Category Archives: Gold Award Honorees

Gold Award Recipients

Gold Award Girl Scout: Mackenzie Block, Colorado Springs, “Treasure Closets and Boredom Buster Kits”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I created a treasure closet and toy check-out system at the Ronald McDonald House to give residents a more positive and developmental atmosphere.  The pre-assembled kits directed towards different age groups in the treasure closet and gifts new residents receive, provide long term entertainment, comfort, and growth. These systems made the Ronald McDonald House more home-like to scared residents. I also painted the area with fish and marine life to display a kid-friendly under-the-sea feeling which gave immediate comfort to new residents.

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

The Ronald McDonald House has handed out 463 toys since my project began.  The kits are checked out daily.

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

My project is being sustained at the current Southern Colorado Springs Ronald McDonald House.

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

My project is addressing the comfort of patients and the healthcare crisis currently happening in the United States, as millions are insecure with constant care and comfort in their daily lives. To reach others across the country, I had my advisor at the Ronald McDonald House send the brochure of my project to all RMH volunteer coordinators across the nation in order to show how this project made a big impact to her location.  My project is also currently being implemented into the new North Colorado Springs Ronald McDonald House and at TESSA, a battered women’s shelter in Colorado Springs.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned many things about myself and how to differently approach the world through my project. I had to think critically to overcome the storage issues in the treasure closet, as well as gained time management skills, and how to relate my time management skills to my team in order to complete the “construction” phase of my project.

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

Earning my Gold Award will continue to impact my life until I can no longer remember my project. I have proved to myself what I am capable of, and how to find and to address the needs of anyone and everyone I can.

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

I believe that the Gold Award was essential to my Girl Scout career, applying all the principles I had learned about from Daisies to Ambassadors. I also felt it necessary to give back to my community, and found that my Gold Award was the perfect opportunity.

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

My Gold Award has helped me become a go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, and a leader as I worked through my project. I became a leader on day one as I lead my team of over 20 people in order to complete my project. I became a go-getter on that same day as it was a huge leap of faith I was taking. Innovation was essential to the logistics and “construction” of my project and was gained as I worked through my project. I was a risk-taker through those innovations as well, using non-conventional solutions, proving myself a Gold Award recipient.

**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

International Women’s Day 2019

The goal of International Women’s Day 2019 is to bring focus to the inequality of women throughout the world and how it impacts the progress of girls. 2017 Gold Award Girl Scout Kayleigh Cornell, sophomore at CU Boulder and intern for the Global Action Committee, created this video about what equality means to women and girls across the United States.

Gold Award Girl Scout: Daisy Deane, Littleton, “Mason Bee houses”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I built eight Mason Bee houses for the Carson Nature Center in Littleton. I also created a website with a map of the locations of the houses, more information onMason Bees, and instructions on how to build aMason Bee house.

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

With the help of the Carson Nature Center, I created a sustainability plan that includes monthly counting of the holes that are filled in the bee houses, in order to see how many Mason Bees are utilizing them.

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

Mason Bee houses need very little outside maintenance, as the bees clean the holes themselves. The design of the houses are specifically attractive to Mason Bees, so every year they will return to lay their larva and the cycle of population and pollination with continue. The website allows people from all over to learn more about Mason Bees and even build their own houses for their communities, effectively spreading both awareness and population.

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

The website is available to anyone who has Internet access, and therefore people from all over the world can become aware of this species of bees and help foster the population. Furthermore, I reached out to several local, national, and international organizations, such as Planet Bee, and told them about my project and its impact on my community in the hopes that they would spread it as well.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that I enjoy challenging myself and stepping out of my comfort zone. I was working with a group of people who were adults, so leading and delegating them was uncomfortable at first, but I learned that I can rise to challenges like these.

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

The experiences and skills I have attained are invaluable to me as I move forward in life and I will continue to use what I learned in the school and work environment. Skills like leadership, confidence, and even woodworking will benefit me in any environment and I am grateful I developed them throughout my Gold Award Project.

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

A startlingly small statistic of Girl Scouts reach their Gold Award, so I think it is very  important that I persevered. I learned so much in my experience and I hope that I can inspire  other young Girl Scouts to continue in Girl Scouts. My Gold Award was important to my experience because it tied together everything I have learned and developed over the years and was the final task I needed in order to be ready for the world after high school.

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

Earning my Gold Award particularly helped me be a risk-taker. When I first began working with wood and older adults, I was totally out of my element and I wasn’t sure my idea would even be approved. However, I’m so glad I stepped out of my comfort zone and took those risks because it made earning my Gold Award so much more rewarding and satisfying.

**IMPORTANT NOTE: This blog represents only a small fraction of the hard work, dedication, and requirements that go into earning a Girl Scout Gold Award. It is simply a brief summary, which is meant to inspire Girl Scouts to Go Gold in the future. For more information on earning your Gold Award, please email highestawards@gscolorado.org

Gold Award Girl Scout: Emma Conroy, Golden, “Educational Video called ‘EEGs Made Easy'”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I created an educational video explaining how to have an EEG (anelectroencephalogramused) to diagnose epilepsy. It is a step-by-step video explaining exactly what happens in a humorous way, so kids aren’t scared by the process.

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

I know that I reached the 40 people that came to my launch party, 20 people from my diagnostic community, at least 350 people on Facebook, and the 35 people at the Epilepsy Foundation’s open house. I currently have over 1,000 views on the video. I also have nine comments on the actual video. I have received comments from the epilepsy community such as:

“This video is so accurate, I wish there was a video like this when I was a kid.” – An adult at the Epilepsy foundation open house

“You covered exactly what happens.”- Katie (living with epilepsy)

“This has been so much help.”- Jean (working at the Epilepsy Foundation).

“It was just like the EEGs I’ve had.” – Grace (a girl living with epilepsy)

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

This project is very sustainable because it is posted on the Internet via YouTube and everyone knows the Internet is forever.  It is also posted on the Epilepsy Foundation’s website, and Children’s Hospital. People will be able to continue to access it, and my partners will continue to spread the word. In addition, my neurologist Dr. Chapman will continue to direct people to the video, and the Epilepsy Foundation is handing out more than 500 business cards to newly diagnosed kids and adults to spread the word. I am also working with my pediatrician, Dr. Sorenna Kirkegard, at Kaiser Permanente to insure they use it for patient education as well.

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

On a global scale, it can impact people all over the world because YouTube has subtitles, so people will know what is happening no matter which language they speak.

What did you learn about yourself? 

I learned that I wanted to ease the fears of children going into a frightening procedure.  As a child I had to have many EEGs and it was scary because the first one was when I was three-years-old.  I knew what others would feel going into have their first EEG and wanted to make sure that they didn’t feel how I felt. By doing this, I learned that I have to pick music that is funny, so even if what is happening isn’t amusing at least the music is. I learned that I wanted to help kids who are worried and so in order to make that happen, I had to show up to meetings with strangers like my advisor and representatives from the Epilepsy Foundation.  I had to be on time and professionally dressed.  I had to make phone calls.  I learned how to get back up when something had to be pushed back or cut out altogether. I gained communication skills that had I not done my Gold Award, I would not know. And one of the most important things I learned was time management, I needed to set deadlines and budget my time to make it possible to reach that deadline.

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

Since starting my Gold Award project, I have learned many valuable skills that I can use in the future including time management, good communication, perseverance, and self-confidence.  I can learn on the fly, like downloading a film editing program and watching myself on tape.   I will know what is expected of me in the future because of my Gold Award.  I will know what to do when entering a job interview and how to move on when something doesn’t go according to plan.

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

The decision to try for my Gold Award was an important part of my experience.  It goes above and beyond what the average Girl Scout does, and helps people not only on a community scale, but also on a national or global scale which helps make the world a better place. I wanted to earn it because it pushed me farther than I would have pushed myself. When I posted my video, I had the hope that it would get 100 views and now it’s been viewed over 1,000 times and it continues to grow. I hope that other Girl Scouts get their Gold Award because it introduces new challenges and you learn more about what you are capable of doing.

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

I took a big risk earning my Gold Award because I am not very tech savvy and I am an introvert, so being in front of a camera and having to edit what I did to make it look presentable was very challenging. I could have done a project that was better suited to my skill sets, but I saw a problem and wanted to fix it, so I took a risk to help others even though it may not have been easy for me. Deciding to pursue gold makes me a go-getter.  Deciding on an education video was innovative for me.  Delegating tasks to my troop and working with various agencies and CBS4 News definitely look leadership skills that I had to learn as I went along. Earning my Gold Award was a challenge I set for myself and I did not know all the things it would teach me along the way.  I am very happy I was able to rise and complete the goal I set for myself.

**IMPORTANT NOTE: This blog represents only a small fraction of the hard work, dedication, and requirements that go into earning a Girl Scout Gold Award. It is simply a brief summary, which is meant to inspire Girl Scouts to Go Gold in the future. For more information on earning your Gold Award, please email highestawards@gscolorado.org

Gold Award Girl Scout: Cassidy Christian, Highlands Ranch, “Igniting home safety: A smoke detector primer”

 

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

My Gold Award is about home fire safety and smoke alarm awareness.  My main point is to educate the public that smoke alarms expire and may not work even with working batteries inside. This is true for hard-wired smoke detectors too.  I made  “Smoke Detector 101” (both in Spanish and English) pamphlets and hosted informational booths at multiple community events. My pamphlets have been part of the October 2018 Fire Prevention Month displays at two local Home Depot stores. I also made magnets that users can write their smoke alarm expiration dates on and when to change their smoke alarm batteries. I want to make a change in my community and my Gold Award enables me to do that.

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

I feel like I’ve made an impact on my community. I was present at four community events like the HRCA Home Improvement Show, HRCA Classic Car Show, The Fire Muster, and HRCA Farmers Market. The more people that I spoke to, the larger the impact. Towards the end of my project, I went to my local Home Depot and talked with the Manager, Mike, and Assistant Manager, Melissa, about their number of smoke alarm sales from this year (2018) compared to last year (2017). Due to corporate policy, I was not able to be given the exact numbers. However, they said there was an almost 5% increase in total sales that numbered in the “thousands!” I think homeowners in my community benefited a lot. I was able to talk to hundreds of parents and I was also able to inform the younger kids that came up to my booth as well. I loved talking to the people in my community.

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

Knowledge about any new information is sustainable. I have put my pamphlet information (both English and Spanish) on to flash drives that I have given to my local fire stations and community fire educators. I have created a website and Instagram blog that anyone on the web can have access to, as well.  Finally, I’ve made magnets that help remind people when to change their smoke alarm batteries or replace their devices. This is sustainable because if the user places the magnet on their refrigerator or wall, hopefully the magnets will serve as a constant reminder to be safe in one’s own home.

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

I decided to make a Spanish pamphlet! In Colorado, approximately 1 in 8 families lives in a Spanish speaking household. I’m in my fifth year of Spanish instruction and I wanted to incorporate that aspect into my project. Anybody on the web can find my Spanish pamphlet and I’ve attached it to my website and blog. Regardless the language someone speaks, everyone should have access to home safety information. I have also shared my Spanish and English pamphlets to Mexico.

What did you learn about yourself?

Before my Gold Award, I never really tried new things. I knew what I liked and what I thought I disliked. However, the Gold Award has helped me grow as a leader because it has taught me to get out of my comfort zone. I disliked doing phone calls. I would always prefer texting or emailing. However, phone calls give you a way faster response than any email or text message. It’s critical to directly hear the other person’s tone and opinion. Now, I like calling other people and hearing their ideas. Once you learn a skill and get used to it, it becomes a valuable asset.

I also learned the value of meeting face to face. I brought my pamphlet information to Office Depot and worked with one of their “techies.” He helped me put it on the right format and I think I got a really good deal for printing my pamphlets!

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

Girl Scouts and my Gold Award have molded me into the confident and strong young woman that I am today. I believe the Gold Award has given me a huge future edge compared to my peers. From this project, I’ve learned about leadership, teamwork, and managing change. The Gold Award has given me a strong base and the confidence to make even more change in my community. I’ve gained valuable contacts and an insightful experience.  Girl Scouts and my Gold Award project have helped to reinforce and grow my strengths, challenged me to overcome my weaknesses, and opened up a creative side.

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

I have been a Girl Scout since kindergarten! I am passionate about Girl Scouts because it has given me so many amazing opportunities that no other youth organization could give to a girl. From being on TV six times to be selected to attend the Triennial National Convention, my Girl Scout memories will always stay in my heart. The Gold Award is the highest honor in Girl Scouts, and I have known ever since elementary school that I wanted to incorporate it into my Girl Scout experience. I am truly honored to be a part of this elite group of women and I plan to be a lifetime Girl Scout member.

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

Everyday, I try to be the best person that I can be. If I say I will do something, I plan on finishing it. I feel empowered when I set a hard goal and eventually achieve it. I’ve learned how to be a leader and a risk-taker. Whenever I am in a group setting, I try to do what it is best for the team and for myself. By utilizing values like respect and responsibility, I am able to be a strong individual and a strong team member. Most people just follow by example; it’s the leader of the team that helps create the team’s attitude.  In both an individual or a group environment, a leader has to be brave enough to take on new challenges. If we keep on doing the same thing day after day, how can anybody make a change in our community? A risk-taker can’t be afraid to do something different. If we never accept a difficult situation, we will never improve as individuals.

**IMPORTANT NOTE: This blog represents only a small fraction of the hard work, dedication, and requirements that go into earning a Girl Scout Gold Award. It is simply a brief summary, which is meant to inspire Girl Scouts to Go Gold in the future. For more information on earning your Gold Award, please email highestawards@gscolorado.org

Gold Award Girl Scout: Victoria Ciccarelli-Tilden, Denver, “The fall in gymnastics”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I held a workshop for gymnasts ages 6-18 to learn about injuries, injury prevention, and techniques on how to fall safely. Being a gymnast, I was able to experience first-hand how injuries are a huge part of the sport. I thought it was important for everyone to understand injuries, and what to do about them, but mostly I taught young gymnasts how to fall safely. Falling is also a huge part of gymnastics and most injuries stem from unsafe falls. I invited a medical professional in to talk to everyone about injuries, and injury awareness. Then, my team and I showed the young gymnasts how to fall out of skills, off of equipment, and safe ways to land. To be able to be a great gymnast, you have to be able to understand the risks that are involved.

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

I created a survey that I handed out at the end of my workshop that asked questions such as what they knew about injuries before my workshop, what they knew after, and what their major takeaways were.

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

I created a website that includes information about my project, and a video that can continue to be shown at multiple gyms all about safe ways to fall. The East High School gymnastics coach, Matthew Steele, is going to continue to show my video and spread my ideas.

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

My medical professional, Kasia Ilet, is a physical therapist and has presented at the National Congress. She gave a presentation at my workshop. She will continue to show the presentation to others.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that I am capable of a lot more than I thought. I was able to create a website, video, host an entire workshop, and teach young gymnasts important skills for their sport. I also learned that asking for help was okay. I am a very independent person. However, a project like this requires volunteers and lots of hands on deck.

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

It will help my chances of getting into college, getting a job, getting a scholarship, and many other future thing that I need to apply for.

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

It was important because it brought everything that I learned throughout my Girl Scout experience together in one project that I was passionate about. I was able to help my community as a Girl Scout, in a way that I wouldn’t have been able to if I wasn’t a Girl Scout.

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

Earning my Gold Award helped me become an innovator because I was able to see a problem within the gymnastics community and research a solution. I was able to create a website and a YouTube video that addresses the problem of uneducated gymnasts. I came up with ideas to help lessen injuries in the gymnastics community.

**IMPORTANT NOTE: This blog represents only a small fraction of the hard work, dedication, and requirements that go into earning a Girl Scout Gold Award. It is simply a brief summary, which is meant to inspire Girl Scouts to Go Gold in the future. For more information on earning your Gold Award, please email highestawards@gscolorado.org

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

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What did you learn about yourself?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

**IMPORTANT NOTE: This blog represents only a small fraction of the hard work, dedication, and requirements that go into earning a Girl Scout Gold Award. It is simply a brief summary, which is meant to inspire Girl Scouts to Go Gold in the future. For more information on earning your Gold Award, please email highestawards@gscolorado.org

Gold Award Girl Scouts impact Colorado communities and beyond

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

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

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

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

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

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

 What did you do for your Gold Award project?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What did you learn about yourself?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

**IMPORTANT NOTE: This blog represents only a small fraction of the hard work, dedication, and requirements that go into earning a Girl Scout Gold Award. It is simply a brief summary, which is meant to inspire Girl Scouts to Go Gold in the future. For more information on earning your Gold Award, please email highestawards@gscolorado.org

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

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What did you learn about yourself?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

**IMPORTANT NOTE: This blog represents only a small fraction of the hard work, dedication, and requirements that go into earning a Girl Scout Gold Award. It is simply a brief summary, which is meant to inspire Girl Scouts to Go Gold in the future. For more information on earning your Gold Award, please email highestawards@gscolorado.org