What did you do for your Gold Award project?
I founded Project Generation Connection (“PGC”), to provide the elderly in nursing homes the opportunity to connect with their families in town, or even miles away, through the use of video conferencing with iPad technology and assistance from volunteers. PGC provides the plan, training, and volunteers to nursing homes. As the need arises, PGC also provides iPads for the elderly to borrow through their facility. Sunrise Senior Living at University Park (Sunrise) is successfully piloting the program.
How did you measure the impact your Gold Award project made on your target audience?
Project Generation Connection is currently reaching out to 78 residents at Sunrise and their families. And the target audience for the program is growing in numbers and distance as the interest from other senior living facilities has increased from the media coverage I received. The value of this project was made much more prominent recently when I learned that a gentleman that I helped reach out to his family had passed away only a few weeks after we spent time together. As sad as it was to lose him, I remember the opportunity he had beforehand to reach out. It was especially fun to see that one of his children was out shopping when she took the video call! Family members were grateful that he had this opportunity to reach out.
How is your project sustainable? How will your project continue to impact after your involvement?
My project, PGC, has been well received by Sunrise at University Park. Sarah Rubin, the Activities Director at Sunrise, has expressed great interest in seeing PGC continue at her facility. Through the training materials that I have provided, she will be able to educate new volunteers on how the program functions. Mark Pimentel, an Apple Products Consultant, has also expressed an interest in seeing this program grow. Due to the nature of PGC, I am able to continue to maintain and improve the program over time and wherever I reside.
What is your project’s global and/or national connection?
We live in a global society that is connected to each other via the internet. Through the Facebook page for “The Catalyst Conference” sponsored by Girls In Tech, I received positive feedback from women in South Korea and Australia. As a result of my interview with Fox 21 News, in Colorado Springs, I received communication from a senior living facility representative in Arizona who is interested in seeing this program established in facilities she represents through Arizona and Chicago. In addition, I have been informed that Sarah Rubin, at Sunrise at University Park, intends to share this program with other Sunrise facilities throughout the nation and in Canada and Great Britain.
What did you learn about yourself?
Project Generation Connection has taught me how to face challenges. I learned to be more of a go-getter and get back up again after being knocked down. Spending time with the elderly helped me realize a new-found deep respect and a genuine interest in making sure they experience a good quality of life.
How will earning your Gold Award impact you in the future?
Earning my Gold Award is validation that I can do whatever I put my mind to. If I’m ever feeling less than optimistic about my abilities, I will remember the challenges I faced and the determination I experienced towards completing my Gold Award.
Why do you feel the Gold Award was an important part of your Girl Scout experience?
The prospect of earning my Gold Award is what kept me in Girl Scouts. I had earned my Bronze and Silver and decided that I had to reach for Gold. Going for the highest award in Girl Scouts has given me invaluable experience in dealing with “real world” issues, which I will never forget. In addition, serving the elderly of my community and their families is a culmination of all my volunteer experiences through the years in Girl Scouts. The Gold Award truly made my years of Girl Scouts worth it.
**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 firstname.lastname@example.org