Category Archives: Gold Award Honorees

Gold Award Recipients

Gold Award Girl Scout: Ty’esha Lockyer, Colorado Springs, “Help Wanted: Special Olympics”

What did you do for your Gold Award Project?

My project provided a wide range of organizations and individuals an awareness of the need for volunteers with Special Olympics and the huge impact that can be made in the lives of persons with developmental disabilities. I designed a tri-fold brochure and poster explaining the volunteer opportunities available and contact information for the four Special Olympics Regions in Colorado. I distributed more than 300 brochures and 35 posters with a cover letter explaining this project and my own involvement as my sister’s unified partner in tennis. The distribution included mailing packets to Girl Scout Council Offices throughout Colorado, Boy Scout State office, 30 National Honor Society Chapters, Local and State Civic Groups, IB Programs, and all 50 State Special Olympics Offices. I presented in person my project to my school Student Ministries and National Honor Society chapter, local libraries, the local Boy Scout office and the Senior Center.

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

After sharing opportunities to volunteer with my tennis teammates and coaches, three became unified partners in our local Special Olympics tennis program last season. Many others, including the three from last season, have expressed their interest in getting involved this year.  Based on my 33% success rate, the number of possible new volunteers through awareness provided by the brochures and posters is huge. Also, the interest from members in NHS chapter at my school to acquire the needed service hours gives me confidence that volunteer involvement throughout the State of Colorado will increase dramatically.

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

For over 25 years, my family has been involved with Special Olympics and witnessed volunteers continuing to serve this community year after year.  Historically, volunteers soon discover that they receive much more than they give and become more involved as they see the many opportunities.

Since I have given permission for the reproduction of the brochures and posters when needed, the awareness will continue to be shared for many years to come.

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

I believe that many athletes with disabilities will benefit when awareness of volunteer opportunities is increased.  A letter was sent to all 50 Special Olympic State offices with a brochure, encouraging duplication of this project in their area.  I received a letter from the Tennessee office stating that they are hoping to use the information in their state and thanking me sharing my project with them.  Hopefully, many other states will do the same.  In addition, with the military presence in our community, movement and re-involvement could spread across the country as well as the world.

What did you learn about yourself?

The courage to present ideas to people I don’t know isn’t as hard as I thought, especially when presenting a worthwhile opportunity.  I began with the idea that I would promote volunteering in my own community, but as I began developing the project, with the encouragement of my mentor, I realized that I needed to think bigger, which I will definitely do in the future.

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

Besides having the honor of being one of the relatively small group of girls that achieve the Gold Award, I have the satisfaction of knowing I participated in and completed the Girl Scout experience.  Also, the time management I developed while juggling the many other activities I’m involved with at school and church will serve me well in college and my future career.

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

The Girl Scout program is designed to help girls develop and grow in abilities like leadership and friendships. The Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards promoted problem solving, serving others, and an awareness of community needs.  The sense of finishing well has definitely contributed to empowering me for the future challenges I will face. My involvement as my sister’s unified partner in Special Olympics tennis has shown me that when you give, you receive even more.  To know that I have made other’s aware of this opportunity has been very gratifying.

How did earning your Gold Award help you become a G.I.R.L.?

I definitely see myself as a go-getter.  Not only did I “go get” volunteers for our local tennis team “The Fireballs,”  I personally shared with many people my own experience as my sister’s tennis partner and by mailing more than 100 packets with cover letters explaining my experience and including brochures and posters to be used as they felt would reach the most people.

**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: Jaden Scott, Fort Collins, “Get Up and Dance”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

Through the Before and After School Enrichment program in Northern Colorado, also known as BASE Camp, I taught dance classes to 230 kids over the course of a year and made a program where dancers in the area can volunteer, if they are over 15-years-old, to teach dance to kids at elementary schools. My goal was to get kids physically moving where they may not have had the opportunity to do so, while sharing my passion for dance. I also wanted to inspire others my age to teach dance and inspire children as well.

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

I measured my impact in the way the children responded to me being there and what they did following my time with them. Each time I went to teach, I could see the kids’ faces light up and get really excited to start dancing. Two girls from one of the schools I taught ended up dancing my choreography at the BASE Camp Family Fun Fair while wearing the “Get Up and Dance” t-shirts I gave out to the students. During spring break, I taught a few of the same children twice and the second time they saw me, they immediately recognized me and got extremely excited. The Group Leaders from each school where I taught, provided me with feedback on how much the kids enjoyed it.

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

This project is sustainable because it is a program that dancers will be able to volunteer through for years to come. By having more and more volunteers each year, all of the BASE Camp students will get more of the exercise they need and the enjoyment of dance.

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

After finishing this project, I moved to New Hampshire and was able to continue teaching dance to kids in an after school program. I have also shared my story on Facebook with a worldwide group of dancers in hopes of inspiring more to follow my path.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that I have all of the qualities to become a great teacher and can be an inspiration to the younger generation. When I started teaching at the first school, I was shy and not very confident while teaching, but when it came time to teach at the last school, my confidence grew and I became much more comfortable in front of all the kids.

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

It will impact my future because it is something I can look back on and be proud of as a self-accomplishment. To be able to impact this many kids and more to come in the future, all on my own, is something not many people can say at my age.

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

The Gold Award for me has always been a finish line towards the end of someone’s Girl Scout career and a beacon to look to. By having this goal right from the start, now achieving it feels like you’ve made it to the top and have finished it.  It gives me a great sense of accomplishment.

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 risk-taker and a leader. I was shy and not very confident in myself when I first started teaching, but now I have become a teacher for my dance club at my high school as well as helped the theater director at school teach the dance choreography for the spring play.  I feel more comfortable and confident about it each time I teach. I would’ve never imagined that I would teach this many kids, become a source of inspiration at my age, and have taken this kind of risk before this project.

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

Gold Award Girl Scout: Nicole Choma, Breckenridge, “Elementary School Rugby Program”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award project, I created an elementary school rugby program, and I was able to teach elementary school age children rugby, with my coaching skills.

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

To measure the impact of my Gold Award, I hope to see more participation in the middle and high school teams for both boys and girls rugby. To be able to see impact, I had the children raise their hands in the beginning and end of the program and I asked them who was interested in playing rugby in the future. I saw more and more hands being raised at the end of the program, which meant that more children wanted to join at the end of my program.

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

My project will be sustained by training younger teammates to take over this camp for the years to come. I will be involved until graduation. My hope for the younger ruggers is to build upon their leadership skills and perform to their highest expectations once I leave the program. My rugby coach and the Summit Rugby Team board will also be involved with continuing the program.

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

The global link to my project is that rugby is played worldwide. It is mainly thriving in countries such as Australia, New Zealand, England, Ireland, and South Africa. This sport was also reintroduced into the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics and will be continued onto the 2020 summer Olympics. So will the increasing popularity of the sport, it would be important to have knowledge upon the sport. I also talked about this global link with the kids at the program. Many of them did not know that rugby was an Olympic sport and how much is was played around the world. Globally, rugby is ranked at #6, with the second most watched and attended competition that is just behind the FIFA world cup. According to ranker.com in the U.S rugby is ranked as #19 comparing this to the worldwide favorite sport of soccer that is ranked at #5.

What did you learn about yourself?

With this project I learned more of what my weaknesses were. Some of those weaknesses included organization and communication. I learned that those were the areas that I needed to improve upon, which takes me how I improved through this project. I learned that in order to have everything work out you need to have everything planned, to be able to communicate to others, on what I want to accomplish.

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

It will be a good source that I can reflect upon, and know that if I set my mind to something I can achieve it. I will also have the sense that I did something good for my community before I left for college, and it has inspired me to do more great things for the people around me.

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

I think the Gold Award was an important part of my Girl Scout experience because it was a good way to conclude my Girl Scout experience and really put all of the skills that I have learned as a Girl Scout into my Gold Award, but also lead me to be a lifetime Girl Scout.

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

My Gold Award has taught me things that I didn’t realize that I was empowered with. The most that empowered me and caused my project to be successful was for me to be a risk-taker. Doing this project, I had to take a risk, that risk was to teach a whole new group of people that didn’t really know the sport of rugby. It was not a easy task. I had to innovate and bring a whole new idea of a sport to a group of people. Striving for my Gold Award helped with that significantly.

**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: Peyton Dailey, Centennial, “Spanish for One, Spanish for All”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

The issue addressed by my project was unequal opportunity within my school for every student to learn Spanish. While traditional classroom style Spanish is offered, for differently abled students, there are not designated classrooms or hired staff to be able to offer these students the same opportunity to learn. My project created a coalition between Spanish Honor Society students and the ILC program (Independent Learning Communities), in order to provide ILC students the opportunity to learn Spanish within a one-on-one setting, and to allow Spanish Honor Society students the opportunity to share their accumulated knowledge. The root cause of this issue was a lack of human resources, specifically teachers, who have the time in their schedules to give ILC students a one-on-one teaching environment in order to enable ILC students to learn the nuances of a language. While the average class size in a public high school ranges from 20 to 30 students, classes at my high school can range upwards of 30 students due to its over 3,000 student population. For even the average student, these large class sizes can be challenging. ILC students face challenges with focus and in a large classroom, the noisy distracting environment inhibits their focus. The best learning environment for these students is a quiet room with only one or two other people. Unfortunately, most schools don’t have the means to accommodate this in terms of providing ILC students with private teachers, as foreign language is not a graduation requirement. My project addresses this issue by providing student teachers who are willing to spend the time to work one-on-one with these students. Since students have at least one free period, with the 100 members in Spanish Honor Society, it is easy to pair Spanish Honor Society members with ILC students in a way that fits both schedules. In order for ILC students to have equal opportunity to become bilingual and be set up for success in the job market after high school, it is imperative they are given individual attention to focus on becoming conversational in Spanish with this one on one teaching format. To accomplish this, I created an interactive Spanish curriculum unique to the learning needs of differently abled students, that can be used as a basis for all tutoring sessions. This curriculum covers a vast array of subjects including: time, seasons, family, food, school, classroom, conversation, activities, sports, colors, numbers, clothing, feelings, body parts, geography, animals, holidays, jobs and transportation. These subjects were chosen based on working with a Spanish teacher at my school to develop a holistic curriculum, comparable to that of a traditional Spanish 1 curriculum. This curriculum uses a plethora of media, including: presentations, videos, games, music, flashcards and worksheets, in order to reinforce the learning goals.

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

I gauged the impact of my project on my target audience by administering surveys to tutors and ILC students alike to measure how members rated the programs as well as what could be improved and how much Spanish had been learned. Furthermore, because three additional schools have already adopted this program and the number of participants from first semester to second semester has tripled, the impact of my project is exponential.

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

My project will be sustained beyond my involvement through Spanish Honor Society. I created a Google Sites page with all the curriculum loaded on the page in order to make the curriculum readily available after my departure. Additionally, my school uses a site named “Schoology” in order to allow students to view content teachers have posted. I utilized this same site, and created a course name “Unified Spanish,” in which I uploaded all of the curriculum for the course. In this way, after my involvement, both the Google Site, and the Schoology page will still exist independently. The Google site was developed to share more globally for those outside of the Cherry Creek School District, and the Schoology page was developed for those within the District. Students in Spanish Honor Society all have access to these pages, and are able to continually upload new content and use the material for future tutoring. I also set up an independent email associated with the project, to use as a login for the Google sites, and created a manual for next year’s students to use to continue the program. This is now an established program at my school, and the Spanish Honor Society sponsor, Ms. Wisler, will continue to sponsor this program and guide future students in their endeavors. Each year, Ms. Wisler will allow any student interested to lead the program and incentivize new membership to the program through rewarding participants with service hours that are required by Spanish Honor Society. Additionally, a printed manual, which is also available online, has been created to guide the new head of the program in their endeavors. All of these materials are meant to be continually refined.

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

The other national/global link to my project is the Twitter page I have created to promote my project to others. Social media is the best way to reach millennials these days, and even businesses and schools have joined this movement so that almost everyone is digitally connected. Through this Twitter page, I have followed accounts of other schools and programs dealing with differently abled students. I have also posted a link to my Google sites website in order to provide universal access to the curriculum and program, in the hopes of growing this program. Furthermore, I have emailed other Spanish Honor Society sponsors (teachers) and ILC teachers within the district to promote this program. They have all received a link to the Google Sites page and have access to all course materials and guides to begin the program within their schools.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned from this project that being a leader is not an easy task. Leading requires constant communication with those you’re leading as well as those who are helping you. Some methods I learned that helped me lead this program is finding the easiest way for my peers to participate in this program. One of these ways was connecting digitally. Instead of sending them emails or requiring them to meet twice a week, I would send out group texts as reminders to sign up for tutoring or of updates with the program. Also, I learned the importance of touching base with the teachers I was working with. Even though I led the program, Ms. Wisler, the head of Spanish Honor Society, and Ms. Linda, the head of ILC, both needed regular updates from me in order to offer me tips or suggestions, so constant follow up with them has been key. I also learned that sometimes you need to try different methods in order to succeed. Last year, when I first started tutoring for ILC, I quickly learned that in order to reinforce a concept, using a variety of different methods is useful. I applied this same knowledge in the creation of this program. From finding the best meeting place to figuring out the best way to communicate with tutors, all proved to be tasks that required looking at the issue from more than one perspective. Concerning myself, I learned that I am a people person. I love making new connections and learning about new people and communicating with different people. In a school of over 3,000, most don’t even know every person in their own class let alone other classes. Through this program, I was able to meet and get to know students of all classes and demographics who came together for one purpose, to help others. I truly enjoyed getting to know teachers, staff, and students whom I never met before. Currently about 20 tutors are participating to teach all ILC students capable of participating.

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

I firmly believe that as a result of this project, I will be able to take on even more strenuous challenges in all facets of my life. Knowing that there are a multitude of ways to solve any given issue has also enabled me to look at perspectives other than my own and try a variety of methods to surmount any given obstacle. In turn, this has developed my communication and leadership skills and taught me how to work as a unified front with those on a team. I was amazed that while I can accomplish a lot as an individual, with the help of others, so much more can be accomplished. It takes more than one person to solve an issue like the one I’ve identified in my project. Without the help of others this project would not have reached the magnitude of strength it did. Leadership is more than about the individual, it’s about how an individual can unite and influence others to work together for a common cause. It’s certainly true that there’s strength in numbers, and my sharing my passion and hard work with others who value the Spanish language, I was able to inspire my colleagues and now friends to take action with me. I will continue to grow and learn from others I encounter in my life, and apply both the knowledge I’ve gained from this project, and future knowledge acquisition to grow as both a person and a leader.

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

I believe that my Gold Award was an important part of my Girl Scout experience because I was able to apply the values of the organization in a sustainable way. From when I started Girl Scouts in first grade, I began to develop the sense of what being a Girl Scout really means, being part of a larger community and developing ways to better that community as a whole.  Furthermore, through completing my Gold Award I feel as though I have gained a greater sense of independence as an individual, because of the strenuous nature of all the requirements of the award.

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

Attaining my Gold Award has helped me become a G.I.R.L. by allowing me to identify a challenge within my community and giving me the opportunity to be a go-getter by formulating a plan and putting it into action. The project has helped me become an innovator by applying non-traditional methods to reach desired results.  Not everything works the first time, sometimes it’s necessary to be creative and approach a challenge in a different manner.  I’ve developed my risk-taking skills by reaching out to people I hadn’t known previously and taking the chance that they would reject my ideas or project as a whole.  But by doing so, I’ve realized that the answer is always no unless you ask.  Risks are a necessary part of life to achieve success.  Finally, I’ve developed myself as a leader by working with students, faculty, and community members alike to unite for a common goal.  This was no easy feat.  I had to adapt my communication skills for my target audience and work in conjunction with an agglomeration of schedules to achieve success.

**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: Emelie Knitz, Colorado Springs, “FoCo Cafe Cookbook”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I created a cookbook for FoCo Cafe in Fort Collins to help educate people about community cafes and how they positively impact their community. Not only did I include information and recipes from FoCo Cafe, but I also included a recipe and information from 13 other community cafes around the United States. I also did a presentation at a club at my school to further educate people in my community about community cafes.

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

One way I measured impact was by handing out surveys to the people I presented to. Before the presentation, they answered the questions, “Do you know what a community cafe is?” and “Do you know why community cafes are important?” on the survey. Most people did not know the answers to these questions. However, the majority of people were able to answer both of the questions after the presentation, showing improvement and that my goal of educating people about community cafes was reached.

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

I have given the template for FoCo Cafe’s cookbook to FoCo Cafe so they can continue to print the cookbooks and change information if needed. I have also given the template of the cookbook to the 13 other community cafes so that they can print the cookbooks for their cafes as well.

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

In the cookbook, I have included a recipe, photo, and information from 13 other community cafes in the USA. The 13 cafes are Oakwood Soul Cafe (NY), Tulsa’s Table (OK), Take Root (MO), One Bistro (OH), SAME Cafe (CO), CAFE 180 (CO), Mustard Seed Cafe (TX), Stone Soup Cafe (MA), One Acre Cafe (TN), Grace Cafe (KY), Knead Community Cafe (PA), Fair Trade Cafe (AZ), and Table Grace Cafe (NE). I sent the cookbook template to the cafes as well so that they will be able to print them for their own cafe.

What did you learn about yourself?

I definitely learned from my poor time management skills in the duration of this project and improved my organization skills because I had to manage all of the information and recipes from multiple cafes. One thing I really learned about myself during this project was how I handled panic. Once the community cafe I was originally working with closed, I started to panic because I thought that I would have to create a whole new project, but I just had to breathe and reflect upon what I had done so far in order to move forward.

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

This project will impact me in the future because of the confidence I have gained in myself as a person and my abilities as a leader. I now know that I can persevere through a big project that I planned myself, and I believe I will be more confident in leading other people and projects, whether they are big or small. In this project, I also learned how important it is to have the help of other people because it is difficult to go through life and achieve your goals all by yourself. I am thankful that I have experienced planning and executing a big project like this now because I can learn from the mistakes I made and utilize my new skills in future projects in college and beyond.

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

The Gold Award is important to me, not just because it is the highest award Girl Scouts can earn, but because of the experience I gained. I got to put together all of my leadership skills I had gained until this point and plan, organize, and execute a project. Not only did I succeed with this project, but I also helped my community in ways I never knew I could. I will always remember this project and the things I learned from it.

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 to become a go-getter because I had to dive right into this project. When the community cafe I was originally working with closed, I didn’t think about quitting, but wanted to continue the project because I had already put forth so much effort. Now that I know I can execute projects, I will be more willing to take them on in the future.

**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: Lilli Tobias, Breckenridge, “Ti Biznis”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I partnered with the Colorado Haiti Project and developed a youth entrepreneurial program for the eighth-grade class at St. Paul’s Episcopal School in Petit Trou, Haiti. The three-day hands-on business workshop was an opportunity for eighth-grade students to “start” small businesses or Ti Biznis. The students learned the five fundamentals of business beginning with creating a business plan, gathering a loan, creating a product, advertising it, and creating a profit to be sustainable.

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

Following the three-day workshop, the students took a business survey, as well as demonstrated their proficiency by all earning a profit. Even more so, following the workshop, the students went home and created more products with the materials they were able to purchase with their profit and began selling their products for real money.

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

Following my workshop, the Colorado Haiti Project will continue to use my curriculum and the design of my workshop for five years. Along with the Colorado Haiti Project, I have also been in contact with other Haitian schools as well as a non-profit that works in Honduras where my curriculum could be of value.

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

As my Gold Award is already internationally focused, I have presented to several local groups to expand the impact of my Gold Award within Summit County. I have presented to the French Honors Society at my school, to my leadership class, and to Interact, the youth version of Rotary International. I also reached out to  9News several times through email, call, text, and video and did not receive a response. Through my local outreach, The Summit Foundation, an organization in Summit County that promotes philanthropy, awarded me with 2017 Most Outstanding and Philanthropic Youth at a community-wide ceremony held in November 2017. I will continue my impact through speaking to local troops about the value of the Gold Award and Girl Scouts as well as promoting education in other third world countries such as Honduras.

What did you learn about yourself?

Through my Gold Award, I learned to truly step into my leadership potential. This started with being comfortable talking on the phone, to organizing huge fundraising events, organizing volunteers, gathering community support, improving on being adaptable, to my most important and improved skill of public speaking. All of these skills are vitally important to growing up and becoming a female leader of tomorrow. My Gold Award has allowed me to be a source of leadership and philanthropy in my community, which will lead to scholarships, colleges, and so much more. I can not thank Girl Scouts enough for not only providing me with this opportunity, but for encouraging me to reach for the stars.

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

My leadership skills will absolutely continue to grow and strengthen because of my Gold Award. We all set our own limitations, whatever they may be, and throughout my Gold Award journey, I have truly surpassed many of the limits I had set. My public speaking, ability to smoothly and comfortably speak on the phone, organize, direct, and leverage influence was all cultivated in my Gold Award and is now propelling me to new heights. My main fundraiser for my Gold Award was a Haitian Gala dinner. It was my first time ever attempting to organize an event of this nature and capacity and it was beyond successful. It was so successful, fun, and I learned so much from it that I will be doing another gala dinner this year on March 17, 2018, to support education in Honduras. Not only has Girl Scouts and my Gold Award developed my leadership, but it has developed my philanthropic spirit. All the work and efforts put forth through my Silver Award which turned into me starting my own philanthropic bakery, to my Gold Award and promoting education in third world countries was never done for fame but because I truly find joy in doing so. However, in 2017 the Summit Foundation honored me as Summit County’s Most Outstanding Philanthropic Youth of the year. This recognition was so heartwarming and humbling. I was able to shed light on Girl Scouts and the character development it provides and how “worth it” it is to stay involved in the program.

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

For me, the Gold Award journey was the bow on the present. It tied everything together, the Journeys, cookie program, various events, and service were all brought together in one package with completing the Gold Award. It’s all about the process from whenever a girl joins Girl Scouts to when they finish. And with it being such a long, yet rewarding journey, completing the Gold Award makes all the time, energy, and effort worth it. It’s such a  rewarding process that I hope all girls strive for!

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

My Gold Award forced me to be a go-getter. Without that characteristic of being a G.I.R.L, my Gold Award would not have been what it is. I have always had a “bossy” personality and once I got older I became ashamed of that characteristic and felt that it made me seem aggressive or mean. But through my Gold Award journey, it was put into perspective that being “bossy” doesn’t have to be a bad thing. I am proud that I can shape my characteristic of taking charge into a positive light of being a go-getter because, without strong girls and women who harness their go-getter mentality, we wouldn’t be heading into the groundbreaking future we are.

**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: Aubree Crockett, Colorado Springs, “A Week in Our Lives”

 

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

My project is called, “A Week in Our Lives.” Imagine living a week in another person’s “world.” What kind of things do they like to do? What are their challenges? What makes them happy? I created my project to answer these basic questions and more. Webster defines tolerance as, “the willingness to accept feelings, habits, or beliefs that are different from your own.” Throughout my life I have witnessed a lack of understanding and acceptance of people who are different, including my brother who has a disability. Our news is filled with stories of intolerance and clashes over immigration, equal rights, and refugees. We live in a global community, and my project encourages people to embrace each other’s differences and live in harmony.

Through my love of photography, I wanted to develop cultural understanding by showing how people around the world live day to day. Photography is a powerful communication tool that needs no translation. The medium doesn’t deceive.  It can show pure joy or the stark reality of a situation. In turn, an image can inspire people to take action and create positive change.

To get participants from other countries and diverse backgrounds, I formed partnerships with various international organizations. I sent out 170 kits to people from all over the world who generously opened their homes, hearts, and minds to boldly display their lives through photographs and answers to my questions. Through my partners, I donated digital cameras to places where people may not have access to the technology. The profiles and photos of 53 people from 6 continents, 23 nations, and 9 different states within the USA are displayed on my Facebook page.

Working with Compassion International, I learned that there are children around the world who live in extreme poverty; however, they can grow to be successful and independent with local and global community involvement. I was also able to visit the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, deliver cameras, and teach kids about the project. These events inspired me to further develop my project as a book and a short film, also called “A Week in Our Lives.”

I hope you will check out my Facebook page at facebook.com/aweekinourlives, be inspired by the beautiful photographs and heartwarming stories, and learn how you can take action in to create positive change your community!

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

In the year and a half of work on my project, I sent out 170 AWIOL Kits, including 35 cameras, to people on six Continents.  Participants ranged from five-months to 81-years-old and were from 23 different Nations and nine U.S. states. One of my participants is now in Antarctica, so I hope to make it seven Continents soon.

250 books were published and distributed to participants, partners and communities around the world. I shared my project with over 6,000 people at multiple community events and presentations including the Maker’s Faire and youth groups. In addition, I held and film and book premiere event for the community at the 21C Library. At each event, I provided hands-on educational activities and Take-Action opportunities to help developing communities around the world. Over $1500 in items were donated for Camera Kits and Take Action Projects.

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

The Facebook Page will remain up after the project so other people can see and learn from it. At the end of July, Kate Vogt, an editor of international poetry books, will take over the page. Every participant received a book, as well as local community organizations and schools.  The book has pages with Take Action ideas and information on the United Nation’s Global Goals for Sustainable Development for readers. The book and movie are to be used as tools so that people can learn from each other and enhance their world view. The donated cameras that were delivered to kids in developing countries will continue to be used as a unique method of storytelling and a way of highlighting challenges and issues in their community. I encourage every person that learns from my project to make a difference in their communities.

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

My whole project was designed to make national and global connections through partners and participants thanks to the use of photography and social media.

What did you learn about yourself?

I have learned so much about myself over the course of this project. The most important thing for me personally is that I am capable of more than I ever even imagined. This project has taught me how to work with adults and lead them. I also learned that I am similar to other people all over the world; as I never thought I would find so many commonalities with the people who participated in this project. It seems that we all have similar interests and beliefs on what makes a person happy, and so much more. For instance, nearly all participants (78%), said that being with family and friends made them happy. Many of the participants also love to travel and have lived all over the world. 52% said that they wear jeans, and 6 of the girls have brothers with Autism. I have discovered a new passion for helping people and even a possible career path working with Non-Profit organizations that are making a difference in the world.

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

Earning my Gold Award has opened so many doors for my future. I have established strong connections with many adults over the duration of the project, along with my participants. I am now interested in pursuing a career where I can help others who are facing horrible situations, like the Yazidi IDP’s, who most people would call refugees. IDP stands for Internally Displaced Peoples, and when one of my partner organizations, Global Hope Network, visits a camp, they take seeds to help the people sustain their food supply. They also train leaders to identify the needs and challenges in their community and solve the problems with local and sustainable resources.

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

 The Gold Award has been important in my time as a Girl Scout because I have been able to talk to so many younger Girl Scouts about what it means to earn the Gold Award. Many of the people I talked to were working on one of the highest awards in Girl Scouts, and they told me about their wonderful ideas for their projects. It was so cool to see that my project might inspire other girls as they begin their journey towards earning their Gold Award.

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

I think my Gold Award has helped me in becoming a G.I.R.L. mostly by helping me become a go-getter. When I first proposed my project to the committee, they thought the project was over laden with challenges and that I would not come close to meeting my impact goals, although they didn’t tell me this at the time. After giving my final report a year and a half later, every one of them told me how touched they were by it, and that I went above and beyond what even they thought was possible. I was determined to make this project as big and the best that it could be, and I couldn’t be happier with the results.

**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: Justine Monsell, Highlands Ranch, “Remembering the Forgotten”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I wanted to give back to the veteran community. For my project, I provided emblem veteran grave markers to all of the veterans who were laid to rest in the Elizabeth Cemetery. In the cemetery, there were over 150 veterans. I was able to provide every single one with a plastic marker. For the oldest 24 veterans as well as the KIA.

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

At first, I measured it by how many emblem markers I was able to provide for these veterans. After getting them all, it was about who showed up. I wanted not only for the families to feel like someone cares about what their loved one did, but also for the veterans to feel like there was actually someone there to support them. After my ceremony, I had the opportunity to talk to different veterans. They all talked about where they served and for how long. Some of them ended up thanking me. This baffled me since I should be the ones thanking them for their service to our country. They did something that not everyone could do.

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

I have developed a how-to guide to be able to continue my project in any cemetery. This project guide is a step-by-step guide to how I was able to provide emblems to the veterans. The guide explains what I did as well as what they can do. Each community is different. If one of my events doesn’t work, they can always conduct a similar event. As for the Elizabeth Cemetery, the American Legion will take on my project. In the cemetery, each veteran has an emblem, the 24 oldest ones have bronze markers while the rest have plastic. Each year, some of the plastic ones will be replaced with bronze ones.

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

Veterans have been serving our country since our ancestors claimed independence from England. Everyone knows, is, or has known a veteran. There is an abundance of people who are serving our country. Once they come home, they have a hard time connecting with people and some don’t feel as if they are supported in their community. Our soldiers are fighting overseas, so other people don’t have too. No one forced them to join. They are doing this willingly. My manual was sent out to people in different parts of the states so that they can recreate the project there if they would like too. I want my project to spread as far as it can go. Veterans are a big part of our society, and they deserve to feel like they are recognized even after they passed. The veterans who are still alive should know that there are people out there who do still thank them for what they’ve done. This also helps the families feel like they are not alone. No one wants to feel like they are alone.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that this community bettered my view of the world. There are more veterans out there and I want all of them to be remembered. Veterans aren’t always going to tell you who they are. They are humble and it has taught me to be more humble as well. The veterans that I met, want to make other people’s lives better even after they are done serving our country. This project connected deeper than I ever thought it would. At first it was for my grandparents and to pass on their tradition, but after it was for all the veterans out there. I have connected with the veterans and I know I want to continue to stay involved.

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

My Gold Award helped me gain a perspective on what is actually happening to our veterans as well as how the little things may not make a big change, but someone will notice a small change. The Gold Award can help me in the future to inspire others to make a change no matter how small. The Gold Award has also connected me to the veteran community. I know that if I need support I can look to them for it.

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

I have been in Girl Scouts since I was five-years-old. When I first heard about them forming a troop in our school, I got so excited that I told my mom to sign me up that night. The Gold Award was my final goal of Girl Scouts. In previous years, I have seen others get their Gold Awards and make changes and I wanted to do the same. The Gold Award wasn’t just another award, it was a project that made a big difference.

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

After this project, I have become a go-getter. There were multiple times where I was told, that I would never be able to do what I want. When I first started, I did not have a lot of support from some people in my community. After being told in one cemetery that, “[I am] never going to be able to do this anywhere, in any cemetery, ever.” I decided to switch cemeteries. I connected with the Elizabeth Cemetery. Some people also told me that I would not be able to achieve my Gold Award in such a short time period. I put all my effort into it and proved them wrong. My project has spread across the veteran community and in fourth months, I hosted multiple events to provide emblem markers for over 150 veterans. I placed all of those emblem markers as well with the help of a supportive 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: Brenna Giblin, Westminster, “Turner Syndrome Awareness”

 

 

 

 

 

 

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I made a video and presented to doctors to raise awareness for Turner Syndrome. I shared the video around so that girls who are newly diagnosed with Turner Syndrome can see the video and realize they are not alone.

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

I measured the impact by the number of views of my video, and by the comments the doctors gave me. Currently, the video has around 1,200 views. The doctors learned a lot about respecting the girl with Ts and not just talking and explaining everything to the parents.

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

My project will stay up on YouTube for whoever wants to watch it, and I have connections with many Turner Syndrome organizations that have promised to shared it each February, which is Turner Syndrome, and Rare Disease, Awareness Month.

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

I filmed the video at the USA’s national conference, and from Facebook, I am able to tell that my video got shared across the world to Canada, Bulgaria, Egypt, and the UK, which is exciting and exactly what I wanted to happen.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that I need to be an assertive leader when I am trying to be persuasive, but I also need to be kind and gentle. I learned that I am not super proactive when the topic doesn’t interest me as much as I thought it would. However, the biggest thing I learned about myself is that I am able to make a difference in the world, even at such a young age.

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

It will help my leadership skills and my confidence in myself. I will have knowledge of how to make videos, albeit not high quality, but that’s ok. My project allowed me to learn how to share videos, thoughts, or ideas across the world in a quick timely fashion.

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

The Gold Award is a great way to wrap up your high school and Girl Scout careers. It combines everything you learned into one project, which the shows how much you have learned and grown over the years.

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

My project forced me to speak up, be a bit forceful, and creative in different ways to figure out how to get people involved. Essentially, my Gold Award pushed my boundaries in each of these categories by forcing me to lead the project, be involved in the Ts community, and by having to be creative in the video making process. It also made me a go getter because it made me ask people if I could do certain things.

**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:  Riley Morgenthaler, Morrison, ” Creativity Tool Tubs and Manager Mentors”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award project, I helped lessen the underrepresentation of low-resource children in STEM activities by addressing both the lack of resources and support that they face.  In order to encourage the involvement and enjoyment of STEM activities for students from Title One schools, I supported their involvement in the quality STEM based activity Destination Imagination.  Destination Imagination is a creative problem solving competition in which teams of students develop solutions to science, engineering, and technology challenges, developing team work and project management skills along the way.  To lessen the resource gap that students living in poverty face, I developed Creativity Tool Tubs, which are kits which contain various tools that are useful in the successful completion of a Destination Imagination solution.  In order to address the lack of support that these children often face when attempting to participate in STEM activities, I created a mentorship program entitled “Manager Mentors.”  Through this program adult leaders in underprivileged communities can get help from experienced adult leaders in order to encourage their success and continued involvement.

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

The main way that I have been able to measure the success of my project is through the demand that was created around the Creativity Tool Tubs and Manager Mentor program and the success that I had in meeting that demand.  Although my original goal was to create only five Creativity Tool Tubs, after bringing my idea to the community I discovered an even larger need than I originally anticipated.  This is why I became determined to create enough Tool Tubs as to not leave any kids wanting.  I consider my project a success, as I was able to provide a Tool Tub and mentor to every interested Title One team in Colorado.  Another way that I have measured the impact that my Gold Award project had on the target community is through the feedback I have received. I have gotten many emails and spoken to many adult leaders telling me how important the Tool Tubs and mentorship program have been for their experience this year.

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

Both parts of my project will be sustained beyond my involvement and create a lasting impact on my target community.  The Manager Mentorship program is extremely sustainable due to the “human web” that it has developed in the Destination Imagination community.  I requested letter of intent from the current members of the mentorship program, and have received seven back indicating their intent to participate in the mentorship program next season.  Additionally, the Destination Imagination Training Team has indicated their intent to take over and run the Manager Mentor program for years to come.  I have also made physical resources available on the Destination Imagination Colorado website, so that Title One adult leaders can access them at any time, and anyone interested in implementing a similar program can use the resources I have created.

The Creativity Tool Tub aspect of my project is sustainable beyond my involvement because the Tubs will be collected at the end of every Destination Imagination season, and distributed at the start of the next season.  Destination Imagination Colorado has agreed to house the Tool Tubs during the off season, and facilitate their distribution. The JeffCo Steering Committee, a group of volunteers in Jefferson County which works toward providing STEM opportunities to Title One students and has a particular emphasis on keeping students across the district involved in Destination Imagination, has signed a letter of commitment agreeing to house the funds that I have set aside and replenish the used, lost, or broken items as necessary.  Also, the Destination Imagination Youth Leadership Committee has agreed to inventory the Creativity Tool Tubs at the end of each season.  Through these commitments, I am confident that my project will continue to help underprivileged students access STEM learning for years to come.

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

The national and global link of my project developed through my effort to inform and inspire people throughout the nation and world to implement projects similar to my own.  I developed an informational piece regarding the root causes I addressed, the steps I took and the importance of the issue I identified and contacted Destination Imagination Inc. requesting assistance in spreading the word.  They agreed to publish the piece, along with pictures of the Tool Tubs, to their various internationally followed social media accounts.  Destination Imagination, Inc. also agreed to publish instructions on obtaining the resources and documents that I have created and developed throughout my project so that people interested in implementing a similar project can have access to them.  Through this article, Destination Imagination Inc.’s 29,602 followers were able to read about my project.  The Facebook post about my Gold Award Project received 319 “likes,” 53 “shares,” and 28 comments.  Some of the places comments came in from include Virginia, Michigan, New Hampshire, Illinois, Oklahoma, California, Minnesota, Arkansas, Texas, Ohio, New York, and Massachusetts.  In addition to the comments from various states, my story was shared by two people in Amman, Jordan.  These two people are affiliated with a non-profit program in Jordan called Youth for Development.  This organization is dedicated to creating well informed young people who can take responsibility for global problems like extreme poverty and hunger and actively take part in the solution.   I am proud of the scope and variety of people that my project was able to reach through this avenue.

In addition, after reading my article on Facebook, Michigan Destination Imagination reached out to me to learn more about my project. Through this I was able to provide them with more information about how to start and carry out a program similar to mine, and I received a letter of commitment expressing their interest in starting a program of their own.  As of 2009, 44% of children in Michigan lived in a low income household.  This makes Michigan a perfect place for my project to grow and develop in, as it truly has the possibility of helping a massive number of children.

What did you learn about yourself?

Through my Gold Award project I discovered my power as a leader, not only of people my own age, but of people much older and very different than myself.  Through the course of my project, I mobilized people of all different ages and genders, and learned how to effectively communicate with all of them.  This was an important discovery for me, because I was very nervous about guiding so many other people, and am proud to have overcome this obstacle.

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

Earning my Gold Award will make me a more brave and confident person moving forward.  Throughout the process I was pushed past my comfort zone, and this has prepared me to take more risks and challenge myself in the future.  I truly think that my Gold Award experience has made me better equipped to face the challenges of my future.

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

While Girl Scouts has given me so many amazing experiences, earning my Gold Award is by far the accomplishment I am most proud of.  I was able to use the skills I have learned throughout my 12 years as a Girl Scout and accomplish something truly amazing.  I aspired to earn my Gold Award ever since I was a Brownie, and I am proud to have kept my Girl Scout Promise, and have made the world a better place.

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

Earning my Gold Award undoubtedly helped me become a go-getter.  The process pushed me to accomplish more and more, and taught me the importance of striving to be the best you can be.  I am proud of all of the steps I took to ensure the true quality of my project and guarantee the continued sustainability.  The Gold Award Process continually pushed me to strive for better, and taught me to be a true go-getter.

**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