Category Archives: Gold Award Honorees

Gold Award Recipients

Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Alessandra Smith, Colorado Springs, “Project Generation Connection”

Smith_Alessandra

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 highestawards@gscolorado.org

Christina Bear earns Boettcher Scholarship

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Christina Bear, a Girl Scout Gold Award recipient and senior at Colorado Academy, has been selected as a recipient of the Boettcher Foundation Scholarship.

Boettcher Scholarships recognize Colorado’s top students by providing them with the funds to attain an excellent in-state education and access to additional opportunities to enrich their time in college and beyond. Boettcher Scholars become part of a vast network of alumni and community leaders who will support and engage them throughout their lifetimes.

The list of Boettcher Scholars includes some of the most promising young people from across the state, noted Tim Schultz, president and executive director of the Boettcher Foundation.

“The Boettcher family sought to keep Colorado’s best talent in the state by connecting them with the outstanding opportunities offered by our in-state institutions,” Schultz said. “Doing so helps ensure that our dynamic thinkers and leaders attend Colorado schools, build Colorado networks and use their immense talents to improve our communities right here at home.”

Established in 1952, the Boettcher Scholarship program awards 42 scholarships each year and has established a network of more than 2,400 Boettcher Scholars. This places the program among the largest merit-based scholarship programs in the nation.

The scholarship Christina has been awarded includes virtually all expenses to attend the Colorado school of her choice: full tuition, fees, a book allowance and an annual stipend for living expenses. The award is granted for eight semesters at either a public or private four-year college or university in the state.

“The Boettcher Foundation’s scholarship selection process is competitive and rigorous” said Tiffany Anderson, director of the scholarship program. “More than 1,400 of Colorado’s top students apply each year. Christina really stood out with her accomplishments both in and out of the classroom. We’re proud to have her representing the Boettcher community.”

About the Boettcher Foundation:

At Boettcher, we believe in the promise of Colorado and the potential of Coloradans. Every day we champion excellence across our state by investing in our most talented citizens and high-potential organizations, because supporting their hard work and leadership will enable them to give back for years to come. For more information, visit BoettcherFoundation.org.

 

Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Alyssa Scaduto, Colorado Springs, “Bristol’s Used Book Fair”

 Scaduto_Alyssa

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award project I created a used book fair and instructed Bristol Elementary School staff and volunteers on the basics of producing a successful and sustainable used book fair for their students and community. To support Bristol’s used book fair, I created a relationship where the Scott Elementary School community could provide used books for the Bristol Elementary School used book fair. This relationship originated with my successful completion of Scott Elementary School’s first-ever book drive.

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

As a result of my Gold Award project, 5,000 books are now in the hands of children associated with Bristol Elementary School and its community. In addition, the success of my instruction in producing their used book fair allowed Bristol Elementary School to raise $600 towards the purchase of new books for their library. I measured the impact made on the community by the 5,000 books that children now have, the $600 made towards getting new books in the library, and all of the smiles of appreciation from the kids, their families, and the staff.

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

I set up an annual book drive at Scott Elementary School to provide books to Bristol for their continuation of the fair. The librarian at Bristol Elementary School has also agreed to run it in future years.  I also created and produced a manual that outlines the process that I made to establish a book drive and instruct school staff and volunteers on how to run a used book fair.

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

I believe that around the world a large number of children don’t have books or can’t afford any of their own. I hope that other schools in our community will refer to my manual to run a used book fair and the word will just continue to spread as teachers and families move throughout the country and world. I expect the success of this project will spread through the positive media attention already received as well as word of mouth from the many people who benefited from this program.

What did you learn about yourself?

I have developed many leadership and social skills as a result of my project.  I learned how to express my ideas, develop a plan, and then use that as a starting point to create a very successful event.  During the course of the project I had to make changes to and expand on my original plan as more challenging issues came up. I also became more comfortable working with adults and presenting my ideas to groups of people.

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

Earning my Gold Award will allow me to use the leadership, organizational, and public speaking skills I learned to help other people. It also showed me the importance of community service.

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

The Gold Award was a very important part of my Girl Scout experience because it allowed me to use all of the skills I had learned during my nine years of Girl Scouts to create my own community service project. It has created lifelong experiences and memories.

**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: Tierra Carter, Castle Rock, “Music Therapy”

Tierra Carter

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award project, I volunteered at Children’s Hospital Central in music therapy. This involved playing songs for the patients as well as, in some cases, teaching them how to play a few simple songs on the keyboard. My goal for this project was to make patients not feel hopeless, and to make sure that they knew that they were not alone. I understand this feeling because of my experience with being in the hospital a lot.

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

I measured the impact my Gold Award made on my target audience by getting positive feedback from the patients, the parents/families of the patients, and from the staff as well. I really hoped to make such a big impact on the community because Music Therapy is a creative and relaxing outlet for people to use when going through medical issues.

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

My project will be sustained because the materials that I used (the keyboard, and the sheet music, online music, and my music therapy guide) will still be remaining at the hospital so that other volunteers can use this when seeing patients. I am currently working on getting my project to other hospitals as well, for patients and volunteers to use. I created the guide, and the volunteer services coordinator is going to have it available. It is important to me that my guide is going to be available for other volunteers, patients, and staff to use. Lastly, I plan to give my guide to my piano teacher to encourage others to volunteer.

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

My patient’s global and/or national connection is getting my Music Therapy Guide to other hospitals, so that I can spread my message of Music Therapy and how it helps patients and people to cope with their medical issues. I will try to get my guide to the campus in Denver. I will also be creating another page for nursing homes.

What did you learn about yourself?

While working on my Gold Award project I developed better people skills, as well as self-confidence and self-esteem, and I learned how to be more intelligent in the things that I do. Although I do have medical issues, I learned that other people may have it worse than I do. I learned not to take anything for granted, and not to complain about my life.

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

I think that earning my Gold Award will positively impact me in the future. I think that earning my Gold Award will open many doors for me. I think that I will have some special opportunities when I grow up. I am extremely grateful and proud to have gone so far in Girl Scouts, and to have achieved the highest award. I feel like I can do anything that I want to do, to better myself and my family.

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

I believe that earning my Gold Award was an important part of my experience because it teaches you so many things in life. By helping out with the community. Helping out with the community teaches you responsibility, and you learn things about yourself that you never knew. I think that it is also important because by earning this Gold Award, it shows that you are growing into an adult, and that you are capable of doing anything that you set your mind to.

**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: Ashley Marttila, Colorado Springs, “Spreading Sonrise”

Marttila_Ashley

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award project, I organized a children’s choir at Sunrise United Methodist Church.  The choir was for all children three-years through ten-years-old.  The choir was teen-led and we were able to provide children with older teens to talk to.  We also sang during the services and that allowed the entire church to see how many children were involved at Sunrise.  The weekends that we sing are the most attended weekends.

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

I measured the impact of my Gold Award project by seeing how many children enjoyed the choir, how many volunteers wanted to help with the choir, how many parents came to practice to listen, and how many people enjoyed the children’s choir performances.

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

First, I assembled a group of teens to continue the children’s choir at our church after I leave for college.  Second, I sent information to other churches on how to start their own youth led choir.  These other churches now have the tools to start a low cost project that motivates children.

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

My hope is that other children are inspired to lead.  The kids in my choir really enjoyed seeing that other teens could be leaders.  Hopefully, these kids will inspire themselves and others to lead in the future.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that I can be a leader.  I am really good with kids and enjoy helping them and being a role model in their life.  I also learned that I have a lot of patience and that sometimes flexibility and the willingness to listen to others –all others- can make a good project a great project.

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

My Gold Award will help with my college scholarship and application processes.  Earning my Gold Award helped me to go out of my comfort zone and enjoy leading.

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

For one, not many people go all the way through with the Gold Award. I am very proud of myself for sticking with it and putting in many hours of service and preparation  to secure my award.  I actually have continued helping with the choir-I really loved my project and the people that have come into my life as a result of earning this award.

**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: Ashlin Gray, Monument, “Laughing & Learning”

Gray_Ashlin

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

My Gold Award project was a three-ponged project. I designed and created a children’s center at the Marian House Life Support Services Center; redesigned, reorganized, and stocked the book and stuffed animal pantry in the Family Dining Area of Marian House; and supported the art, developmental play, and literacy initiatives at Marian House’s pilot program Family Day Center.

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

The eating area design has been followed and provided many stuffed animals and books to children. The Family Day Center has provided a place for families to gather, so they are not on the streets. The children’s area has given children a safe place to play and learn, and the space is used on a daily basis.

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

The learning activities set up in the children’s area will last well past the next 5 years, and will be available to children to continue to grow and learn. I supported the new initiatives at the new Family Day Center, which is a pilot program that will now grow into an influential program. The children’s area that I created can be built upon. I set up a system in the Eating Area that can be continued to ensure the most effective distribution of stuffed animals and books. Also, there are new volunteer opportunities through the children’s area that can be set up to keep children engaged and learning.

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

Homelessness is a global issue that can be best addressed on the community level. I spread awareness for childhood homelessness outside of Colorado Springs by presenting to my psychology class, a local missions organization, and National Honors Society. Also, I put together an Implementation Plan about how to set up a successful project and distributed to the PRHS Chapter of National Honor Society, the Deerfield Hills Community Center, the Hillside Community Center, and the Meadows Park Community Center. This portion of my project serves a diverse group of people across many different communities and I hope the plans will inspire others to make a difference.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned to be assertive and reach out to organizations within in the community to offer them my project and partner with them. This has made me a more confident leader and better listener. I began my project with an idea in mind, but it didn’t necessarily address the specific need of the population. By listening to the people at Marian House, I molded my project into something that could best address the need.

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

Earning my Gold Award has given me confidence to tackle community and global issues in the future. I have grown in my leadership skills and gained valuable experience with planning and executing community service projects. I have learned so much throughout my project and I am humbled by all of the people who serve selflessly within the homeless community and within all communities.

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

Ever since I was a Brownie Girl Scout, I have looked up to the older girls and Gold Award recipients. This has always been a goal of mine. Actually taking on and completing the Gold Award project instilled in me confidence in myself and my ability to make a difference in important issues. I have grown as a leader and as a part of my community, and I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything.

**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: Helen Landwehr, Colorado Springs, “Success Through and Enriching Environment”

Landwehr_Helen

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my project I refurbished and redecorated the Severe Special Needs (SSN) room at Air Academy High School (AAHS) to make it a safe, more welcoming and more effective learning environment. SSN students face more challenges every day than most high school students face their entire life. The SSN students at AAHS not only had to struggle with their disabilities, but they also had to cope with the disorganized and dysfunctional SSN classroom. Now, the room is better than ever for staff and students alike.

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

By talking with staff members, who work in the SSN room, I was able to see the full impact of my project. Staff love to share stories about how well the room is working and how all of the improvements have really changed the effectiveness of the classroom.

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

I set up a donation system that will provide supplies to go to the SSN room every year. Many of the changes I made to the room will last for a long time and help many classes of SSN students. The teacher, the principal, and the facilities agree to all help keep up the room beyond my involvement. I will also distribute portfolios to multiple volunteer organizations and have them help other to tackle similar projects.

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

As a part of my project, I have created a pamphlet and  power point that the SSN teacher will distribute to other SSN teachers at conferences. This pamphlet and power point explain my project and what changes I made to the room to make it more friendly, welcoming, and safe. This will spread the idea of updating SSN rooms around the community and around the nation. I am also going to have an article written about the room in the Jetstream Journal, a school news source. I will distribute the pamphlet and power point to another school district in my area.

What did you learn about yourself?

Throughout this project I have become a much better leader. I have learned that I don’t have to do everything by myself and part of being a leader is being able to direct others to help me accomplish my goals. It is extremely helpful to call on others to do some of the work on my project. I have also learned that I need to always keep the big picture in sight. If I spend too much time focusing on and worrying about small details, I won’t be able to accomplish the bigger, more important goals of my project.

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

In the future I will definitely be less afraid to jump in and tackle big projects that I see. I will also be able to be a more effective leader on big projects. After completing this project, I understand how important it is to have a schedule and very specific plan for what my team and I need to get done each day. I will apply my new found knowledge about how to plan for a very large project during future projects that I am a part of. In the future, I know that I will enjoy applying my leadership skills to service project and giving back to my community.

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

The Gold Award allowed me to bring together many of the skills I learned throughout many years of Girl Scouts and do something positive that I am passionate about. I was able to learn more about myself and contribute in a meaningful way to the lives of those around 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

Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Katelyn Eaman, Broomfield, “Let’s Build a Garden Together”

Katelyn Eaman

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my project, I built four raised garden beds in BHS’ enclosed outdoor courtyard for two school groups: the catering/Pro-Start classes and Multi-Intensive classes. I saw that my school’s courtyard was underutilized. By building four garden beds, I created a beautiful space that could be enjoyed by many and provided a hands-on learning experience for the Catering and Multi-Intensive classes.

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

To measure the impact of my project, I created an online quiz which I advertised to my school’s community. This quiz addressed the basis of the project, Girl Scout information, purpose of the project, and some environmental questions related to local gardening/farming. From this quiz, I gathered results, of which will be compared to students’ results in the future.

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

My project, of course, will be sustained by the two intended classes, the Catering/Pro-Start and Multi-Intensive students, who, as a part of their new curriculum, will plant and maintain the garden beds. Broomfield High School’s National Honor Society has committed to maintain the garden beds over the summer and during the school year as a part of their mandatory volunteer hours.

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

Today’s generation and youth know very little about the earth and how it functions. Many kids have not grown up learning to plant flowers or vegetables at home and with that said, very little is taught at school about the importance local gardening has on the economy and environment. Families buy so much food with plastic packaging which is thrown away and added to the ever-increasing landfill spaces. I wanted to emphasize that with the world’s population increasing and landfill space is  decreasing, we need to realize we cannot  keep throwing away the plastic packaging when there is a healthy alternative which can be built in their backyards or kitchens.

What did you learn about yourself?

I definitely learned a lot about myself through this project, but one of this greatest realizations was that I was not as organized as I thought nor do I have great time management. I am the girl who cleans for fun! Who, before going to bed, creates tomorrow’s to-do list. I realized that I procrastinate more than I thought.

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

There are many skills that I learned or skills that were strengthened by earning the Gold Award. One of these was that I strengthened my communication skills which will impact how I do in future leadership roles. If I take on a leadership position in a lab or project, I am more confident I can present my ideas and gain team members’ respect and trust.

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

The Gold Award was an important part of my Girl Scout experience because from an early age it made me want to continue Girl Scouts. I remember in first grade, at an after-school meeting, a high schooler came in and shared her Gold Award and her experience. I just thought that it was the coolest thing ever, how a girl like her could impact the world at such a young age! I told my mom, “Mom, I want to do that. I want to get my Gold!” And I am so glad I did because it was the culmination of all  leadership, community, and communication skills I learned throughout twelve years of Girl Scouts.

**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

Christina Bear wins NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing

Christina Bear

From L to R: Jamie Adler, Executive Director NCWIT, Christina Bear, winner of 2016 National Award NCWIT, and Ruthe Farmer, Chief Strategy & Growth Officer and Director, K-12 Alliance of NCWIT. (PC R. Shenoi)

Congratulations to Christina Bear, a senior at Colorado Academy in Denver, Colorado, who was selected as a winner for the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) National Award for Aspirations in Computing! Christina traveled to Charlotte, North Carolina, on an all-expense paid trip to attend the Bank of America Technology Showcase and Awards Ceremony at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel held on March 4-6, 2016. She received a $500 stipend, a laptop provided by Bank of America and an engraved award for Christina and her high school. For more information, please see www.aspirations.org

The NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing is “an initiative designed to increase women’s meaningful participation in computing careers by providing encouragement, visibility, community, leadership opportunities, scholarships, and internships to high potential technically inclined young women”. Only 35 National Award winners were selected out of 3135 applicants nationally.

NCWIT builds a talent pool for the growing technical workforce and helps academic and corporate organizations celebrate diversity in computing by honoring young women at the high-school level for their computing-related achievements and interests. Award recipients are selected based on their aptitude and aspirations in technology and computing; leadership ability; academic history; and plans for post-secondary education.

Christina is grateful to her AP Computer Science teacher at Colorado Academy, Ms. Kimberly Jans, for providing excellent teaching and support for going above and beyond academics. Ms. Jans is the recipient of the 2016 NCWIT Aspirations in Computing Educator Award in Colorado.

Christina is grateful to Girl Scouts of Colorado, her mentor Ms. Rae Ann Dougherty, the Association of Professional Fundraisers, and her parents for their support and encouragement in founding Project STEM Student Mentors. Christina is thankful to Mr. Jessie Skipwith, Executive Director of Horizons at Colorado Academy, for believing and sustaining a long-term vision to provide enrichment in technology and coding to minority students.

Christina has been selected as a 2016 Colorado Affiliate winner of the NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing.  The Colorado Affiliate Aspirations Award ceremony will be held at the University of Colorado at Boulder on Sunday, April 24, 2016.

 

Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Belle Bashaw, Parker, “What’s the buzzz about bees?”

Belle Bashaw

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I set out to increase knowledge of the native bee species present in Colorado by educating elementary aged students and to permanently fix a successful lesson about bees into their curriculum.  My project focused on educating elementary school students on the importance of bees in the environment, what kind of bees they might see buzzing around outside, and how they can make a difference.  When I started this project, just like when this issue had been illuminated to me, I wanted to ensure to those students that they weren’t left in the dark.  It’s very important to me that everyone knows what’s happening in the world, because we’re the ones that live here and unfortunately, we’re also causing part of the problem.  At each school, I would give my presentation and lead discussions on the bees.

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

My visits with the schools began with a seven-question quiz that I would give to the classrooms that I visited.  I was even surprised at how excited the students were at taking a pop quiz on bees, and after I told them that it wasn’t for a grade and they were not expected to know all the answers to the quiz, they became very passionate about learning all that they could.  The most successful group of students was 6th Grade; when they took the quiz before I gave my speech, they scored an average of 40% on the quiz.  After I taught them, the score increased 58% to result in an average score of 98%.

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

The coordinator at one school has promised to continue implementing the curriculum I’ve developed for years to come.  The school’s environment-based education program is an ideal setting for my project, and they’ve already been practicing a program called “Habitat” for a few years.  A few bee houses that I’ve built for my project will also stay outside helping the bees for years to come in another elementary school’s community garden.

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

I was also approached by a contact from Kirk Properties Inc. after one of my educational speeches and they are interested in doing a field study with my bee houses.  As long as I supply them with a working model of one of my bee houses and instructions on how to make more, they will install approximately 60 houses on the Texas Panhandle in order to see if their native species will also accept the bee houses as alternative habitats.  They have provided a letter of commitment as well. This project has grown through four schools into another state.

What did you learn about yourself?

Although I don’t want to be a teacher when I am older, I’ve realized that I definitely have an affinity for working with children and for public speaking.  I have experience teaching kids as a Camp Committee Program Aide and as a Girl Scouts Kayaking Instructor, but I’ve never interacted with as many young children at once and for the same topic.  I think that most of the kids could tell I was confident and that helped them trust me to be a good guest speaker for them.

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

Because I feel confident with myself when speaking to strangers or addressing a crowd, I know that this will only grow in the future to where I’m even more confident.  Even if I didn’t know it before, I am certain that I wouldn’t have gotten very far in my project without being able to sell my ideas to strangers in interviews or being comfortable around kids, because I’m pretty sure that elementary school students can smell fear.

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

This project has been so valuable to me and so successful that I can’t imagine anything being different.  For every mistake I thought I had made and for every missed opportunity, at least ten more sprung up to replace it.  I learned from all of it.  Girl Scouts itself has been such a prominent part of my life that even without the Gold Award, I can look back on all of my time fondly.  However, with the Gold Award my eyes have really been opened to what I can do, and what girls everywhere can do.

**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