when I had to lead so many people and have as much faith in their skills as I do my own.

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

My future is dedicated to the cause of mental health and the Gold Award was another step towards that. I have the joy now of knowing that I have reached the highest level I can in an organization of leaders while educating others on a topic I am passionate about.  I am walking away from Gold Award with stronger leadership skills such as communication, time-management, and delegation and with a deeper understanding of mental health and how to share my message.

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

I have been a Girl Scout for ten years and earned my Bronze and Silver awards. It felt natural and even necessary to earn the Gold. My Gold Award was the compilation of every skill Girl Scouts has ever taught me from being a leader to being a friend, being creative to begin assertive. The Gold Award was an important part of my Girl Scout experience because it gave me the chance to show everything I had learned through this organization and that has been the most amazing opportunity I could ever have had.

How did earning your Gold Award help you become a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader)? 

Go-Getter: I saw the mental health problem prevalent in my community and my life and began to consider the factors that contributed. The lack of awareness students seemed to have about the resources there to help them stood out and I knew I needed to find a way to share those with all students.

Innovator: The idea of a compiled resource guide was one that very few people had ever seen and being able to do a Girl Scout Gold Award electronically and for no cost at all was an unusual method of action.

Risk-taker: It was a huge step outside of my comfort zone to work with a large team of youth and wonder if they’d be able to deliver all the things I needed, but ultimately, working with them made the guide so much better than it would have been without them.

Leader: I was able to utilize all the best skills I have learned from ten years of being a Girl Scout to lead a team to create the best possible project for our community.

Gold Award helped me become the best G.I.R.L. I could be.

**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

Gold Award Girl Scout: Madeline Ford, Englewood, “The Little Children Who Could”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

Most children are uninterested in reading, so they lack the understanding of why reading is important. They do not like reading because they lack support and encouragement to read. Because of this, I created a program at the Boys and Girls Club that is a five-session literacy program to promote a positive reading environment by teaching books with good values and morals and then teaching the children about different authors and poets to show new ways to express themselves. I brought in several volunteers to create a small volunteer to child ratio, so children could get the attention they need to work on their reading skills. I also noticed that they do not like to read because it lacks physical activity, so I made hands-on activities to keep the children engaged and active. Afterwards, I created reading tool boxes that consist of 15 to 20 books and reusable activities that can be used alongside them. Through a book drive, I was able to collect more than 400 books that allowed me to make 22 tool boxes that were passed out to organizations that serve at risk children around Colorado. By encouraging a positive reading environment at an early age, children will develop a lifelong love for learning which will cause a positive impact in their future.

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

I created a survey the children filled out before and after the five-session program to get a sense of how they feel about reading. Overall, there was a 45% increase for the statement “Reading is Important” and an 18% increase for the question “Do I learn new things in my books?” Also, I interviewed the teachers from the Boys and Girls Club and they were very happy on how the program turned out. At that moment was when I felt like my project was coming together. I knew I had made a difference in a child’s life and that they learned ideas that will help them in the future. Seeing these results gave me motivation to write a program manual with all the activities so other children can be impacted as well.

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

The children of Godsman Elementary School brought home several projects that are reminders for the children to embrace themselves and show their best selves and to motivate them to read and write more. My school’s National Honor Society will continue my program using my step by step instruction manual in my school district so over one hundred children each year can experience this program.

I created 22 tool boxes that had 15 to 20 books inside of them with several comprehension activities from my five-session program to understand books better and gain excitement from them. They allow children who were unable to experience my five-session program to be able to try my activities and be inspired by them.

My five-session program and book tool boxes can be accessed on my website: www.thelittlechildrenwhocould.weebly.com

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

Reading affects children everywhere. There are several reasons why children do not take reading seriously, which is why it is important to look at each reason and find a solution to fix it. I shared my project to several national organizations such as Reach Out and Read, National Honor Society, and the Boys and Girls Club. They can do my program anywhere and affect children around the nation. I put all of the materials and templates on a website that organizations could easily access to make the program successful and efficient.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned to embrace my creativity. Before my project, I was afraid to share my ideas because I believed no one would like them. However, having free reins on this project let me create whatever I wanted to promote reading literacy and I became very open with promoting ideas. I enjoyed bouncing off ideas with other people and receiving constructive criticism because it helped my ideas be more successful. I gained critical thinking skills that allowed me to create new and innovative ideas that made my project more appealing.

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

Working on this project helped increase my self-confidence. While working on this project, I began to branch out more in my community. As a result of this increase, I decided to apply for more leadership positions at my school. I became a board member for National Honor Society and Big Sisters and through these organizations, I am able to promote the values of this project to a bigger audience.  My Gold Award will always remind me that I take action and am able to create a better community.

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

The Gold Award was a perfect way to show my abilities and strengths that I developed through my years in Girl Scouts. Through Girl Scouts, I was able to create a stronger version of myself that pushed me to make my voice heard. Girls in a safe space gain confidence in themselves and they allow others to see their personalities and their abilities and I think that the Gold Award is a perfect way to challenge a girl in that way.  I gained knowledge and skills that will help me accomplish with any of my future endeavors.

How did earning your Gold Award help you become a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader)?

Earning my Gold Award helped me become an innovator. I had to come up with new ways to keep children engaged and involved while reading and writing.  I talked to several literacy aides and teachers to learn more how children focus and with their help I was able to create an interactive project. I enjoyed bouncing off ideas with other people and receiving constructive criticism because it helped my ideas be more successful.  I gained critical thinking skills that allowed me to create new and innovative ideas that made my project more appealing.

**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

Troop 1332 earns Bronze Award

Submitted by Linda Graves

Metro Denver

Parker

Troop 1332 earned their Bronze Award by partnering with Senior Friends League to visit nursing homes where seniors do not receive many visitors. When the girls set out to earn their Bronze Award, they knew they wanted to help seniors, but they weren’t sure how to go about doing it. After learning that more than half of seniors in nursing homes are forgotten, they decided visiting with these seniors was how they wanted to use their time to make a difference.

The troop found a local volunteer ministry that does organized visits to two particular nursing homes per month where the need for visitors is the greatest. Each month, the girls would get together and make a craft that could be given to the seniors at the next monthly visit. They made paper flowers, jewelry, cards, and cookies, which was a way the girls could start conversations with the seniors and interact with them. The girls played simple games with the seniors, such as hitting a balloon back and forth, beanbag toss, and singing Girl Scout Camp songs to them! The seniors really enjoyed the songs!

The girls started this project with the goal of giving to a population that needed their time and friendship the most, but ended up gaining as much as they gave. During their visits, they spoke with seniors who were also Girl Scouts and they shared their favorite things about being a Girl Scout. The girls learned about different cultures and, most of all, they learned how rewarding it is to bring joy to others by simply giving your time and listening!

The girls completed their required hours, but they are eager to continue visits with these seniors! They’re already planning another craft and additional visits for the upcoming holidays.

Troop 1332 wants to spread the word about the organization we worked with to earn our Bronze Award, Senior Friends League. This is a great organization that makes a difference in the lives of seniors and brings joy and happiness to the world. Our girls learned so much about having empathy and serving others through this project and the efforts of the league.

This story was submitted using the Share Your Stories form. You can share your Girl Scout moments, too.

Gold Award Girl Scout: Annie Nikolaus, Colorado Springs, “Building a Buddy Bench Community”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award project, I built buddy benches for my local K-12 public school. Each level of the K-12 school (high school, middle school, and elementary school) received their own decorated Buddy Bench, but also got to participate in an age-appropriate lesson about buddy benches and what they can do to be better friends to other students. As part of the high school lesson plan, the high school student council helped to decorate a Buddy Bench that was donated to the Air Force Academy Youth Center for them to use with their kids!

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

I measured the impact of my project by having students take surveys after they went through the lesson I had made. I asked questions about what they learned and how they thought they would be able to use their new knowledge in the future. I also received a lot of feedback about my project from teachers, students, and families that I took into account when looking at the overall impact of the project.

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

My project is sustainable because the Discovery Canyon High School Student Council decided to continue my project. They will be working with the counselors at Discovery Canyon to continue the friendship lessons for all the campuses and maintain the benches! Kids will continue to learn about friendship and have the tool of buddy benches years to come.

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

I compiled all of my lesson plans, bench designs, and materials into one large document and sent it out to schools in Colorado, across the country, and internationally. I thought that these plans would work great all over the world because kids everywhere deal with loneliness and can use the tools and learn new skills on how to be a good friend.

What did you learn about yourself?

The biggest thing I learned is that I can complete a project this big! It was hard to work on something for so long and not see the end, but every little bit of effort gets you closer to your goal! Now, I know I can accomplish projects like this (or even bigger) in the future!

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

My Gold Award will impact me in the future because it gives me an experience that I can rely on as a foundation when I take on bigger projects. It will give me the motivation that I can do great things in the future because I know I have accomplished something so big before.

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

The Gold Award was an important part of my Girl Scout experience because it was an achievement to show off all the time and effort I had spent in the Girl Scout program over the last 12 years! It gave me a nice way to finish that experience and a bridge to the next chapters of my life!

How did earning your Gold Award help you become a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader)? 

Earning my Gold Award helped me become an innovator because throughout my project I faced many challenges. To finish my project and to make it the best it could be, I had to come up with creative solutions and think outside the box to overcome the problems I faced. Without trying new ideas I would have been stuck, but instead, I kept trying new things until something worked!

**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

Gold Award Girl Scout: Maya Hegde, Englewood, “Pad Power”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

After a recent trip to India, I learned that many girls don’t have access to sanitary pads and other important menstrual products. I was surprised by the effect of not having access to sanitary pads: falling behind in education and losing their standing in their communities. For my project, I partnered with the Mangala Seva Orphanage in India and the Brydges Centre in Kenya to teach girls how to make reusable sanitary pads using materials they already have and to teach the girls how to sell pads in their local communities to tackle the stigma surrounding periods. This also provided more affordable pads to other women in their communities.

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

Over 130 girls in both orphanages have directly benefited by learning how to make reusable sanitary pads, using materials they already own, allowing them to continue going to classes on their period. Together, both orphanages have sold over 50 pads to other women, benefiting their communities through this cottage industry.

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

The directors at both orphanages have agreed to continue teaching girls how to make reusable pads for years to come. This project not only personally benefits the girls, but it allows them to get experience with sewing machines and sewing classes which they are already required to take. Both orphanages will also continue selling pads to other women in their communities and will donate reusable pads to those in need. In addition, my website includes instructions and templates that can be used by other organizations to get the same benefit. Website: https://padpower.weebly.com/

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

My project has a national connection because even in the United States, many women cannot afford feminine hygiene products. Even in developed countries, this lack of resources affects many women. In addition to being inexpensive, reusable pads are so much better for the environment.  The global connection my project has is that it gives access to pads for girls who otherwise would have to miss out on their education. The pads can even be made from old clothes and other recycled materials, reducing the price and eliminating the waste created by disposable pads.

What did you learn about yourself?

Through this project, I have learned how to lead others and delegate tasks in a team. I have also learned the importance of self advocating. This project was a little controversial, especially in developing countries, because of the topic of menstruation. I found that I would often have to advocate for the project and  convince cynics to keep the project going.

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

This project will continue to impact me in the future because I believe it has helped me become more confident. As I continue my education in the STEM field, where there are fewer women, I feel like I will be ready to take on any challenge that comes my way! I have a deep sense of accomplishment and am looking forward to taking on more challenges that will have wider impact.

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

The Gold Award was an important part of my Girl Scout experience because I used skills that I had learned in previous Journeys and my Silver Award to reach a larger number of people and increase my impact. I feel like the Gold Award has shaped me as a girl and given me a lot more confidence that I otherwise would not have gained.

How did earning your Gold Award help you become a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader)?

My Gold Award helped me become a risk-taker because it pushed me outside my comfort zone. The biggest risk I took was basing my project in other countries: India and Kenya. This was risky because it was difficult to communicate with the directors and the girls directly due to the time zone differences. Another risk was that the topic because it is largely controversial and highly stigmatized, especially in developing countries. I went into this project not knowing exactly what the reaction would be, but I still went ahead with it.  In the future I will have the self confidence and the ability to take risks and go for what I believe in – even if I might fail or it is not easy. I faced a lot of obstacles throughout the project, but I believe this project has allowed me to face it gracefully.

**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

Gold Award Girl Scout: Littlepage Green, Breckenridge, “The Allergy Initiative”

 

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award project, I worked with Mrs. Kassib, a health teacher at Summit High School, to create a lesson plan to educate health students about food allergies. I taught six classes using the lesson plan I developed and I also led epi-pen training after I had finished my lesson. To make my project accessible to a broader community, I created a video, using the lesson plan, and posted it on YouTube.

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

I measured my project’s impact on my target audience by having the students take a Kahoot, an educational tool used to check the student’s knowledge while making it a fun game for the students. It was a fun way to motivate them to listen, and it also let me see how well they understood my presentation. At most, the students got two wrong out of ten questions in each class period.

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

My project will be continued to be used in Summit High School’s health program where they will show the video I created and use some demo epi-pens I donated to train students. I also created a video that was put on YouTube. I shared the link on all my social media networks, so people could always access it and continue to share the video.

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

While small, the national link is through YouTube and social media. Because social media is widely used, both nationally and globally, my project will be seen by people outside of my community. Those people will then be able to share the video with their friends and they can share them with their friends and so on.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that I like to take on all the responsibility and do everything myself, which isn’t the best way to get projects completed. So, I learned how important delegating can be when you have a big project or are working with a group. I also learned that teaching and leading a class made me feel so accomplished. I learned how to speak in front of groups better than I could before, and because of that, I felt accomplished.

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

In the future, I will be more likely to take up leadership roles. I feel more comfortable leading a group effectively. Because I feel more comfortable overall leading, I will take up opportunities to lead. The more I lead the more my leadership skills will grow. Because I strengthened certain leadership skills on this project, I will be able to strengthen other leadership skills that may not have been as strong on this project, like my communication skills.

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

The Gold Award helped me to realize more about myself, like little habits that really slowed down my project. It was important because it used all the little bits of information and skill I had learned throughout all my years of being a Girl Scout. I then had to apply all those to my project, and it felt as though everything came full circle.

How did earning your Gold Award help you become a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader)? 

The Gold Award helped me to become an overall better leader. It helped me to step out of my comfort zone to talk to people whom I normally wouldn’t as well as push me to stand up in front of 20 or so children per class and talk for an hour. It also pushed me to think of creative solutions to problems that I normally would have let stop me from completing a project.

**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