Category Archives: Gold Award Honorees

Gold Award Recipients

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2017 Highest Awards booklet: Now available online

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Nearly 1,800 Girl Scouts, families, and friends celebrated this year’s 1,400 Bronze, Silver, and Gold Award recipients at five regional celebrations across the state throughout late April and early May. These young women have taken charge to identify issues in their community and develop and implement original plans to create positive change. We couldn’t be more proud of their accomplishments!

Stephanie Foote, President and Chief Executive Officer of Girl Scouts of Colorado, spoke at all five celebrations. These are some of her favorite events of the year because they are the only times she gets to be in the room with so many Highest Awards recipients at once.

Sarah Greichen, a 2016 Gold Award recipient, Stephanie Foote Leadership Prize winner, and National Young Woman of Distinction, was the emcee in Pueblo, Loveland, and Denver and a keynote speaker in Pikes Peak.

Jessica Mills, a 2016 Gold Award recipient, was the emcee in Pikes Peak while Shauna Clemmer, a Gold Award recipient and current member of the Western Slope Gold Award Committee, was the emcee in Grand Junction.

The Highest Awards Celebrations are incredibly special events where girls are recognized among their family and fellow Girl Scouts for their achievements. Additionally, this is a special time for younger girls to see older girls in action and get inspired to go for their Silver and/or Gold Awards.

Check out the electronic version of our 2017 Highest Awards booklet online (http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/content/dam/girlscoutsofcolorado/documents/GSCO_2017_HA_Booklet.pdf) and view our “Best of Highest Awards 2017” photo album on Flickr (https://www.flickr.com/photos/gscolorado/albums/72157679203803063/page1).

Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps congratulates Emma Albertoni, 18, of Arvada (center) and Breanna Remigio, 14, of Aurora (right) on being named Colorado's top two youth volunteers for 2017 by The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. Emma and Breanna were honored at a ceremony on Sunday, May 7 at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, where they each received a $1,000 award. (PRNewsfoto/Prudential Insurance)

Gold Award recipient honored for volunteerism at national award ceremony in Washington, D.C.

Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps congratulates Emma Albertoni, 18, of Arvada (center) and Breanna Remigio, 14, of Aurora (right) on being named Colorado's top two youth volunteers for 2017 by The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. Emma and Breanna were honored at a ceremony on Sunday, May 7 at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, where they each received a $1,000 award. (PRNewsfoto/Prudential Insurance)
Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps congratulates Emma Albertoni, 18, of Arvada (center) and Breanna Remigio, 14, of Aurora (right) on being named Colorado’s top two youth volunteers for 2017 by The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. Emma and Breanna were honored at a ceremony on Sunday, May 7 at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, where they each received a $1,000 award. (PRNewsfoto/Prudential Insurance)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Girl Scout Gold Award recipient Emma Albertoni of Arvada was honored in the nation’s capital on May 7, 2017 for her outstanding volunteer service during the 22nd annual presentation of The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. In February, the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards named Emma one of Colorado’s top youth volunteers of 2017 and awarded her the title of State Honoree. Emma – along with more than 100 other top youth volunteers from across the country – received a $1,000 award and personal congratulations from Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps at an award ceremony and gala dinner reception held at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. Emma also received an engraved silver medallion, which Girl Scouts of Colorado President and CEO Stephanie A. Foote presented to her a last month’s Highest Awards Celebration in Loveland. 

Emma, a senior at Ralston Valley Senior High School, earned the highest honor in Girl Scouting for her work to improve financial literacy education and ensure students across Colorado are prepared to make sound financial decisions when they graduate. The idea hit Emma one summer when she was working at a summer job, shopping for her first car, and looking at college tuitions. “I was dealing with larger sums of money than ever before and I realized I didn’t know anything about using it wisely,” she said. After discussing with her parents such foreign concepts as credit scores, loans, budgeting and taxes, Emma decided she and her peers needed help.

She began by researching financial education in Colorado and found large gaps. For example, “In Algebra II, students are taught how to calculate interest; what they are not taught is how interest could affect their credit scores or how to figure interest into the cost of a purchase,” she said. Emma discussed her concerns with her principal, who put her in touch with the teacher of her school’s Family Consumer Science class. Emma offered to develop a unit on financial safety online for the class, and then created presentations, videos, discussion outlines, and quizzes to use in the classroom. Next, she persuaded the local school board to strengthen the teaching of financial literacy throughout the district, and she is now working with state legislators on guidelines for educators across the state to follow in teaching students about financial topics.

Youth volunteers in grades 5-12 were invited to apply for 2017 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards last fall through schools, Girl Scout councils, county 4-H organizations, American Red Cross chapters, YMCAs and affiliates of the HandsOn Network. More than 31,000 middle level and high school students nationwide participated in this year’s program.

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program was created in 1995 to identify and recognize young people for outstanding volunteer service – and, in so doing, inspire others to volunteer, too. In the past 22 years, the program has honored more than 120,000 young volunteers at the local, state and national level.

For more information about The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards and this year’s honorees, visit  http://spirit.prudential.com or www.nassp.org/spirit.

 

 

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Bronze, Silver, and Gold Award recipients celebrated in Denver

Nearly 1,000 Girl Scouts, families, and friends gathered at the Denver Marriott Tech Center on May 7, 2017, to honor the more than 1,400 Girl Scouts from across Colorado who took the lead in their communities and earned one of Girl Scouts’ Highest Awards, the Bronze, Silver, or Gold Award.

The Gold Award, which is the highest honor in Girl Scouts, is presented to girls in grades 9-12 who demonstrate extraordinary leadership through a project that makes a difference in their community. The Silver Award is the highest award a girl in 6th – 8th grade can earn. The Bronze Award is the highest award a girl in 4th or 5th grade can earn.

Girl Scouts of Colorado President and CEO Stephanie Foote applauded the girls for having the courage and confidence to try new things and make their world a better place.

“Girl Scouts are groundbreakers, big thinkers, and role models. Giving back is in their blood. So is standing up to the challenge, no matter how big or small,” she said.

2016 Gold Award recipient and National Young Woman of Distinction Sarah Greichen served as the celebration’s emcee. She talked briefly about her journey to earn the Gold Award and how Girl Scouts helped her become the leader she is today.

“I cannot remember a day when Girl Scout flags, supplies, sashes, cookies, and girls planning events weren’t covering multiple floors of my house. We (the girls in my troop) each earned our Bronze and Silver Awards, while constantly practicing the leadership skills necessary to passionately lead, serve, and change the world,” she said. “Girl Scouts and in particular the Gold Award has given me unique opportunities to become courageous, caring, and confident, while actively practicing leadership skills that greatly impact the world. Girl Scouts also gave me the opportunity to identify and pursue my passion. I found that following your passion is the key to choosing and accomplishing highest awards projects.”

The focus of a Gold Award project is identifying and researching a community issue she is passionate about, developing a plan to address it in cooperation with her team and community members, establishing a global connection with others, and providing sustainability for the project. Of the skills learned through Girl Scouts’ Highest Awards, leadership, organization, and critical thinking are the fundamentals of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Some 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.

Bronze, Silver, and Gold Award recipients honored at Highest Awards celebration in Colorado Springs

Nearly 300 Girl Scouts, families, and friends gathered at the Penrose House Garden Pavilion in Colorado Springs on May 5, 2017 to honor the more than 1,400 Girl Scouts from across Colorado who took the lead in their communities and earned one of Girl Scouts’ Highest Awards, the Bronze, Silver, or Gold Award.

The Gold Award, which is the highest honor in Girl Scouts, is presented to girls in grades 9-12 who demonstrate extraordinary leadership through a project that makes a difference in their community. The Silver Award is the highest award a girl in 6th – 8th grade can earn. The Bronze Award is the highest award a girl in 4th or 5th grade can earn.

Girl Scouts of Colorado President and CEO Stephanie Foote applauded the girls for having the courage and confidence to try new things and make their world a better place.

“Girl Scouts are groundbreakers, big thinkers, and role models. Giving back is in their blood. So is standing up to the challenge, no matter how big or small,” she said.

Jessica Mills, 2016 Gold Award recipient, served as the celebration’s emcee. She talked about her own journey to earn her Highest Awards and encouraged all the girls to continue to make a difference in their communities.

“I encourage you to reflect on the person you were at the beginning of your project, and look at the person you are today. I hope you find that you have grown confident in your ability to make a difference in the world,” she said. “Completing my Gold Award project made me find who I truly was – it defined my character. Gold Awardees, I encourage you to look back on your experiences in Girl Scouts. Your commitment to making the world a better place has instilled courage, confidence, and character within you.”

2016 Gold Award recipient and National Young Woman of Distinction Sarah Greichen was the celebration’s keynote speaker. She talked briefly about her journey to earn the Gold Award and how Girl Scouts helped her become the leader she is today.

“I cannot remember a day when Girl Scout flags, supplies, sashes, cookies, and girls planning events weren’t covering multiple floors of my house. We (the girls in my troop) each earned our Bronze and Silver Awards, while constantly practicing the leadership skills necessary to passionately lead, serve, and change the world,” she said. “Girl Scouts and in particular the Gold Award has given me unique opportunities to become courageous, caring, and confident, while actively practicing leadership skills that greatly impact the world. Girl Scouts also gave me the opportunity to identify and pursue my passion. I found that following your passion is the key to choosing and accomplishing Highest Awards projects.”

The focus of a Gold Award project is identifying and researching a community issue she is passionate about, developing a plan to address it in cooperation with her team and community members, establishing a global connection with others, and providing sustainability for the project. Of the skills learned through Girl Scouts’ Highest Awards, leadership, organization, and critical thinking are the fundamentals of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Some 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.

 

Bronze, Silver, and Gold Award recipients honored at Highest Awards celebration in Loveland

More than 300 Girl Scouts, families, and friends gathered at the Embassy Suites by Hilton in Loveland on April 23, 2017, to honor the more than 1,400 Girl Scouts from across Colorado who took the lead in their communities and earned one of Girl Scouts’ Highest Awards, the Bronze, Silver, or Gold Award.

The Gold Award, which is the highest honor in Girl Scouts, is presented to girls in grades 9-12 who demonstrate extraordinary leadership through a project that makes a difference in their community. The Silver Award is the highest award a girl in 6th – 8th grade can earn. The Bronze Award is the highest award a girl in 4th or 5th grade can earn.

Girl Scouts of Colorado President and CEO Stephanie Foote applauded the girls for having the courage and confidence to try new things and make their world a better place.

“Girl Scouts are groundbreakers, big thinkers, and role models. Giving back is in their blood. So is standing up to the challenge, no matter how big or small,” she said.

2016 Gold Award recipient and National Young Woman of Distinction Sarah Greichen served as the celebration’s emcee. She talked briefly about her journey to earn the Gold Award and how Girl Scouts helped her become the leader she is today.

“I cannot remember a day when Girl Scout flags, supplies, sashes, cookies, and girls planning events weren’t covering multiple floors of my house. We (the girls in my troop) each earned our Bronze and Silver Awards, while constantly practicing the leadership skills necessary to passionately lead, serve, and change the world,” she said. “Girl Scouts and in particular the Gold Award has given me unique opportunities to become courageous, caring, and confident, while actively practicing leadership skills that greatly impact the world. Girl Scouts also gave me the opportunity to identify and pursue my passion. I found that following your passion is the key to choosing and accomplishing highest awards projects.”

The focus of a Gold Award project is identifying and researching a community issue she is passionate about, developing a plan to address it in cooperation with her team and community members, establishing a global connection with others, and providing sustainability for the project. Of the skills learned through Girl Scouts’ Highest Awards, leadership, organization and critical thinking are the fundamentals of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Some 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.

Before the celebration, Stephanie Foote presented Gold Award recipient and 2017 winner of the Stephanie A. Foote Leadership Prize for Gold Award Excellence Emma Albertoni with an engraved silver medallion from The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. Emma, from Arvada and senior at Ralston Valley Senior High School, was named one of Colorado’s top youth volunteers of 2017 by The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. This is a nationwide program honoring young people for outstanding acts of volunteerism. As a State Honoree, Emma will receive $1,000, the medallion, and an all-expense-paid trip in early May to Washington, D.C. She will join top honorees from other states and the District of Columbia for four days of national recognition events. During the trip, 10 students will be named America’s top youth volunteers of 2017.

 

My Gold Award experience at the Colorado State Capitol

Submitted by Anastasia Rosen

Northern & Northeastern CO

Fort Collins

On Monday, April 10, 2017, Gold Award recipient Anastasia Rosen attended Girl Scouts of Colorado’s Gold Award Day at the Colorado Capitol. The Kay Rugeley Shaw Gold Travelship helped to support her trip to Denver for this exciting and exclusive event!

Read more about Anastasia’s experience below.

My day at the Colorado State Capitol started out with a breakfast buffet at The University Club and pictures with Girl Scout Gold Award committee. We then walked to the capitol for more pictures on the West staircase. We started our tour of the capitol off in the Old Supreme Court Chamber. We then moved to the floor of The House of Representatives and said the Pledge of Allegiance, then we saw how they voted and passed bills.

After listening to the Representatives, we moved on to Mr. Brown’s attic, which is a really neat museum just below the dome. We toured the dome and took pictures and heard some interesting facts about the building as well as the surrounding suburbs. After coming down from the dome, we toured Mr. Brown’s attic and heard stories as well as some interesting facts about Mr. Brown, his journey into Denver, and the capitol. Throughout the day, I learned a lot of history about the capitol building and Denver itself.

After the tour of Mr. Brown’s attic, we went back to the Old Supreme Court Chambers and heard a great speech from our host, Representative Faith Winter. I had such a great time celebrating my Gold Award achievement with my sister Girl Scouts.

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

City of Centennial honors Girl Scout Gold Award recipient Sarah Greichen

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The City of Centennial honored Girl Scout Gold Award recipient Sarah Greichen as one of six outstanding Centennial high school students with a Youth Achievement Award during a City Council meeting in April. The Youth Achievement Award honors and recognizes Centennial youth who have made a significant impact in the community through volunteer work or other special deeds that demonstrate exceptional leadership. All 2017 Youth Achievement recipients received a $500 scholarship.

Sarah, a senior at Front Range Christian School, was chosen for serving as an Adam’s Camp volunteer and as president of various unified sports clubs at both Heritage and Front Range Christian schools. She sits on the Special Olympics Youth Activation Committee and earned the Girl Scout Gold Award and Stephanie A. Foote Leadership Prize for Gold Award Excellence. Her Girl Scout Gold Award project led her to create the Score A Friend, Inc., a nonprofit organization which works to include students of all abilities in school activities. Currently, there are Score A Friend clubs at Front Range Christian School, Louisiana State University, and Northern Arizona University. Sarah is also in the process of implementing nine new clubs in local area schools.

The Centennial Youth Commission and the City of Centennial’s Building Services provider, SAFEbuilt, provided $1,500 each to recognize these outstanding youth in the community.

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Colorado lawmakers honor Girl Scouts

On Monday, April 10, 2017, Colorado State Representatives broke from traditional business to honor 28 Girl Scouts from across the state who earned the Gold Award, the highest honor in Girl Scouts. More than half of this year’s honorees were at this recognition, which took place shortly after the session opened at 10 a.m.  As Girl Scout Gold Award recipients, these girls’ accomplishments reflect extraordinary leadership and citizenship skills that mark them as valuable contributors to their communities and world.

In addition to honoring these Girl Scouts and their extraordinary Gold Award projects that benefited communities across the world, Girl Scouts of Colorado introduced the winner of the Stephanie A. Foote Leadership Prize. Emma Albertoni, from Arvada, wrote a financial literacy curriculum that was implemented in her school and considered by the Jefferson County School Board. The Stephanie A. Foote Leadership Prize was made possible through a generous gift to the Girl Scouts of Colorado Endowment by Girl Scouts of Colorado President & CEO Stephanie A. Foote. “Emma’s project is an exceptional example of sustainable impact through leadership. I am proud to present this prize to her and recognize Girl Scouts whose Gold Award projects have made a lasting impact,” Foote said.

Emma was honored along with two other Gold Award recipients, who the selection committee for the Stephanie A. Foote Leadership Prize determined were deserving of Honorable Mention. They are Sydney Marchando and Angela Smith. Sydney, from Highlands Ranch, organized a 5K run and one-mile walk to raise awareness for Fresh Harvest Food Bank. Angela, from Colorado Springs, partnered with The Catamount Institute to implement an educational program to teach children about bees and their importance as a cornerstone species.

“Earning the Girl Scout Gold Award designation is truly a remarkable achievement, and these young women exemplify leadership in all its forms,” said Foote. “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 are making the world a better place.”

The Gold Award culminates with a project led by one young woman between 9th and 12th grades who builds a purpose-based team to work with the larger community to meet a need. The focus of a Gold Award project is identifying and researching a community issue she is passionate about, developing a plan to address it in cooperation with her team and community members, establishing a global connection with others and providing sustainability for the project. Of the skills learned through Girl Scouts’ Highest Awards, leadership, organization and critical thinking are the fundamentals of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Some 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.

The following Colorado Girl Scouts are among the 28 statewide who will be receiving the prestigious Gold Award for the 2016-17 Girl Scout awards year:

  • Emma Albertoni from Arvada, Ralston Valley High School, took action after noticing that many of her peers lacked financial literacy. She wrote a curriculum that will be implemented in her school and proposed to the Jefferson County School Board to add a required Financial Literacy class.
  • Megan Beaudoin from Monument, St. Mary’s High School, created a 10-minute video for middle school students to help ease the transition to high school. Topics covered included: academics, social interactions, and self-esteem.
  • Megan Burnett from Colorado Springs, James Irwin Charter High School,worked with community leaders and businesses to build a softball field at the school. The project would have cost the school $25,000.
  • Kelsey Collins from Aurora, Grandview High School, created a curriculum to teach preschool and elementary school children about park safety and Colorado history.
  • Emma Curran from Colorado Springs, The Classical Academy, created “the Girl’s Life of Colorado” online magazine, or e-zine, as a source of positive and encouraging media for middle and high school students.
  • Taryn Eveland of Longmont, Longmont High School, built a sensory trail on the property of Front Range Hippotherapy, a nonprofit therapy center which uses the movements of a horse to address various social, behavioral, and cognitive disabilities.  The sensory trail includes a winding trail through the upper pasture with three permanent stations, each highlighting a different sense, including a mailbox, textile pole, and chimes.
  • Victoria Fedorco of Aurora, Eaglecrest High School, manufactured and provided raised pet beds to help senior pets be more comfortable as they await adoption in shelters.
  • Carissa Flores from Westminster, Broomfield High School, shared her knowledge and passion for Taekwondo by creating, coordinating, and leading self-defense seminars for children, teens, and adults. She also started the Women’s Self Defense Club at her school.
  • Kelsey Harry from Littleton, Heritage High School, created a new high school club, Operation Eagle, to address the issue of the U.S. military’s need of supplies that give them some comfort while away from home and also address the lack of military knowledge in our community.
  • Rebecca Hefty from Castle Rock, Castle View High School, improved a local dog park by installing a 10’x 16′ Trex pergola to provide shade and two picnic benches, giving visitors a place to sit.
  • Baily Holsinger from Larkspur, Castle View High School, worked with volunteers to crochet beanies for newborn babies at Denver Health Medical Center and Baby Haven in Fort Collins. She also held classes to teach volunteers of all ages how to make the beanies and why they are important.
  • Lindsay Iannone from Castle Rock, Castle View High School, improved the library at Faith Lutheran Church by removing unwanted books and adding new materials, including a computer.
  • Rebecca Kopacz of Colorado Springs, Palmer Ridge High School, hosted a weekly workshop for six weeks for 5th and 6th grade girls. She worked to prevent low self-esteem and teach girls they can be accepted for who they are.
  • Sydney Marchando from Highlands Ranch, Rock Canyon High School, planned and hosted the Miles for Meals 5K run and one-mile walk to raise awareness and collect donations for Fresh Harvest Food Bank.
  • Molly McPherson from Boulder, Fairview High School, promoted the use of reusable water bottles, as well as educated the public about the harmful effects of bottled water.
  • Julie Monington from Aurora, Grandview High School, created a butterfly garden at a horse sanctuary to educate others on the importance of protecting the Monarch Butterfly population.
  • Clementine Morisette from Fort Collins, Poudre High School, worked with community members and visitors at FoCo Cafe to create a visual representation about how food and culture connects us.
  • Kathleen Otto from Fort Collins, Fossil Ridge High School, worked to increase awareness for dyslexia by hosting a viewing of “The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia” and leading a panel discussion afterwards. Additionally, she installed a little free library in her community.
  • Emma Pond from Morrison, Conifer High School, worked to make hospital visits easier by providing patients and their families care packages with a few comforts from home and activities to help occupy their time at the hospital.
  • Daniell Plomodon from Erie, Niwot High School, organized several “Disability for a Day” presentations to educate others about living with a disability. Activities included: trying to button a shirt while wearing mittens, playing patty cake while wearing Vaseline covered glasses, and using person first language.
  • Anastasia Rosen from Fort Collins, Rocky Mountain High School, created a workshop to educate others about human trafficking, tactics recruiters use, and how to prevent it.
  • Angela Smith from Colorado Springs, William J. Palmer High School, implemented an educational program about bees and installed a new beehive at a local environmental center, The Catamount Institute.
  • Juliet Spitz from Boulder, Boulder High School, recently switched to a vegan diet and wanted to educate young adults about it. She created a lesson to inform them of the conditions of animals in factory farms, entertainment industries, and testing laboratories.
  • Allyson Story from Highlands Ranch, Mountain Vista High School, led a team of volunteers to make more than 200 pillowcase dresses for young girls and taught sewing classes for women in Juarez, Mexico.
  • Jordan Wilson from Colorado Springs, Liberty High School, created a website and print resources to teach senior citizens about technology in a safe, easy, fun, and cost-efficient manner.
  • Debra Zerr from Arvada addressed the problem of the lack of connection between the military and public. Through a series of events, she educated others about the importance of the military and the men and women who serve.

Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Taryn Eveland, Longmont, “Hippotherapy Sensory Trail”

Taryn Eveland

What did you do for your Gold Award project?  

My project built a sensory trail on the property of Front Range Hippotherapy (FRH). FRH is a nonprofit therapy center which uses the movements of a horse to address various social, behavioral, and cognitive disabilities.  The sensory trail includes a winding trail through the upper pasture with three permanent stations, each highlighting a different sense, including a mailbox, textile pole, and chimes. While steering the horse though the trail, kids will be required to maintain balance thereby strengthening core muscles that are not normally used. They will also stop at the stations and, while on horseback, perform the tasks required by each station.

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

Because the issue I addressed takes time to see improvement, I have not been able to measure it concretely. But, I have provided the therapists with another tool which they can use to help the children progress to more concrete examples.

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

Front Range Hippotherapy has promised to maintain and add to the trail I’ve created. The materials the stations are made out of are durable and replaceable, and the trail is long enough that if the therapist wants to add more stations she can. This will allow the trail to be used long after my involvement.

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

My project serves to show people the importance of nonprofit therapy centers. With recent threats to availability of health insurance, nonprofit therapy organizations are becoming more important for all people. By establishing something for FRH that they were already wanting, free of charge, I am not only helping kids have a more enjoyable and effective experience at hippotherapy, I am also helping them financially and showing the world the importance of healthcare not only to people who are sick, but also to small businesses making a difference.

What did you learn about yourself? 

My project inspired confidence in myself and gave me the knowledge that I can lead when I have to. I also learned the limits of independence. I couldn’t do it all on my own and was required to ask for help, but asking for help is not a sign of weakness in leadership. My project could never have been accomplished if I didn’t have the help of many people. I’ve also realized that helping people brings me great joy, especially people that cause me to value what I have been given in life.

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

I am more confident in my skills as a leader. I know I can lead, and I understand how to delegate tasks to accomplish a larger goal. That being said, I still understand the importance of not being a leader all the time. If everyone in my project had tried to lead, I would have had no one to work the augur or collect rocks or take pictures. I understand all the components of a team. Leader is just one part.

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

I remember the bridging ceremony from Daisy to Brownie and there was one point you have to look in the mirror and see who you see. I think the Gold Award solidifies how much I have grown since then and shows the epitome of who I want to be. It brings the Girl Scout experience full circle.

**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

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

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This spring 28 Colorado Girl Scouts will receive the Gold Award, the highest honor in Girl Scouts. These young women have demonstrated exceptional commitment to taking action to make the world a better place through their community service. The accomplishments of Gold Award recipients reflect extraordinary leadership and citizenship skills that mark them as valuable contributors to their communities and world.

This year’s Colorado Gold Award projects benefited communities across the state. Topics varied from addressing the lack of financial literacy among teens to educating the public about the importance of bees. Emma Albertoni from Arvada wrote a financial literacy curriculum that was implemented in her school and considered by the Jefferson County School Board. Kathleen Otto from Fort Collins worked to increase awareness for dyslexia. Angela Smith of Colorado Springs partnered with The Catamount Institute to implement an educational program to teach children about bees and their importance as a cornerstone species. Sydney Marchando from Highlands Ranch organized a 5K run and one-mile walk to raise awareness for Fresh Harvest Food Bank.

The following Colorado Girl Scouts are among the 28 statewide who will be receiving the prestigious Gold Award for the 2016-17 Girl Scout awards year:

  • Emma Albertoni from Arvada, Ralston Valley High School, took action after noticing that many of her peers lacked financial literacy. She wrote a curriculum that will be implemented in her school and proposed to the Jefferson County School Board to add a required Financial Literacy class.
  • Megan Beaudoin from Monument, St. Mary’s High School, created a 10-minute video for middle school students to help ease the transition to high school. Topics covered included: academics, social interactions, and self-esteem.
  • Megan Burnett from Colorado Springs, James Irwin Charter High School,worked with community leaders and businesses to build a softball field at the school. The project would have cost the school $25,000.
  • Kelsey Collins from Aurora, Grandview High School, created a curriculum to teach preschool and elementary school children about park safety and Colorado history.
  • Emma Curran from Colorado Springs, The Classical Academy, created “the Girl’s Life of Colorado” online magazine, or e-zine, as a source of positive and encouraging media for middle and high school students.
  • Taryn Eveland of Longmont, Longmont High School, built a sensory trail on the property of Front Range Hippotherapy, a nonprofit therapy center which uses the movements of a horse to address various social, behavioral, and cognitive disabilities.  The sensory trail includes a winding trail through the upper pasture with three permanent stations, each highlighting a different sense, including a mailbox, textile pole, and chimes.
  • Victoria Fedorco of Aurora, Eaglecrest High School, manufactured and provided raised pet beds to help senior pets be more comfortable as they await adoption in shelters.
  • Carissa Flores from Westminster, Broomfield High School, shared her knowledge and passion for Taekwondo by creating, coordinating, and leading self-defense seminars for children, teens, and adults. She also started the Women’s Self Defense Club at her school.
  • Kelsey Harry from Littleton, Heritage High School, created a new high school club, Operation Eagle, to address the issue of the U.S. military’s need of supplies that give them some comfort while away from home and also address the lack of military knowledge in our community.
  • Rebecca Hefty from Castle Rock, Castle View High School, improved a local dog park by installing a 10’x 16′ Trex pergola to provide shade and two picnic benches, giving visitors a place to sit.
  • Baily Holsinger from Larkspur, Castle View High School, worked with volunteers to crochet beanies for newborn babies at Denver Health Medical Center and Baby Haven in Fort Collins. She also held classes to teach volunteers of all ages how to make the beanies and why they are important.
  • Lindsay Iannone from Castle Rock, Castle View High School, improved the library at Faith Lutheran Church by removing unwanted books and adding new materials, including a computer.
  • Rebecca Kopacz of Colorado Springs, Palmer Ridge High School, hosted a weekly workshop for six weeks for 5th and 6th grade girls. She worked to prevent low self-esteem and teach girls they can be accepted for who they are.
  • Sydney Marchando from Highlands Ranch, Rock Canyon High School, planned and hosted the Miles for Meals 5K run and one-mile walk to raise awareness and collect donations for Fresh Harvest Food Bank.
  • Molly McPherson from Boulder, Fairview High School, promoted the use of reusable water bottles, as well as educated the public about the harmful effects of bottled water.
  • Julie Monington from Aurora, Grandview High School, created a butterfly garden at a horse sanctuary to educate others on the importance of protecting the Monarch Butterfly population.
  • Clementine Morisette from Fort Collins, Poudre High School, worked with community members and visitors at FoCo Cafe to create a visual representation about how food and culture connects us.
  • Kathleen Otto from Fort Collins, Fossil Ridge High School, worked to increase awareness for dyslexia by hosting a viewing of “The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia” and leading a panel discussion afterwards. Additionally, she installed a little free library in her community.
  • Emma Pond from Morrison, Conifer High School, worked to make hospital visits easier by providing patients and their families care packages with a few comforts from home and activities to help occupy their time at the hospital.
  • Daniell Plomodon from Erie, Niwot High School, organized several “Disability for a Day” presentations to educate others about living with a disability. Activities included: trying to button a shirt while wearing mittens, playing patty cake while wearing Vaseline covered glasses, and using person first language.
  • Anastasia Rosen from Fort Collins, Rocky Mountain High School, created a workshop to educate others about human trafficking, tactics recruiters use, and how to prevent it.
  • Angela Smith from Colorado Springs, William J. Palmer High School, implemented an educational program about bees and installed a new beehive at a local environmental center, The Catamount Institute.
  • Juliet Spitz from Boulder, Boulder High School, recently switched to a vegan diet and wanted to educate young adults about it. She created a lesson to inform them of the conditions of animals in factory farms, entertainment industries, and testing laboratories.
  • Allyson Story from Highlands Ranch, Mountain Vista High School, led a team of volunteers to make more than 200 pillowcase dresses for young girls and taught sewing classes for women in Juarez, Mexico.
  • Jordan Wilson from Colorado Springs, Liberty High School, created a website and print resources to teach senior citizens about technology in a safe, easy, fun, and cost-efficient manner.
  • Debra Zerr from Arvada addressed the problem of the lack of connection between the military and public. Through a series of events, she educated others about the importance of the military and the men and women who serve.

The Gold Award culminates with a project led by one young woman between 9th and 12th grades who builds a purpose-based team to work with the larger community to meet a need. The focus of a Gold Award project is identifying and researching a community issue she is passionate about, developing a plan to address it in cooperation with her team and community members, establishing a global connection with others, and providing sustainability for the project. Of the skills learned through Girl Scouts’ Highest Awards, leadership, organization, and critical thinking are the fundamentals of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Some 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, 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 are making the world a better place.”

Girl Scouts of Colorado will honor this year’s Gold Award recipients as well as recipients of Girl Scouts other two Highest Awards, the Silver (the Highest Award a Girl Scout Cadette can earn) and Bronze (the Highest Award a Girl Scout Junior can earn), at upcoming ceremonies around the state. These events include:

  • April 21 at 6 p.m. at Center for American Values, 101 S. Main St. #100, Pueblo
  • April 23 at 2 p.m. Embassy Suites by Hilton, 4705 Clydesdale Pkwy, Loveland
  • April 30 at 2 p.m. Colorado Mesa University, 1100 North Ave., Grand Junction
  • May 5 at 6 p.m. at the Penrose House Garden Pavilion 1661 Mesa Ave., Colorado Springs
  • May 7 at 2 p.m. at the Denver Marriott Tech Center, 4900 S. Syracuse St., Denver