Category Archives: Gold Award Honorees

Gold Award Recipients

Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Tara Butler, Denver, “Seniors Connect!”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

To the senior citizens in my community, and communities around the world, the idea of technology and understanding how it works is a little harder to come by. With the invention of smartphones came the idea of making everything extremely accessible and extremely easy to use. However, if someone is struggling with adapting to the new technology and the pace of it, a smartphone is going to be frustrating and harder to use, and one would need help. The primary issue that my project addressed was that senior citizens tend to need more help with their smartphone technology to make their lives easier. I created a course and curriculum specifically for senior citizens meant to educate them on how to use their smartphone technology and gain a better understanding for it.

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

I created surveys and handed them out at the end of each session, and had the seniors write down their opinions and exactly how much information they were retaining. The seniors would respond on the surveys with ways that I could improve each session and what they really wanted to learn as well. I used their feedback to adjust the curriculum and to prepare for the next class!

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

I have passed on copies of my curriculum and a flyer with information on what my project was to the senior rec center that I completed my project at! They plan to have it available for senior citizens to use at their leisure.

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

I have created a website that displays what my project was and includes the curriculum and surveys. The website can be found at https://taraseniorsconnect.wixsite.com/goldaward. The website contains all the information about my Gold Award project, including the curriculum I created and used, along with all the surveys and resources as well.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that I was not as well developed in the skills I thought I was, which allowed me to develop my leadership skills deeper. I learned to be flexible and how important it is to understand flexibility and that it’s an important skill to have. I also learned the skill of patience, and how important it is to have patience in everything one does. I also learned to be quick on my feet when solving issues, because I had to do that frequently throughout because not everything goes exactly as you hope!

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

The skills I developed throughout the course of my Gold Award will impact my future career. I am pursuing degrees in Business Management and Technical Theatre, both which require intense organization skills and I attribute my ease at organization in part to my Gold Award. The skills I learned from doing my Gold Award allowed me to receive a scholarship at my college, and if I hadn’t been awarded the scholarship, I would not be able to attend where I do.

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

It really brought together the last 11 years of Girl Scouts and what it was all about. It allowed me to grow as a person into someone who is strong, independent, and ready to take on the world and change it. My Gold Award allowed me to become someone I never imagined I would be when I first started Girl Scouts as a Brownie. My Gold Award prepared me for the real world, as I use the skills I developed every day.

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

Earning my Gold Award forced me to take risks. I had to do a lot of reaching out to others and that tends to be hard for me because I’m a relatively shy person when I don’t know people. As a young girl, I was very quiet and shy, and struggled with eye contact when conversing. Because I was forced to take these risks of talking to people I didn’t know throughout my Gold Award, I now converse with ease and make eye contact naturally, as it’s not something I fear anymore because I took those initial risks.

**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

Girl Scout Gold Award project: Abagail Sickinger, Castle Rock, “Operation Occupation”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award, I hosted an event, called Operation Occupation, to teach high school students how to get a job. There were employers, speakers, and lots of information and research that they interacted with. They learned things like how to fill out a resume, how to dress and behave properly at interviews and on the job, and went through a mock interview.

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

I measured the impact on my target audience with two different surveys. The first one was given to them at the event as they were leaving. This one had questions pertaining to the short-term affects they got from the event. Some questions included, “Did you learn something new?” and similar questions to judge their initial thoughts of the event. The second one was emailed to them at the end of the summer to see how they used the information over the two months after the event. Some of these questions were, “Did you get a job?”, “If you did get a job, where?”, “Do you feel confident when applying for jobs now?”, and so on.

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

My project is sustainable through the FBLA Club at Douglas County High School. I received a letter of commitment from the FBLA Adviser, that was signed by him, the principal of the school, and the school district. A couple of officers from the club attended my event to make sure that theirs is as close to mine as it can be, while changing what needs to be changed to make it better.

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

My project had both a global and national connection. The national connection is a website in Florida that shared my website with their company. I also contacted Gap Outlet and asked them to put the links to all of my social media on their national page. This will take a while to go through the system, but I am hopeful it will get through. The global connection was mainly through my YouTube channel, I have reached three different countries with my video, United States, Canada, and The Philippines. I am hoping to expand this outreach even further.

What did you learn about yourself?

A couple of things that I learned about myself through this project is that I am very organized when I want to be, and I am great at running events in a short period of time. I started working on my event way too late, and realized that with the amount of compliments I got about how smooth my event was, that I am good at pulling together at the end. Also, I stayed organized throughout the entire project to keep from missing anything.

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

The Gold Award has taught me many things. It has given me a lot of leadership qualities and skills that I will use for the rest of my life. It has also taught me to not procrastinate, and to work in a timely fashion. I will never put off something until the last minute again, because I do not like the feeling that I might be forgetting something important.

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

I feel that the Gold Award was a big part of my Girl Scouting experience because it put all of the things I learned throughout the program all together. It’s almost like it tied off my Girl Scouting years (as a girl) with a bow.

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

The Gold Award taught me to be G.I.R.L. by making me be a go-getter. I have always had a passion for helping others my age, and this project made me take a step to helping them. Seeing progress was being made by the people who attended, showed me that I made a difference in their lives. I became a risk-taker by learning how to speak in front of an audience, and how to talk to adults and tell them that I need help. I became a leader by learning how to find a problem in the community, what I can do to fix it, and stepping out of my comfort zone, to get it done. Also, I learned how much the world needs people to step up and be the leader for causes that don’t get enough attention.

**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

Girl Scout Gold Award project: Rose Goodman, Boulder, “Protecting the bees”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

Being from Boulder, I am someone who is very environmentally friendly, and a tree hugger at heart. Therefore, for my Gold Award project, I wanted to address an environmental issue. I decided to go with the problem of the bee population declining. For my Gold Award project, I created a lesson plan to fit the common core curriculum of second grade. This was important because I made my lesson plan accessible to teachers via the internet, and because it fits the common core standards, it is easier for teachers to use.  I then presented my own PowerPoint presentation, that was based off of my lesson plan, to a few groups in the community to get my message across. My overall goal was to educate people about the importance of bees and how we can help them.

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

I measured my impact by asking the kids I presented to, at the end of my presentation, what they had learned from my presentation.  The kids responded with several answers such as “bees are not the same as wasps”, “the bee population is going down,” “we need to help save the bees,” “pesticides kill bees,” “planting plants helps bees.”  I also realized the impact I was making when one of the kids came up to me full of emotion, in tears, and said she was very sad about the bees and really wanted to help them.

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

I have made sure that my project is sustainable.  First, Sammie Reynolds, a teacher at Mt. Saint Vincent in Denver, has promised to continue this lesson plan and committed to use it in the future.  Additionally, I made my lesson plan accessible online to teachers, by sharing my lesson plan and presentation with Kristin Reynolds who is putting it on the Earth Guardian website.  Hopefully, people other than Ms. Reynolds will access my lesson plan and use it in their classrooms.

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

Bees are not just a species that roam around in my town of Boulder. Bees are all over the world, and globally, bees are the number one pollinator. This problem affects the whole world.  My project starts in this little corner of the world in Boulder, but will longterm affect the whole world.  Also, by sharing my lesson plan with Ms. Reynolds, I am making my lesson plan accessible for teachers all over the nation.

What did you learn about yourself?

From my project, I have learned so much more about bees. I started with only basic knowledge about bees, and then began my research. I also learned how to work with people, and how to pick the correct people for my team.  I learned that sometimes certain people are a little more of procrastinators than I am, and they can be hard to work with. Additionally, I learned an extremely valuable skill: how to speak well in front of people.  All these skills will help me in my future in going to college, and then, hopefully, medical school.

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

This project not only opens up doors because it shows how dedicated I can be and  thus, people will hopefully be more likely to hire or accept me into a position, but this project also opens the door to presenting more often. It shows me that if I can accomplish my Gold Award,  then I can do any presentation.  It encourages me to feel more and more comfortable when collaborating with others and talking to a big group.

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 little Daisy. Throughout my Girl Scout career, I had been doing fun activities that involved learning and helping the community.  Each of these activities, however, were fabulous, I didn’t feel as though I, myself was making a difference.  I would work with a group of roughly 10-15 girls in completing an activity that my great troop leader had come up with for us do.  Yes, we earned badges and I felt accomplished with every badge, none of them made me feel as good as I felt when I completed my Gold Award.  I had not only felt that I had made a difference, but I had measured and proved that I actually had made a difference.  On my own, I came up with an idea, executed it, and made an impact.

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

My project made me a go-getter because although it took me over a year to complete my project, I kept with it and pushed until I succeeded.  I knew some girls that started their project, but never finished it.  I also had some times of self doubt, but I decided that I wanted to get my Gold Award, make a difference, and continue on.  I proved to myself that I had true dedication, along with leadership.  I learned how to be a leader and inspire others to take action.  Every kid I presented to showed great excitement in wanting to help the bees.

**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

Girl Scout Gold Award project: Alexis Montague, Castle Rock, “Encouraging females to pursue STEM careers”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award, I focused on encouraging girls to pursue STEM careers by providing middle school and high school girls with role models. My research showed that STEM is primarily dominated by males with ratio being around ¾ male and ¼ females. Women in STEM is a complex issue that is caused by numerous problems. I decided to focus on role models since studies have shown that by providing successful female role models, more women are willing to put in the effort for these careers. In order to achieve this, I developed a panel consisting of engineers from many different fields within engineering. They came and talked about the challenges within the STEM field and how to overcome them. The panelists also discussed what employers are looking for both in academics and internships.

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

I measured the impact of my project through a survey given at the end of my panel event. The survey contained questions about how to improve the event for the future and if the girls who attended had learned anything new. I also talked to many of the girls after my event to hear what they had thought about the event.

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

My project will be sustained through my high school. My school has been divided up into four different academies: STEM, BHS, VPA, and LGC. As I had already done my event at the school and had numerous teachers and administers involved, my advisor/teacher is willing to sponsor another girl to run the event with the guidance of my manual, so all they must do is choose a date that works with them, find panelists, and advertise to the middle schools.

One of my panelists is a member of the Denver chapter of Business and Professional Women. When she heard that a component of the Gold Award project was that it needed to be sustained in some way, her chapter agreed to also put on this event in the future as part of their programming.

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

The imbalance between the genders within STEM careers is a national issue. For my project to reach a wider audience nationally, I created a website. The website depicts the issue of women in STEM and highlights some of the reasons behind the difference between the genders.  I sent letters to 50 schools within Colorado, ranging from Fort Collins to Colorado Springs, with the information about my event and what girls learned, why they should do it, and where they could get the manual and visit my website for more information.

What did you learn about yourself?

The most important aspect that I learned about myself was discovering what I was most passionate about and discovered my voice for it. It has enabled me to stand for what I believe in and develop solutions for the problems. It also showed me that I am able to successfully put on events as a leader.

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

My Gold Award has provided me with numerous professional skills and the ability to put on a major event. I know it will have a major impact on my ability within my own career. My Gold Award taught me invaluable tools that I need for my future career, both in acting professional and the ability to lead and develop a major event.

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 in kindergarten. The Gold Award was the final award that I could complete within the program after finishing the Bronze and Silver. But, it was more than that. The Gold Award took all my leadership and event planning skills I had obtained through the program and pushed them to their limits, and expanded past what I already had. It showed me what I was able to achieve with the skills I had learned through my 13 years of being a Girl Scout.

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

G:  The Gold Award made me find an issue that occurred within my community and forced me to find a solution, or in the case of my project be a part of the solution. It made me develop a plan in order to achieve the solution of providing role models so that I could pursue a component of the entire problem of the unbalanced genders within the STEM field.

**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

Girl Scout Gold Award project: Elizabeth Hoelscher, Aurora, “Girls for girls library and welcome baskets”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award, I built a library and put together welcome baskets for a shelter (Avanti House) that houses girls 12-17 that have been victims of sex trafficking.  The issue I wanted to address with my project is the negative aftermath of sex trafficking as well as the continued prevalence of sex trafficking in our community. I wanted to improve lives of sex trafficking victims that need distractions and added normalcy to their lives after sex trafficking. While I cannot eliminate trafficking, by doing my project I spread awareness about sex trafficking and its continuing prevalence in our state, country, and world.

I made presentations on my project to raise awareness to the Green Hat Society and teachers at my school which subsequently lead to book donations. I presented to teachers at my school to spread awareness about the problem and help them identify the signs of sex trafficking as they see their students on a daily basis and would most easily be able to identify the problem. In all, I was able to collect 670 books through donations and the purchase of a couple of books I thought were must haves, which are now in the main living space and classroom for the girls, while the adults have one with their books in the office. I also supplied each girl a bookmark in their welcome basket to get them introduced to the library. The welcome baskets also included blankets, journals, coloring books, socks, water bottles, candy, and a couple of other items I felt were important that they have.

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

I measured the impact of my Gold Award project from the feedback on the books and items in the welcome baskets and also from the persons who heard my presentations.

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

Kristen Harness from Avanti house has agreed to continue to make the welcome baskets for the home and other women they come across.

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

I have e-mailed several similar shelters that do similar work in other states in hopes that they might adopt the same projects.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned about my ability to be independent and take charge. From this project, I learned how to bear ALL of the responsibilities for my work. From organizing donation pick-ups and moving in the library and welcome bags, I learned a lot about myself, including my drive and passion for a cause I believe in.

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

Earning my Gold Award will make me more confident in being a leader as well as doing large projects and tasks on my own.

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

The Gold Award allowed me to finish off my 12 years of Girl Scouting with one last impactful project that made a change.

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

This helped me become a better leader as I have exposed myself to situations that require independence.

**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

 

Girl Scout Gold Award project: Marieke van Erven, Brighton, “VOTE (Voter Outreach Through Education)”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award, I worked with the Adams County Elections Department to create VOTE (Voter Outreach Through Education). VOTE takes education about the elections department into high school government classes. The education includes the “behind the scenes” of a ballot, what happens during an election, security measures taken, and many other important aspects of the Elections Department. We also put on a student government to give students of all grade levels the experience of a “true” election.

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

I measured the impact of my Gold Award by the number of students reached, 28 with education, and the feedback they gave on a survey. 26/28 felt they learned something they didn’t already know and better understood the Elections Department and what they do. VOTE will be continued through the Adams County Elections Department, which means that students will continue to be educated on the importance of voting, and the work the Elections Department does. Through feedback my team and I received from the students and the teacher, we revised the program to make it stronger for next year.

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

My project will continue through the Adams County Elections Department and will grow to reach more students. The current goal is to have VOTE in every high school in Adams County boundaries, then looking for further growth options. We are hoping to reach four high schools next year and continue to expand after that. Our thoughts and goals for expansion include reaching beyond Adams County at the state level.

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

Elections are a hot button topic for many people, especially after the 2016 General Election. VOTE addresses concerns that were seen at the national level. As a team, we are starting small with our education, but that will also grow to incorporate what is happening. High school government students learn about elections in the United States but may also look at elections abroad and the systems used, this helps to give them a deeper understanding and better connection to relate the electoral system to.

What did you learn about yourself?

During my Gold Award, I learned that I can work through obstacles. I hit several spots in my project where I could’ve easily given up. I had to change my project late in the year and then put a lot of work into making sure the VOTE program went into classrooms before the school year was over. Hard work pays off, and there is always another option when something seems impossible.

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

Earning my Gold Award has given me more confidence in myself and what I am capable of accomplishing. I will now look at projects with a different perspective knowing that I can push myself further than I thought was possible and overcome any obstacle put in my way. If you work hard enough, you can accomplish anything you put your mind to. As I am heading into college, this will be an especially important reminder that I will carry with me.

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

Earning my Gold Award was an important part of my Girl Scout Experience because it was a good way to wrap up my time as a Girl Scout before moving to an adult member. I have been in Girl Scouts since Daisy’s and have grown up watching girls earn their Gold Awards. Watching my older Girl Scout sisters earning these awards and positively impacting the community around them was an inspiration to me. It taught me that I could one day have a similar impact on those around me, and it drove me to continue my Girl Scout journey even when I was busy with school and sports. I looked up to my Girl Scout sisters, and want to be that inspiration for other younger girls.

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 learn to become a go-getter because of the challenges I faced. Changing my project in the middle of the year was not something I had planned on doing. I wanted to give up, but I knew there was still a difference I could make in my community. I had to look at the problem I had in a different way and see another issue that needed to be addressed. I, then, worked with the elections team to gain high school support. This project made me step outside my comfort zone and prove to many people that I am not just another high school student, I am a professional in this area. There was an obstacle proving this to my teachers and peers alike, as they have only ever seen me as a student.

**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

Girl Scout Gold Award project: Victoria Delate, Centennial, “Self-defense gold”

 

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award, I addressed the problem of sexual assault by developing a course that taught high school students how to be more aware of their surroundings and defend themselves if needed. Deciding to act, I created a four-week self-defense course for Cherry Creek High School. Teaming up with Big Sisters and Dr. Keogh, Cherry Creek’s activity director, I invited anyone, students and staff, to attend the course and learn. The first week was an introduction to the problem and prevalence of sexual assault. We discussed sexual assault statistics for American women and men, on college campuses in the U.S., and globally. Then, we talked about why self-defense and self-empowerment are needed for self-protection. And finally, we discussed some basic steps to keep oneself safe. The second week a professional Krav Maga instructor from Evolve Martial Arts came to teach about awareness of one’s surroundings and self. Krav Maga is a self-defense system developed by the Israeli Defense Forces. As part of the second session, we did hands-on exercises that involved students learning to practice being passive, aggressive, and assertive in a confrontational setting, and how best to portray oneself in a threatening situation. While the skills taught were basic, they were effective. The third week a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE nurse) from Aurora Medical Center presented the steps people should take if they or someone they know is sexually assaulted. The SANE nurse talked about how one should not take a shower after the crime, but should come directly into the hospital to collect evidence through a physical examination. The SANE nurse explained that this type of evidence collection will allow for the most solid case against the perpetrator. Furthermore, support is available through emotional counseling, and pregnancy and disease prevention are initiated during the examination. Although this was the most emotionally difficult day, it provided valuable knowledge on how to proceed after a sexual assault occurs. And finally, the fourth course was taught by the Krav Maga instructor again, but this time he demonstrated and taught basic Krav Maga techniques that can be applied against an assailant. The students learned and practiced techniques on how to harm an assailant so that they might escape a threatening situation. All four sessions taught the participants new skills and knowledge to prevent and negotiate unsafe situations.

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

To determine the effectiveness of the school-based self-defense course, I collected information from student participants by using a seven question pre- and post-survey. The survey asked students about their knowledge regarding sexual assault and how confident they were in their knowledge and skills to prevent and/or handle an unsafe situation. Using a scale from one to five, with one being “don’t agree” and five being “strongly agree”, 15 students completed the pre-survey at the beginning of the first session and 16 students completed the post-survey at the end of the fourth session. All responses were anonymous. Data were entered into an Excel spreadsheet and mean values were calculated for the average of each question by pre- and post-surveys.

The first question asked if the participant was confident in his/her knowledge of how to keep oneself out of an unsafe situation. Before the courses, the average answer was a 3.5 out of five, meaning they had some knowledge, but not a lot. Post course the average was 4.6 out of five, meaning they felt much more comfortable in their knowledge. The second question asked if the participant believed he/she has the skills to recognize an unsafe situation. The pre average was 4.2 out of five, and the post was 4.5 out of five. These results suggested that before the course the participants had confidence in themselves, by the end, there was minimal change. The third question asked if the participant had the basic skills to get oneself out of an unsafe situation, and the pre-test averaged at 2.6 out of five, while the post averaged 4.3 out of five. At the beginning, participants believed that they had proficient skills to escape, but by the end they felt that they had gained skills to escape. This gap between the pre and post was the largest area of growth for all the skills taught. The fourth question asked if the participant would be able to communicate to a date, friend, or stranger clearly so that the other person understood the participant’s physical boundaries. The pre-test averaged at 3.6 out of five and post-test averaged 4.7 out of five meaning they felt they had gained communication skills. The fifth question asked if the participants believed that sexual assault is common among teens their age, the pre averaging at 4.1 out of five and the post averaging 4.7 out of five. This displayed that even though the participants might not have known what to do, they could recognize that sexual assault is a prevalent problem. The sixth question asked if the participant knew the legal steps to take in case the participant or a friend had been sexually assaulted. Pre averaged at 3.3 while post averaged at 4.7 showing that they did learn more of the legal steps to take. The final question asked on the pre-test was if there were any questions or comments, none being received, and the post asked if there were any comments which there were several of:

  • So Helpful!
  • Thank You!
  • Great class! Knowledgeable instructors and great content
  • Thank you so much for putting this together! You (and the course) were great!
  • Thank you Victoria! I learned a lot!

The only negative comment received was from the only male who participated and he voiced that this course my not be the best for males; this may have been because he was uncomfortable being the only male there. So, overall the course was helpful and received very well.

Statistics show that sexual assault is a huge problem among Americans especially students. There is a need to provide knowledge and skills to prevent sexual assault, and if necessary, to get out of an unsafe situation. This course addresses this need though the Big Sisters club at Cherry Creek High School. By teaching the participants about their surroundings, how to keep safe, and some techniques to get out of an unsafe situation, students became more prepared to keep themselves safe as they become independent adults. Post-survey results demonstrate that this program was successful in increasing students’ confidence in their ability to communicate their physical boundaries to a date, friend, or stranger, to believe in their own ability to get themselves out of an unsafe situation, and to know the legal steps if they or a friend has been sexually assaulted. Such critical skills are important as students become adults.

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

I set up my project at Cherry Creek High School through the Big Sisters organization. Big Sisters at Cherry Creek High School has agreed to continue this program in the coming year without my assistance running it.

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

To link my project on the national/global level, I created a website that provides resources for someone else to incorporate this type of program into their community. The link is:  https://vrd319.wixsite.com/self-defense. The website includes research, the steps that can be taken to create a four-week self-defense course, a four-week course outline, a sample flyer, a course introductory presentation, a pre- and post-survey, and additional resources.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that I like everything to be organized perfectly with no flaws, and go the way I plan it to go. However, no matter how much planning I do, things do not work out as I plan. Because of this realization, I became a better leader because now I am much more flexible. I know that life happens, and the best we can do is to go with the flow while continuing to work toward the goal.

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

The Gold Award has impacted my learning path tremendously. Since I want to go to school to be a nurse, meeting and talking about the kind of work SANE nurses do has established an interest in that field of nursing in which I may decide to major.

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 the final piece of a 12-year journey. I started Girl Scouts as a young, inexperienced six-year-old girl and finished it as a wise and resourceful 18-year-old woman. The project I created incorporated all the skills I learned from Girl Scouts over the past 12 years, putting them into practice. It was a wonderful way to conclude one of the most imperative learning experiences 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 a go-getter because I started with a team of people who then did not follow through with my project and I was left with no team. I was a go-getter because I did not let this discourage me, but rather found a new team and kept going.

**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

Girl Scout Gold Award project: Grayson Thomas, Lyons, “STEM Mural”

 

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I created a mural of diverse and significant members of the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) community. It is located in the Lyons Middle/Senior High School math classroom spanning 15’5” by 9’. It features Maryam Mirzakhani, Muhammad​ al-Khwarizmi, Alan Turing, Margaret Hamilton, Leonhard Euler, Albert Einstein, Shiing-Shen Chern, Annie Easley, and Srinivasa Ramanujan. These figures were carefully chosen based on their contributions and their backgrounds. Altogether, it includes men and women with Caucasian, African American, Asian-American, European, Middle-Eastern, Indian, heterosexual, homosexual, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Atheist, and Jewish backgrounds. Additionally, I created a website, stemmural.weebly.com, about the mural featuring a research project on the figures of the mural for middle/high school students. The research project will be implemented in the school each year and can be accessed by other teachers worldwide. My goal was to inspire students in my community, not only to be more accepting in a globalized world, but also to be excited and interested in pursuing a career in STEM.

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

The volunteers who painted my mural with me have been the first to be impacted by the mural. A survey I took of them before working on the mural concluded that of the nine people to be painted only one was recognized by all six volunteers. After creating the mural, they agreed they had an acute understanding of each of the people, four out of the six even did research on their own about the figures on the mural they were interested in.

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

The mural will remain a permanent part of Lyons Middle/Senior High School and the local math teacher will use the accompanying research project annually. The website will allow for far-reaching sustainability. It can be accessed by any teacher as it is public, and used by students because of its classroom-friendly layout. The visual aspect of the mural along with its academic value will continue to inspire curiosity to those who encounter it.

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

Through the addition of the educational website the mural can reach people beyond the confines of Lyons to make a nationwide impact as more students can be inspired by the people on the mural and their accomplishments. In order to promote the project internationally, I will contact the president of the Outreach Society at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland to give a presentation on the mural and using art for outreach.

What did you learn about yourself? 

My greatest self-revelation came from working with less artistically experienced volunteers. I had to learn that leaders need to use patience and encouragement when helping their volunteers. I grew to understand the importance of teaching, rather than telling.

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

Being so familiar with the subject matter of the mural really empowers me to take all the confidence I gained and be able to jump straight into projects. I am not afraid to take on big tasks, because I feel more qualified. In college I will be surrounded by new people and new professors, but with a goal in mind those people feel more approachable.

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

Growing up I had always heard numerous people saying they were an Eagle Scout, but scarcely ever heard of anyone receiving their Gold Award. I wanted to be a person who could tell younger kids that I had earned my Gold Award. Accomplishing this task through hard work and cooperation has been the best way to finish my time as a Girl Scout.

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

Completing the STEM mural taught me the value of hard work. I know now that if I want something I have to put myself out there and campaign for my goals. Becoming a go-getter through this project has made me confident in knowing I really can start more outreach projects on my own throughout the rest of my life, if I am willing to do the work it takes.

**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

Girl Scout Gold Award project: Katrina Stroud, Boulder, “Butterflies, bees, and me”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award, I designed activity booklets for kids on monarch butterflies and bumble bees. The activity booklet included color-in drawings of the life cycle of the monarch butterfly and bumble bee, their anatomies, a maze, flowers, a list of ways you can help their populations grow, and a quiz on the back. In addition, I gave a presentation at six different summer camps on why monarch butterflies and bumble bees matter and why they are both endangered species.

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

At the end of each presentation, I asked the kids to take a quiz on the back of their activity booklet. In return, I gave the kids a Jolly Rancher or one of my “world famous high fives” after they had finished the quiz. I checked their quiz results one by one to go over it with the kids if they had gotten any questions wrong. All the kids scored an 80% or higher on my quiz!

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

Mario Padilla, my Gold Award project advisor and entomologist at the Butterfly Pavilion, will email the PDF file of the activity booklet to the parents of campers during the next camp cycle of the summer of 2018. He will also post the link to the activity booklet on the Butterfly Pavilion’s website. Ashley Young, an educational coordinator at the Gardens on Spring Creek, will print copies from the PDF file of the activity booklet. I gave a presentation at one of her summer camp programs and she is excited to continue giving the booklet out to visitors.

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

For my global link, I contacted a butterfly pavilion in British Columbia called the Victoria Butterfly Gardens. I have sent them an email, asking if they would be interested in having a PDF file of the activity booklet to give away in their gift shop. I haven’t heard back from them yet, but it feels good to know that I have tried to connect my project to others around the world.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that I enjoyed making the handmade activity booklets for kids, because I took a couple of drawing classes in high school. Giving the presentation was a bit of a struggle at first, because I was not used to teaching around kids, but I was always happy whenever a kid raised his/her hand to ask a question. Teaching around children was a lot easier than I thought it would have been, it just took some time getting comfortable.

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

My leadership skills will grow based on the self confidence that I have gained from this project and the ability to work on other independent projects in the future. One of the most crucial leadership skills that I learned from my project is that it is important to always keep track of the tasks that need to get done. Such as, remembering to contact different places to give my presentation, keeping track of the resources that I need to bring to the presentations, and keeping track of dates to fit in deadlines. Creating a schedule was probably the most important task in completing the Gold Award.

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 like finishing up a final test to see what skills you have gained from your troop. Earning the Gold Award is mostly on your own because if you see a problem, go tackle it yourself. Why wait for someone else to do the work?

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 become a go-getter because there is nothing more satisfying than to tackle a problem and raise awareness in the community. Being a go-getter can make you into a better person because life is too short to stress over the little things and to hope that they will all disappear if you wish them to.

**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

Girl Scout Gold Award project: Kamaryn Evans, Castle Rock, “Woman to woman: An awareness project”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award project, I chose to take on the the disconnect between domestic violence resources and the public as well as break the stigma surrounding domestic violence victims.

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

My audience was the women in Castle Rock and surrounding towns. I reached a total of around 90 people through my event, Facebook page, website, and pledge for people to be allies against domestic violence. I also measured an impact to my audience through the 11 purses and one baby bag that were stuffed with necessities and sent over to the Crisis Center in Castle Rock.

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

My project is sustainable through all of the channels my materials have been passed on to. I have passed on all paper materials to the Crisis Center for possible future use. I have also partnered with some teachers and counselors from Douglas County School District to pass along  paper materials, to help establish an understanding of domestic violence and creating healthy relationships at an early age.

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

My national connection is through the media. This topic first peaked my interest because of local news stories as well as national news stories and I saw a disconnect of resources and those affected. My national connection really was what began my project.

What did you learn about yourself?

This project was quite an undertaking for me and I feel like I gained a lot more knowledge about myself because of it. Mostly, I took this experience as the beginning of what the real world looks like. In that in everyday life you have to learn how to be around people and to work with people. In this project, I learned that I must be patient with people because the world doesn’t always work on your time. Along with that, I learned about how to communicate my ideas better and listen to my mentors and try to better myself. I also learned how I deal with tasks under different types of deadlines and pressure- things I will take with me to the future as I plan to study journalism in college.

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

I am well versed in the knowledge that the journalism world has many deadlines. In fact, it revolves around such things. It is for that reason alone I know that my Gold Award will help me in the future because I had defined deadlines for myself at multiple stages in this project process and I pushed myself to meet said deadlines in record time. I have also learned better ways to communicate with a team and how to grow the bigger picture with the help of others in addition to oneself. Just like my mentor and advisers did for me.

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 to become a G.I.R.L through teaching me how to get out of my comfort zone and be a risk-taker. I took a lot of risks mostly with my timing of my project as well as the topic I picked because I wasn’t quite sure of the obstacles that I would encounter because I chose a more difficult cause like domestic violence.

**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