Category Archives: Gold Award Honorees

Gold Award Recipients

Christina Bear awarded inaugural $1,000 Stephanie A. Foote Leadership Prize

* Click here for more photos of Day at the Capitol festivities.

Girl Scouts of Colorado is proud to announce that Christina Bear, 2015 Gold Award recipient, is the first-ever winner of the Stephanie A. Foote Leadership Prize. Christina from Golden officially accepted her award on Monday, April 13, 2015, which was also Day at the Capitol for Girl Scouts of Colorado. Lawmakers in the House of Representatives broke from traditional business to honor the 50 Girl Scouts from across the state who are receiving the Gold Award, the highest award in Girl Scouts, this spring.

Christina earned her Gold Award for organizing a week-long summer program for Latino students at the Horizons Summer Program at Colorado Academy. Through informal learning in computer and robot programming and mini-science experiments, students were engaged and excited about technology. Christina was selected as the winner of this $1,000 cash prize by an independent panel. The Stephanie A. Foote Leadership Prize was made possible through a generous gift to the Girl Scouts of Colorado Endowment by Girl Scouts of Colorado President & CEO Stephanie A. Foote. Of Christina’s project, prize committee members said, “We are delighted at the quality of Gold Award projects we reviewed this year and we are thrilled to award the inaugural Stephanie A. Foote Leadership Prize to Christina Bear whose project exemplifies community impact through leadership.”

Christina receives this honor along with four other Gold Award recipients, whom prize committee members determined were deserving of Honorable Mention. They are: Emma Coffey, Madeline McWhorter, Mikayla TerLouw and Kelly Winn. Emma Coffey from Thornton designed a video series, shown during the school’s weekly video announcements, to get kids thinking about topics like budgeting and savings. Colorado Springs Girl Scout Madeline McWhorter created a cookbook for Tri-Lakes Cares Food Bank, using ingredients that are primarily donated to food banks. In Grand Junction, Mikayla TerLouw encouraged family literacy and increased the number of parents who participate in reading-related activities with their children. Kelly Winn from Sedalia built a miniature library at the Sedalia Museum and Gardens for community members and visitors to exchange books, articles and magazines. “These projects are exceptional examples of sustainable impact through leadership. I am proud to recognize all Girl Scouts whose Gold Award projects have made a lasting impact,” Foote said.

The Gold Award culminates with a project led by one young woman between grades 9 through 12 who builds a purpose-based team to work with the larger community to meet a need. The focus of a Gold Award project is identifying and researching a community issue she is passionate about, developing a plan to address it in cooperation with her team and community members, establishing a global connection with others and providing sustainability for the project. Of the skills learned through Girl Scouts’ Highest Awards, leadership, organization and critical thinking are the fundamentals of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. The Gold Award has been part of the Girl Scout program since 1916. Some universities and colleges offer scholarships unique to Gold Award recipients, and girls who enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces may receive advanced rank in recognition of their achievements.

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

The following Colorado Girl Scouts are among the 50 statewide who will be receiving the prestigious Gold Award for the 2014-15 Girl Scout year:

  • Elizabeth Acker from Monument, Palmer Ridge High School, built a six station “Fitness Course” around the perimeter of her high school. She wanted to create an energizing space where anyone could go and exercise for free.
  • Jordan Arnell from Centennial, ThunderRidge High School, organized, supplied, and decorated a library for children at St. Elizabeth’s School in Denver, a low resource private school.
  • Nina Asher from Greenwood Village, Cherry Creek High School, took children from the Boys and Girls Club in Denver on a hike near Boulder, Colo. They learned about weather, forest fires, animals, habitat and safety.
  • Grace Atchison-Reynolds from Parker, Valor Christian High School, used the healing power of music to lift the spirits of residents at local assisted living facilities. She arranged for weekly concerts, calling upon her own personal network of musicians.
  • Linda Baker from Fort Collins, Rocky Mountain High School, encouraged girls to get excited about STEM subjects. She created Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and Twitter pages for the Colorado FIRST Lego League website.
  • Christina Bear from Golden, Colorado Academy, hosted a week-long summer camp to increase interest in STEM, especially among Hispanic students.
  • Alexandria Bellas from Colorado Springs, Pine Creek High School, organized a science event for girls in grades 6-8 that brought together exhibitors from across Colorado.
  • Kit Bernal from Falcon, Falcon High School, created supplementary art education and a curriculum for a local homeschool association.
  • Kayla Bernstein from Colorado Springs, Liberty High School, planted a garden for all the residents of the Medallion Retirement Community.
  • Kirsten Brandes from Parker, Chaparral High School, designed the curriculum for a series of workshops that fostered self-worth and self-esteem in teenage girls. She presented the workshops to groups around the state.
  • Jonnae Byas from Colorado Springs, William J. Palmer High School, refurbished the garden at the Medallion Retirement Community.
  • Rebecca Clark from Colorado Springs, Rampart Range High School, organized a clinic to teach the basics of color guard to middle school students.
  • Emma Coffey from Thornton, Mountain Range High School, designed a video series, shown during the school’s weekly video announcements, to get kids thinking about topics like budgeting and savings.
  • Isabella Colosimo from Golden, Ralston Valley High School, assembled kits for children who, because they have Cystic Fibrosis, have to spend a lot of time in the hospital.
  • Mackenzie Crawley from Colorado Springs, Doherty High School, leveraged her love of learning and reading, and her experience volunteering at her local library to bring a sustainable tutoring service and a mini lending library to her church.
  • Madison Daniel from Highlands Ranch, ThunderRidge High School, captured and preserved the stories of what’s become known as the “Greatest Generation.”
  • Chiara Degenhardt from Ouray, Ouray High School, channeled her love for science and the outdoors into a project to benefit Ridgway State Park.
  • Bree Denbow from Arvada, Ralston Valley High School, used an old suitcase to start a book exchange at a local park.
  • Catherine R. Donohue from Broomfield, Broomfield High School, built a chicken coop to help people better understand chickens and their needs. She also helped improve the quality of life for these animals, an outcome that was evidenced when her chickens moved in and immediately started laying eggs.
  • Nelly Grantham from Thornton, Horizon High School, created a sustainable program for supplying personal hygiene items to homeless families and those in crisis.
  • Madison Haneke from Castle Rock, Castle View High School, made more than 100 blankets for babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at three local hospitals.
  • Jessica Hild from Colorado Springs rebuilt benches at Camp Alexander. She also organized volunteers to help build five new benches.
  • Rachel Jeffries from Lone Tree, Valor Christian High School, carried out a food drive with an inspirational twist. After collecting food, she enlisted the help of volunteers to add stickers with a positive quote or saying to each item.
  • Mikayla Jewell from Colorado Springs, Vista Ridge High School, helped make a softball field safer not only for her team, but other athletes as well. She also taught younger athletes how to stay safe on the field.
  • Madison Keith from Highlands Ranch, ThunderRidge High School, created a sustainable food pantry for pets.
  • Katherine Ketcham from Gunnison, Gunnison High School, hosted a STEM Day at an elementary school. Students learned about biology, chemistry, and physics.
  • Megan King from Centennial, Grandview High School, organized a recycling program at Jackson Lake State Park. Her efforts resulted in the collection of 1,800 pounds of materials in the first year.
  • Sarah Kriner from Peyton, Falcon High School, matched her passion for reading with her love of nature. She designed a bird center at her local library. Her project draws birds, which adds to the appeal for children to go to the library.
  • Mattie McGarey from Louisville, Fairview High School, started a blog to help young girls (especially dancers like herself) recovering from eating disorders.
  • Madeline McWhorter from Colorado Springs, Pine Creek High School, created a cookbook for Tri-Lakes Cares Food Bank, using ingredients that are primarily donated to food banks.
  • Elise Melhado from Colorado Springs, Cheyenne Mountain High School, created a reading-friendly environment in the Partners in Housing Colorado House. She redesigned a room to better suit the space for a children’s reading space, in addition to initiating a regular reading days with the children.
  • Ariel Powers from Littleton, Mountain Range High School, was inspired by a very personal tragedy to create a club called BIONIC, which met regularly to discuss the whys of bullying and how to stop it.
  • Kelsey Quick from Salida, Salida High School, is the first Girl Scout from Salida to earn the Gold Award since at least 2000. For her project, she created a website and other materials to help children who have been cyberbullied.
  • Lyndsay Ruane from Colorado Springs, Liberty High School, wanted members of her community to be better prepared when disasters strike, so she organized an emergency preparedness fair.
  • Dana Ruby from Lone Tree, Highlands Ranch High School, organized and ran a large clothing event at Warren Village, a transitional housing organization in Denver. At this event, the child residents could use tickets to “buy” clothing while in a store atmosphere.
  • Sarah Santilli from Erie, Erie High School, was inspired by her volunteer work ata local hospital to organize a blood drive, which saved 72 lives, and put together a list of potential future donors for Bonfils Blood Center.
  • Lauren Schneider from Fort Collins, Fossil Ridge High School, designed the Medbug, a small, stuffed creature perfect for snuggling. She directed teams of volunteers, who helped create and distribute 450 Medbugs to pediatric patients at local hospitals.
  • Rachel Schneider from Fort Collins, Fossil Ridge High School, provided area hospitals with 600 soft and comfortable pillowcases to make patients feel a little more at home.
  • Lesleigh Stabo from Highlands Ranch, Highlands Ranch High School, created a program to help students transferring to a new high school feel more comfortable and get information they need.
  • Brianna Talbot from Larkspur, Castle View High School, helped teach children in her community about poverty.
  • Mikayla TerLouw from Grand Junction, Palisade High School, worked to encourage family literacy and increase the number of parents who participate in reading-related activities with their children.
  • Vani Topkar from Lafayette, Fairview High School, taught people about Bharatanatyam, an Indian form of classical dance.
  • Madeline Walden from Larkspur, Castle View High School, built a vertical garden for the Douglas County Outdoor Education Facility.
  • Lydia Waterman from Littleton, Heritage High School, made kits to help patients at Littleton Adventist Hospital feel more at home.
  • Kelly Winn from Sedalia, Castle View High School, built a miniature library at the Sedalia Museum and Gardens for community members and visitors to exchange books, articles and magazine.

 

 

 

GIRL SCOUT GOLD AWARD PROJECT: Grace Atchison-Reynolds, Parker, “Happiness Through Music”

Grace Atchison-Reynolds

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award project I organized concerts through Valor Christian High School, as well as Turnbull Piano Studios to be preformed at assisted living facilities.

Why did you pursue this Gold Award project?

I pursued this Girl Scout Gold Award because I believe in the healing attributes of music, as well as music’s ability to bring happiness.

How did your Gold Award project make a difference?

My Gold Award project brought happiness to those who were in the assisted living facilities, as well as brought healing.

What skills did you gain through earning your Gold Award?

I gained many skills including coordination, leadership, organization, and communication.

How did you make your project sustainable?

My project is sustainable because it was through many different facilities, and is being continued through the community service organization at Valor Christian.

What was your connection to the national or global community?

My connection is through the national community because of my interest in helping people through music.

What will you most remember about your Gold Award project?

I will most remember the impact that the music had on the residents and the amount of joy they received.

How will earning your Gold Award help you in your future?

My Gold Award has helped develop my skills that I will be able to use the rest of my life.

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

I believe the Gold Award let me have my own impact on society as well as broaden my scope to all of the needs in society.

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

GIRL SCOUT GOLD AWARD PROJECT: Linda Baker, Fort Collins, “Attracting Girls to STEM Using Social Media”

Linda Baker pic

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I encouraged girls in Colorado to get involved in FIRST Lego League by implementing Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and Twitter functionality on the Colorado FIRST Lego League website, as well as publishing an article on the Girl Scouts of Colorado Blog, encouraging Girl Scouts (both girls and adults) to start Lego Robotics teams. I linked this article to my Facebook page, and asked my contacts to share it on their pages. My project advisor, Ross Parrent, also shared the article on LinkedIn, and asked his network to help spread the word. In May, I participated in a panel discussion for new leaders and volunteers at the Microsoft store in South Denver. This presentation was recorded and posted on the ColoradoFLL website. I have also been responding to email inquiries about how to get involved. Finally, my FRC team continues to do outreach and recruitment at events and exhibits in northern Colorado.

Why did you pursue this Gold Award project?

I am passionate about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and chose my Gold Award project to share this passion with young girls in and outside of Girl Scouts. Girls and young women typically lose interest in the STEM subjects, or “dumb themselves down” in order to appear more socially acceptable by their peers. This results in an insufficient number of young women attracted to careers in these fields.

How did your Gold Award project make a difference?

My Gold Award Project made a significant difference in several ways. One of my articles on the Girl Scout of Colorado blog was among the highest read and most favored articles posted in the last several years. My post on the Colorado FIRST Lego League website reached a potential target audience of several thousand young people. A talent scout from Los Angeles contacted me to recruit from both of these target audiences for the television series “America’s Junior Mind Challenge,” giving my readers access to an incredible opportunity. My Gold Award project reached far beyond the GSCO audience.

What skills did you gain through earning your Gold Award?

When I began this project, I was new to web design, and merely a standard user of social media. Through my project, I learned a lot more about programming in HTML and incorporating plugin software components. My communication skills were enhanced by weekly planning meetings with adult partners in FIRST Lego League. I stretched myself quite a bit to take a lead in facilitating discussions among these individuals and consultants from third party software development companies. This experience has taken me far from my comfort zone and given me confidence to be a leader in an adult business world.

How did you make your project sustainable?

The World Wide Web is a persistent and enduring technology that will remain available to everyone. I created controls on the Colorado FIRST Lego League website that allow connections, likes, and shares through Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+.

What was your connection to the national or global community?

If COFLL is successful, that will enable USFIRST to leverage those both nationally and internationally. The work I have done should transport seamlessly to other HTML applications. Additionally, news of my project reached Hollywood, and the talent search articles continue to propel information to young audiences everywhere.

What will you most remember about your Gold Award project?

The most memorable aspect of my Gold Award project is my contact with the talent scout of Shed Media that was looking for smart young women. I did not realize that my Gold Award could reach so far from Girl Scouts, so that experience will always remind me of the ripple effect that my actions may have on the world.

How will earning your Gold Award help you in your future?

I have become more confident in my ability to hold my own in business situations, and I have learned how to be more effective in quick response situations. There were times I doubted my ability to finish my Gold Award on time, but I managed to finish my project two days before I left for college, and today I have immense satisfaction that I saw it through to completion.

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

My Gold Award Project was a product of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Throughout my experience, I developed a variety of skills such as problem solving and communication.

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

GIRL SCOUT GOLD AWARD PROJECT: Emma Coffey, Thornton, “Money on the Mountain”

Emma Coffey pic

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

The goal of my project was to provide my peers at Mountain Range High School with more access to financial education in a fun, interesting, relevant, and interactive way. I accomplished this by writing a video series to be shown on the weekly video announcements. The videos were given a question-and-answer format, and asked basic questions such as “What is a budget?” or “How much of your income should be put into savings?” I have also created a Facebook page called “Money on the Mountain” that is updated periodically with videos, money management articles, financial facts, and more.

Why did you pursue this Gold Award project?

I have always wanted to earn the Gold Award to make a difference in my community. I wanted to open the door for discussion of the lack of financial literacy being taught to teenagers. I also pursued my Gold Award to challenge myself to learn new things and develop my leadership skills. I am very satisfied with my decision to go for the Gold.

How did your Gold Award project make a difference?

My project addresses the lack of financial education among a specific group of people: teenagers. I believe that because of this project, more students will be aware of the importance of being financially savvy.

What skills did you gain through earning your Gold Award?

I am not the same person I was two years ago, and I can attribute this in a large part to earning the Gold Award. Communicating with other people was a large part of my project. It is also an extremely important life skill. Being a naturally shy person, it was difficult for me at first to approach others about my ideas. Now, without hesitation, I am able to clearly communicate my thoughts. I have also learned the value of tenacity and not giving up, even when it seemed like no one was on my side, or when it seemed like I would never finish. Having the ability to work with/lead a team is another skill that was improved by completing this project. Lastly, while educating others, I have also educated myself about financial literacy. Not only was this project designed to help other people, but an opportunity for myself to grow as an individual and as a leader. This project was all about the journey and the skills I learned along the way to achieve my final result.

How did you make your project sustainable?

My project will be carried on at Mountain Range High School through the Investment Club/DECA. The club will be responsible for posting regularly to the Facebook page and will work with the media department to ensure a replaying of the videos each year. Additionally, a binder will be left behind. This binder will outline all of the tasks and responsibilities that are important to the success of the project, such as when and what to post on the Facebook page, and when to show more videos on the announcements.

What was your connection to the national or global community?

Financial literacy is a skill that is lacking throughout the world. This problem isn’t only seen in the United States. Low financial literacy rates have been reported in Australia, Russia, Switzerland, New Zealand, and Germany. Furthermore, teaching students how to manage their money more wisely will help them to become more responsible citizens, both locally and globally.

What will you most remember about your Gold Award project?

I will remember the obstacles I faced and how I overcame them. While this may not seem like the happiest thing to remember, knowing that I overcame a lot of obstacles to reach this point makes me feel amazing.

How will earning your Gold Award help you in your future?

Earning my Gold Award has assisted me in learning valuable, lifelong skills. These skills (communication, hard work, tenacity) will be very useful for when I enter a professional career. The Gold Award has impacted my life so much that it has even been a guide for my college search process. Because my project focused on financial literacy, I have become more aware about money. This includes becoming aware of the cost of college. Instead of waiting until I graduate college to figure out how to pay for it, I have chosen the school that has given me the best deal financially. Because of this project, my new goal is to graduate college without having any student loans.

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

The Girl Scout Gold Award exemplifies key qualities that define a Girl Scout. The mission of Girl Scouts is to “build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.” The Gold Award teaches girls these qualities, and I feel that I have grown as a leader and a Girl Scout by doing this project. Girl Scouts has been a part of my life for 12 years, and I feel that earning the Gold award is a perfect way to demonstrate what I have learned over the years and a memory that will last for years to come.

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

GIRL SCOUT GOLD AWARD PROJECT: Rachel Schneider, Fort Collins, “Pill-O-Cases”

Rachel Schneider pic

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I addressed the physical comfort of those in the hospital. I hoped to make them feel a little more at home while sick or injured by providing a Pill-O-Case. In the end, 600 patients benefited from my Girl Scout Gold Award project.

Why did you pursue this Gold Award project?

The root cause of this issue is that people get sick and people get hurt. I can’t solve that problem, but I can make them feel a little more comfortable. Hospitals must be sterile and efficient. It is not realistic to provide high quality linens. By making these Pill-O-Cases, my team has helped the hospitals out.

How did your Gold Award project make a difference?

I hope the patients simply feel better and  they feel like a stranger cared enough about their fear to try and ease it. I was able to deliver to patients at the hospitals in Pueblo, Co. I was so excited to visit with them and see their smiles. I saw on their faces how much joy these Pill-O-Cases brought. The hugs and conversations were so fulfilling.

What skills did you gain through earning your Gold Award?

I think this helped me gain confidence in myself. I will be more willing to tackle ever bigger issues in the future. I plan on continuing to make my Pill-O-Cases. I have always felt like service is important. I now believe it is my job to tell others just how important it is. At the completion of 2013, I was 800 hours short of 4,000 lifetime. It is my goal to have 4,000 community service hours by my 16th birthday. This resolve is a result of how successful I feel my project was.

How did you make your project sustainable?

My Facebook page is a great resource for those wanting to duplicate my project. I have also created a resource book that has all the directions for this project. I plan on sending those books to hospitals that have expressed interest. I have also reached out to local sewing groups that are going to house my book in their libraries. A copy on my book will also be given to Girl Scouts of Colorado.

What was your connection to the national or global community?

I hope other organizations will take my resource book and make even more pillowcases. I know of three groups already doing that in Illinois, Colorado Springs, and California. I was surprised at just how many people wanted to help me. People I had never met showed up and gave of themselves. I think that the community service of others was the largest success. Yeah, 600 pillowcases is a great accomplishment, but hours upon hours of people giving their time is a greater accomplishment.

What will you most remember about your Gold Award project?

I won’t know how I affected all 600 patients, but I know I inspired people to take action. I had young and old, men and women helping me. I know they learned the skill of sewing because we successfully made 600 Pill-O-Cases. I know I inspired them because I was was asked to and continue being asked to present my project to local groups.

How will earning your Gold Award help you in your future?

I learned to identify and use the resources available in my community, like the sewing guilds. I encouraged people of all ages and abilities to help. I liked having a positive impact on my community, but felt even better about the impact in other communities as a result of my project. It amazes me that troops in other states are duplicating my project. I learned that despite the challenges I have, I can to plan and execute a large scale service project. This will help me have confidence in my abilities in the futures. I learned to identify and ask groups for help.

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

I identified a solution to the physical comfort of those who are sick or hurt. I taught large groups of people how to make a Pill-O-Case. I continue to feel empowered to make a difference and will continue working on these Pill-O-Cases. Such skills and knowledge are necessary in life. I will always be a volunteer, a champion serving my community. That is a lifelong mission that has been fostered by Girl Scouts and all the service awards.

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

GIRL SCOUT GOLD AWARD PROJECT: Lauren Schneider, FORT COLLINS, “Medbugs”

Lauren Schneider pic

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

My Gold Award Project was to design, facilitate the creation of, and distribute 450 Medbugs. I tackled the emotional issues with children in the hospital and created a Medbug. It is a little bug friend to help a child feel better. It is the medicine to make them smile and feel a little less afraid.

Why did you pursue this Gold Award project?

I spent five  weeks in the hospital when I was 8. I remember the comfort of a stuffed friend to hold onto and cry into when I was scared. My brother also has been sick and at times a special treat has made all the difference in the world to him. He still has a stuffed bear he got at age 2. Kids should be able to be kids and if a friendly fleece friend helps ease the mind of one child, then I have had tremendous success.

How did your Gold Award project make a difference?

My target audience was children in the hospital. They are either sick or hurt. Another target audience is their siblings. Immediately, I hoped these Medbugs made children smile. A smile of joy and hope is so very important when you are sick or hurt. I have been in the shoes of the ill and the shoes of the siblings. I know these friends brought joy. In the future, I hope that these children and their parents gained knowledge of caring and kind people in their community. I would hope that when they grow up they will have gained an attitude that service and helping others is important.

What skills did you gain through earning your Gold Award?

I spoke to several groups about my project and how they could help me on my journey. Also, with my mom’s help and guidance, I managed a Facebook page chronicling my journey of my Gold Award Project. On this page, people all over the world can see my progress and be inspired to do good works in their areas. I think if I inspire one to do service, no matter what that service may be, my project has been a success. I was amazed at how many different people committed their time to my project. I have had girls and boys, men and women, and the young and the mature help me. I did not think I would have such a fantastic team surround me and make me successful. I am proud of the people who helped me and I am proud of what we accomplished.

How did you make your project sustainable?

I created an incredible resource book! I am so proud of the fact that others can take this book and easily recreate this project in their own communities. I already have groups in Missouri, Colorado, and California duplicating this project.

What was your connection to the national or global community?

There are children sick and hurt all over the world. My Facebook page went viral when I was named a Channel 7 Everyday Hero. Woman’s World Magazine is writing a story about my project and my hobby of community service. I have been contacted by many people inquiring about how they can get started in making a difference in their communities. I provided an opportunity for others to learn how to sew. I also inspired several groups to recreate my project. As a leader I have made myself available to them in the event of any questions. I will continue to serve my world. It is my duty as a citizen of the world.

What will you most remember about your Gold Award project?

I had never really looked at my total hours of service until I needed to log them for this project. In realizing that I had served over 4,500 hours in my lifetime. This made me realize that service is one of my hobbies. I realized that I am a good seamstress. I will now not be afraid of volunteering for other sewing based service opportunities. I spoke to several groups about my project and how they could help me on my journey. Also, with my mom’s help and guidance, I managed a Facebook page the chronicling my journey of my Gold Award Project. On this page, people all over the world can see my progress and be inspired to do good works in their areas. I think if I inspire one to do service, no matter what that service may be, my project has been a success. I was amazed at how many different people committed their time to my project. I have had girls and boys, men and women, and the young and the mature help me. I did not think I would have such a fantastic team surround me and make me successful. I am proud of the people who helped me and I am proud of what we accomplished.

How will earning your Gold Award help you in your future?

As a leader, I learned to plan and execute a service project. This will help me with future projects. I also learned to communicate in front of large groups. I have made a lifelong friend in Melissa Mangan. If I had not gone in and asked for her help, this project would not have been as successful. This skill of asking for help will make me a better leader. I felt a positive connection to my community. I have lived in three states and for the first time I felt at home.

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

It’s all about service! This project more than any other makes a young woman think outside themselves. It requires a deeper journey into who she will become. I am a better human being because of Girl Scouts and all I have experienced and learned.

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

GIRL SCOUT GOLD AWARD PROJECT: Jacqueline Pierce, Aurora, “Patriotism 163”

Jacqueline Pierce pic

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I taught patriotism classes to ages two through six over Thanksgiving and summer break in order to instill the idea of supporting our country into the youngest generation. I also collaborated with several different organizations, including the Wyoming Army National Guard to ensure the soldiers knew they had support from their home country.

Why did you pursue this Gold Award project?

I have family-friends in the military, who brought up the issue of the lack of support. I looked in to the issue and discovered the lack of support originated from a lack of patriotism and knowledge about the U.S. and soldiers.

How did your Gold Award project make a difference?

It not only instilled patriotism within the younger generation and supported soldiers, but created a cycle of appreciation and support for the functioning members of society.

What skills did you gain through earning your Gold Award?

I am now more confident in my abilities to direct projects, which originated from my own ideas. I have obtained leadership skills through having adults follow my lead on this project.

How did you make your project sustainable?

The children whom I taught in the patriotism classes will carry the idea of supporting soldiers and their country with them into their adulthood.

What was your connection to the national or global community?

I taught the patriotism classes in Denver, which directly supported the National Guard based in Wyoming. The soldiers were on the east coast and then in Bahrain over the course of the project, with other companies in Afghanistan.

What will you most remember about your Gold Award project?

I managed to unite several different organizations that people would have never seen as a possible. I connected WYARNG with the HEA schoolboard in the name of GSCO.

How will earning your Gold Award help you in your future?

It thoroughly demonstrates my leadership capabilities, which will carry me through college and my career as an adult.

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

It is the highest award and therefore the highest achievement in Girl Scouts. It marked the height of my Girl Scout career.

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

GIRL SCOUT GOLD AWARD PROJECT: Rachel Jeffries, Lone Tree, “Self -Worth and the Underfed”

Rachel Jeffries pic

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

My project addressed two key issues in my community: hunger and self-worth. Hunger, although usually associated with third-world countries, is a global concern that impacts all communities, even the relatively prosperous. Secondly, I wanted my project to be more than an impersonal act of service and, therefore, more than just a food drive. I recognized that a Gold Award project needed to be more sustainable than a food drive, so I wanted to be able to do something more which might have a lasting impact on the personal mindsets of those who utilize the food pantry at Pax Christi Catholic Church.

Why did you pursue this Gold Award project?

Growing up in California, my dad’s family did not have the best financial situation. He has often talked about how this impacted his self-esteem, feeling like he was not as good as other people because he could not afford to have the same things and eat the same food. Thus, for the second main component of my project, I coordinated a volunteer event for volunteers to make stickers with encouraging messages and then put a sticker on every donated item that had been collected in the food drive. By doing this, I hoped that my project would not only bolster the St. Elizabeth Food Pantry, but also the self- worth of the individuals going there for food.

How did your Gold Award project make a difference?

An immediate impact of my project was that Pax Christi had just created space for a food pantry and now needed to stock it. My project’s efforts stocked the pantry with more than 300 donated items. My project also raised awareness in the local community that a new food pantry was in existence and ready to serve those in need. Between speaking at a Girl Scout meeting, Facebook posts, hosting a sticker event, reaching out to other food banks, having a canned food drive at Valor Christian High School and organizing a “stocking the pantry day,” I believe approximately 100 people now know about this food pantry. With the intention of this project being sustainable, it is my hope that my project continues to stock the St. Elizabeth pantry and in small ways boosters the self-esteem of those who are probably seeking assistance when they are not feeling so good about their situation or themselves.

What skills did you gain through earning your Gold Award?

As a result of my project, I gained practical life skills (communication skills, flexibility), sought challenges in the world (hunger, low self-esteem), and developed critical thinking. My project helped me grow as a leader because it taught me how to use critical thinking to resolve problems stemming from miscommunication and scheduling conflicts, so that my project might still be completed in a timely manner. My project helped me grow as a leader in this outcome because I had to resolve scheduling conflicts, so that the food drive might be completed on time and as many different volunteers as possible could attend the sticker event. Also, when I returned with a group of seniors from Valor to stock the pantry and review the donated items, I had to encourage cooperation and teamwork so that we might finish the tasks as efficiently as possible.

How did you make your project sustainable?

In order to ensure that my project be sustained, I have reached out to other local area food banks to share my project. My hope in doing this is that other organizations will recreate my project at their respective food pantries. I created a booklet providing more information on my project which could be used as a guide to do this. I also have reached out to the Youth Director at Pax Christi Catholic Church. Every year, the Pax Christi youth group hosts a food collection before the Super Bowl to benefit the Pax Christi food pantry. My hope is that the youth group will incorporate my project into this annual effort. So, instead of only hosting the food collection, they might also have a “sticker event” after the completion of the collection, similar to my project.

What was your connection to the national or global community?

I chose hunger as the primary issue focus for my project because it has an impact everywhere. Approximately one in nine people world-wide do not have enough food to lead a healthy active life. In Colorado, nearly one in seven people face times when there is not enough money to buy sufficient food for their families. Obviously, low self esteem happens to every one, no matter where one lives. Yet, for those who are underfed, a low self esteem can have a long term impact on one’s feeling of self worth. Various articles I read shared that daily criticism tears down one’s feelings of self-worth, and daily affirmations can improve one’s self-esteem. I sought to raise self-esteem through the stickers of affirmation. Every one can use a pat on the back, and note of support regardless of age, income, gender, or zip code.

What will you most remember about your Gold Award project?

I will remember the obstacles the most. When I started this project I had a set timeline in mind for when I wanted to complete it. However, I found that as I had to work with my personal school and studies schedule, the schedule of the youth minister and food pantry at Pax Christi, the schedule of the Junior troop I worked with, my high school, my Girl Scout liaison, and contacts at other local food pantries, I had to adjust my timeline. Sometimes these readjustments led me to have to move forward or backward the next steps in my projects. I overcame this obstacle by remaining flexible. I tried to stay focused on the end-goal of my project–creating a sustainable project that supported a local food bank and valued the worth of others.

How will earning your Gold Award help you in your future?

As a person who usually prefers for things to be very neatly structured, I learned that I can adapt when things do not necessarily go according to plan and still fulfill my initial purpose. Also, I am not one who is comfortable speaking in front of others or reaching out to new people, so this project stretched me because I had to communicate with various groups in order to coordinate food drives and the sticker volunteer event.

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

I found that the Gold Award was the cumulative project of all things Girl Scouts. In reflecting back on my Girl Scout experience since elementary school, I think that just about every activity I participated in provided the foundation upon which I was able to visualize, plan and carry out my Gold Award project–learning new skills, leading others, challenging myself, and service to others.

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

GIRL SCOUT GOLD AWARD PROJECT: Nicole Cheng, Centennial, “Ahma’s Recipes Journey to My Cultural Heritage”

 

Nicole Cheng pic

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I collected recipes from my Taiwanese Grandma and helped people translate the recipes to Chinese and English. I also had a story along with these recipes, which explained Taiwanese culture and traditions.

Why did you pursue this Gold Award project?

I pursued this award because I wanted to help preserve the Taiwanese culture and boost the self esteem of those Taiwanese Americans and those other cultures who can relate because they are proud of their culture. The best way to preserve culture is through food and language and food is the most enjoyable way.

How did your Gold Award project make a difference?

It has made a difference because people who are Taiwanese-Americans have something to be proud of.

What skills did you gain through earning your Gold Award?

I have gained leadership, organizational, and communications skills. All of this came from the fact that I had to figure out a schedule for people to come and help translate the pages of the Taiwanese recipes.

How did you make your project sustainable?

My project is sustainable because it is a Facebook page. This allows many people to see it and add to it. This is as opposed to a cookbook, which would have only reached a couple of families.

What was your connection to the national or global community?

The connection to a national community is the connection to Taiwan and its culture.

What will you most remember about your Gold Award project?

I will remember the faces of comprehension and pride after I had explained my recipes and stories to a group of people.

How will earning your Gold Award help you in your future?

It will help me as a lawyer because as a lawyer I should be able to connect with my client. Because of my Gold Award project, I have a better understanding of Taiwanese culture and therefore have a better connection with future clients.

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

As a Girl Scout, I should help better the community. The Gold Award allowed me to choose an aspect of the community I was passionate about and try and help fix 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 highestawards@gscolorado.org

GIRL SCOUT GOLD AWARD PROJECT: Bree Denbow, Arvada, “Free Little Library”

Bree Denbow pic

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I built a little book exchange at a local park and held a book drive at my school.

Why did you pursue this Gold Award project?

I have been in Girl Scouts a long time and I wanted to do something awesome because I am graduating soon.

How did your Gold Award project make a difference?

People come to the park and use the little library all the time to get and leave books, and people in the community have let me know how much they appreciate it.

What skills did you gain through earning your Gold Award?

I learned how to talk to people better, how to organize and contact people on my own.

How did you make your project sustainable?

I put it next to an elementary school, had my NHS look after it and made the little library water proof.

What was your connection to the national or global community?

My library is part of an international organization called The Little Library Organization.

What will you most remember about your Gold Award project?

What I most remember was how proud I was once the library was installed in the park.

How will earning your Gold Award help you in your future?

I want to be a film director and film directors need to know how to creatively fix problems and how to be a leader, making it clear what people need to do.

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

I think it is important because I grew as a person and I was able to learn how to do lots of things and made something that I was very proud of. It also connected lots of lessons that Girl Scouts has taught me.

***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