Category Archives: Gold Award Honorees

Gold Award Recipients

Christina Bear named Congressional Award Gold Medalist

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Join Girl Scouts of Colorado in congratulating Gold Award recipient Christina Bear of Golden! She was recently named a Congressional Award Gold Medalist for 2016.

The Congressional Award is the United States Congress’ award for young Americans. It is non-partisan, voluntary, and non-competitive. The program is open to all 14- to 23-year-olds; young people may register when they turn 13 1/2 years old and must complete their activities before their 24th birthday. Participants earn Bronze, Silver and Gold Congressional Award Certificates and Bronze, Silver and Gold Congressional Award Medals. Each level involves setting goals in four program areas; Volunteer Public Service, Personal Development, Physical Fitness, and Expedition/Exploration. Earning the Award is a fun and interesting way to get more involved in something you already enjoy or something you’d like to try for the first time. You move at your own pace – on your own or with your friends. This is not an award for past accomplishments. Instead, you are honored for achieving your own challenging goals after registering for the program.

In 2015, Christina earned her Gold Award, the highest award in Girl Scouts, for organizing a week-long summer program for Latino students at 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 is the 2015 recipient of the Stephanie A. Foote Leadership Prize. In November 2015, she will be awarded the Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy Award presented by the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

Christina has also won the Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes, Jefferson County Public Health Champions, Presidential Environmental Youth Service Award, Prudential Spirit of Community Award, Children’s Environmental Health Network Youth Leadership Award and International Action for Nature Eco-Hero Award.

 

GIRL SCOUT GOLD AWARD PROJECT: Jenni Golbuff, Fort Collins, “Tool Time Tables”

Jenni Golbuff

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award project, I decided to redesign and make new tables for a local summer camp, Sky Ranch. My project consisted of drafting a design,  woodworking, and some heavy lifting to get the eight heavy-duty tables up to the camp, in time for summer camp sessions.

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

I measured this project by noting how Sky Ranch was impacted. They now had more usable tables that were needed. I also viewed the future impact, knowing these tables would last for many years, that the future target audience would also enjoy the benefits of these tables throughout for their cookouts and camping sessions.

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

The staff at Sky Ranch will continue to maintain the property and care for the tables until at some point they need to be replaced again.  My project can then be continued by someone else, possibly another Girl Scout working on her Gold Project.

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

My project has a link to the nation’s generations as campers from around the United States and from other countries attend Sky Ranch Lutheran Camp.  I also have been in contact with several other summer camps, including church summer camps, 4-H Camps, and Girl Scouts providing them the blueprints and plans for the picnic tables. This project started for a small camp in Colorado, but has expanded to impact camps around the nation, as well as their campers and families who use those tables.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned additional drafting skills and how to develop a workable blueprint. I also gained greater knowledge in woodworking and working safely with power tools. Communication skills were definitely part of the mix of developed skills that helped complete this project.  I gained additional practical life skills in promoting this project to solicit volunteers and how to address people who wished to donate money or volunteer their time to help build the tables.  One skill that I particularly enhanced during this project was critical thinking and empowerment.

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

Earning my Gold Award will impact my future by pushing me to use my new leadership skills with the Girl Scout Promise and Law in my life, as guiding principles. For example, through my Gold Award process, I was constantly reminded how important these principles are for a future leader and everyday encounters. Whether it be talking with a school or college instructor, hanging out with friends, or planning my future. Through this process I have strived to gain more leadership abilities and the courage to apply as a Minnesota State 4-H Ambassador, and will use these leadership skills in my everyday life while working with others and being passionate to do and become great leaders.

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 directed me to look at things in a new light.  To see what I could do to change my community for the better and in the future possibly help to design new inventions to aid the world. The impact of this Gold project provided me the insight to look around my community to see people or organizations who are in need of help. With Girl Scouts, we as girls and young women can learn to see the needs in the area, and use recourses to find a creative way to improve their communities. The Girl Scouts and this Gold Project has helped me gain self confidence and improve my leadership abilities along with communication skills.

**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: Emily Mohlis, Elizabeth, “Band Room Organization”

Emily Mohlis

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Girl Scout Gold Award project, I addressed the disorganized mess of music, school-owned instruments, and accessories scattered throughout the entire band room and director’s office at Elizabeth High School. I created an electronic filing system. It included list of school-owned instruments and equipment with their specific accessories and it placed labels on the shelf with the proper instrument name where each instrument belongs. Included in the spreadsheet was the instrument type, brand, serial number, and accessories that were included in the case. I also created an electronic spreadsheet, detailing every piece and score of music that Elizabeth High School owned, separating them by ensemble in alphabetical order with a corresponding number in the spreadsheet.

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

I measured the impact of my Gold Award project to years past. Compared to past years, when school got out this year, the band room was much more organized and students had returned everything, so nothing was missing! All music was filed alphabetically in a neat and orderly fashion, in approximately 10 filing cabinet drawers.  All school-owned instruments were in their proper homes on top of the band lockers. Our band director had a checkout sheet to be used by students who needed to check out instruments. Mouthpieces and other miscellaneous accessories had been counted and stored in one central location, and were to be checked out when needed for use. All percussion equipment, including marching band drums, had been inventoried and inspected to ensure they were in working order. All percussion equipment had a proper storage location in the drum closet. When you looked around the band room, it was very neat and orderly – a big improvement from the past!

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

My project can be sustained beyond my involvement because I established this user-friendly, electronic system that can be used by anyone. This system can easily be transferred from one director’s computer to the next.

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

As for a national or global connection, my project includes a user friendly system that could spread beyond the walls of my high school. If our current director were to leave Elizabeth High School, she may take a copy of the filing system with her and establish it at other schools. Word of mouth could inspire other directors to implement a similar system in their own schools. I also created a small packet including a letter explaining the background on my project, examples of how to format the music and instrument inventory spreadsheets, and finally a cost outline. This packet was emailed to the Colorado Bandmaster’s Association to pass onto other first year instrumental music directors to help them get organized during their first few years.

What did you learn about yourself?

I developed many skills while completing my Girl Scout Gold Award. I was able to improve my time management skills, planning around my family, work, school and social life, finding time to work with my band directors on the music filing system. My organizational skills greatly improved, especially when trying to find a proper space for everything. I also improved my computer skills, since I used Google Document Spreadsheet for my organizational music filing system.

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

The bulk of my project was organization and I feel this will really help me with my future career goals. My dream is to become an elementary school teacher and I plan to use my improved organizational skills in my classroom, benefiting both my students and myself.

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

I feel that earning my Gold Award was just another step in my Girl Scout experience. I have been in Girl Scouts since kindergarten and step by step I went from being the cute little Daisy Girl Scout all the way to a Girl Scout Ambassador,  ready to start the next journey in life. My Gold Award was just another step in helping me become who I am today.

**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: Katie Abbott, Canon City High School, “Creative Corner Courtyard”

Katie Abbott 2

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I beautified a courtyard on the northwestern corner of the Progressive Care Center nursing home in order to give the residents in the adjacent wings a more uplifting view of the outside world.

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

Through interviews with the residents, as well as before and after pictures of the courtyard.

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

I created a website to promote awareness of my project at ktbuggles626.wix.com/goldaward2015 as well as creating a leaflet for the local library to file in their archives for anyone wanting to know more about doing a project like mine. There were also articles in the Daily Record and Pueblo Chieftain about my project. The Progressive Care Center has also agreed to continue maintenance on the courtyard, so their residents may continue to enjoy it for years to come.

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

My website.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that I have very good people skills in not being afraid to ask for what I need to get done and I am also very good at delegating.

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

It is a point of pride that I have completed such a difficult challenge. I wear it as a badge of honor that I have joined the ranks of so many, yet so few, girls who have surmounted such a daunting obstacle. It also gave me an immense sense of closure to finish this project, and in essence my Girl Scout career, just before I left for college. It was like getting to graduate all over again. The experience has given me confidence in my abilities to take an idea of mine and see it become a reality.

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

For all of the reasons listed above and also because it was a goal, a reason to stay in Girl Scouts until I was finally old enough to do 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: Sanskriti Saxena, Highlands Ranch, “GyaNidhi Youth Chapter”

Sanskriti Saxena

What did you do for your Gold Award project? 

I founded a youth chapter for a nonprofit organization which works for the cause of underprivileged children around the world. The GyaNidhi Youth Chapter held booths at different local events to spread awareness of the problems that face underprivileged children. At these booths, we passed out pamphlets, talked to the people about the problems, and how they could be solved. At a few events, we gave a speeches or presentations to educate the public further on the rising obstacles that overcome children in India. I also had a demonstration booth at a cultural event, that included Henna, traditional attire and general information on India and how to help Akshaya Patra.

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

The impact was measured in terms of the increase in number of volunteers for the organization chosen to be highlighted this year and also in the number of people showing interest to contribute.Through the different events, I was able to reach out to over 3,000 people from very diverse demographics and age groups.

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

The leadership position will rotate after time, so that the committee continues to work based on the bylaws prepared for the chapter. I have left bylaws for the GyaNidhi Youth Chapter to continue, starting with my brother as the leadership for this year. The GyaNidhi Youth Chapter will chose an organization to highlight for the year, that works to help people with such obstacles, and support and spread awareness for a year.

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

GyaNidhi Foundation focuses on different local and international organizations each year. This year, we chose Akshaya Patra, which is based in India. Akshaya Patra provides a midday meal to children in rural schools of India.The organizations that are chosen in later years can focus on different countries or different poverty-related issues.

What did you learn about yourself?

I found the leader in me by working on this project. I had several presentations and different types of events to diversify the audience I was talking to. This required me to start from scratch and build a team and be able to retain it through whole execution. I was able to do it successfully.

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

Personally, I feel that I have just matured in many aspects. I developed a stronger sense of self, healthy relationships, and critical thinking. It will help me in my professional life also as achieving the highest status of Gold Award will always stay with me and on my resume.

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

The outcomes of Girls Scouts is defined by Discover, Connect, and Take Action to become a leader. Through this project of mine, I discovered a problem, connected with people to make them aware about it, and took action to spread the awareness. I built a long lasting impression.

***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: Tristina Altman, COLORADO SPRINGS, “Recycling for a Cause”

Tristina Altman

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I established a recycling program at Pikes Peak Christian School, PPCS. I did this because, through the few years I attended this school, I discovered a lack of recycling, the school wasting money on trash disposal, tons of recyclable items being thrown away, and a desire by students and teachers for a recycling program. I addressed this issue head on, educated the students and staff and developed a recycling program. I connected with not only the school’s leadership and student body, but also connected with community partners like Waste Management.

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

There is less trash and more recycling due to students learning about recycling benefits and they seem to be excited helping out the environment. The school even was able to save money by now having a recycling program. I also measured by the students using the program and encouraging others to use it. It is now student and staff self-sustained, which was one of my biggest goals.

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

Pikes Peak Christian School student council/student body, staff, and classes have embraced the program. The staff and students will continue to recycle. We have a staff advocate in place and the Student Council promotes recycling in every class. They appoint individuals in every class to assist in taking out the recycling. The students and volunteers are also more than happy to pitch in and take out the recycling. We have a contract in place with Waste Management and they pick up the recycling dumpster every Monday.

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

Reducing waste is good for the environment because it conserves natural resources. Solid waste reduction and recycling also have an impact on global climate change. The manufacture, distribution, and use of products, as well as management of the resulting waste, all produce greenhouse gas emissions. Greenhouse gases, which trap heat in the upper atmosphere, occur naturally and help create climates that sustain life on earth. Increased concentrations of these gases can contribute to rising global temperatures, sea level changes, and other climate changes. Waste prevention and recycling, or what we call waste reduction, helps us better manage the solid waste we generate. Reducing waste is a start and strategy for reducing greenhouse gases because it can: Reduce emissions from energy consumption. Recycling saves energy. Through my project, I was able to save PPCS hundreds of dollars in trash expense, educate not only the student body, but also the staff in recycling. This now allows them the chance to do more for our community and the environment with the knowledge they now have.  I was also able to reach beyond my school and spread the word through my recycling project binders at libraries in the area.

What did you learn about yourself?

Throughout this project, I used a lot of leadership in the form of public speaking. Over the course of my project, I had to overcome my fear of public speaking and had to realize that I should not be afraid to let my voice be heard when it benefits others. I also realized that it does not matter if you are alone or how old you are, you can still influence others in a positive way.

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

The leadership skills that I acquired in Girl Scouts, and throughout my Gold Award Project have helped me face even my simplest of fears, from public speaking to standing up for something I believe in. These skills and the courage, and confidence I learned will also help in my future journeys and aspirations. I believe they will help me stand up more and fight for what is right and what I believe in, whether in a job, interview, or any situation I may face.

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 journey and experience, it helped me to find courage, confidence, and character within my journey and myself.

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

GIRL SCOUT GOLD AWARD PROJECT: Courtney Howell, Niwot, “STEAM Day”

Courtney Howell

What did you do for your Gold Award project? 

For my Gold Award project, I held a science, math, and engineering exploration day for middle and elementary school kids in my local area at my high school, to show them that science can be fun! The event consisted of 22 hands-on activities and learning displays that were designed to be fun, interactive, and educational, while encouraging kids to get interested and involved in STEM. Activities ranged from a wide variety of different science and engineering topics, and I had 16 different science and engineering organizations involved in the event, either by running a booth or by donating materials for an activity. The impact I had hoped to make, was to share the “wonder” of science and provide the opportunity for elementary and middle school children, to discover a passion or appreciation for science through hands-on activities.

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

I created a survey and had attendees fill it out rating their experience at the event, as well as specific aspects of the event to quantitatively measure the impact of my project, on my target audience. Comments from the surveys were incredibly positive, with the majority saying that the event was well done and a great opportunity that kids absolutely loved. Even before I tallied and analyzed the data, I could tell by how bustling the event was, how many kids I saw smiling, and deeply engaged in the various activities, that the event was a success.

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

My project will be sustained beyond my involvement by a group of leaders at my high school, who will take over the event by running it again next year. To help them get started, I provided a list of contacts and activities I used in my project. I also compiled this information into a “manual” of where to start in organizing the event, and mailed this manual to different schools around the state to allow other schools to run the event, something similar, or just to use its activities for teaching and spreading the fun of science and engineering.

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

STEM programs are important in furthering national wellbeing and technology, but there are areas of the U.S., and worldwide, that don’t have as many opportunities to expose kids to STEM and getting them interested in science and engineering. Polls done by the National Science Foundation in 2011,  report that nationwide only 34% of 8th grade students performed at or above the proficient level in math, and only 40% of 4th graders nationwide performed at or above the proficient level. Math and science are important for innovation and progress, yet so many students nationwide struggle because they do not have the opportunities to learn and discover STEM in an engaging way.

My event, STEAM Day, can also link nationally because it will be repeated next year and can also be put on by other schools or organizations. From Silver Creek High School, the STEAM Day can spread to other schools in the district, then from one school district to another. It can grow/spread from Longmont to another town in Colorado, and from other towns in Colorado to another state and later another. I have started a chain of potential STEAM Days that I hope will spread far beyond my local community.

What did you learn about yourself?

By completing my Gold Award project, I realized just how capable I am. Going into the project, I had some doubts about whether I could get it done in time or even if I had the motivation to complete the project, but I learned that I am motivated and capable. While the event came together a little last-minute for some things, I was able to put together a successful event with myself as the leader, proving to myself that I am a capable young woman who can achieve anything, even difficult, if I put my mind to it.

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

The practical life skills, such as time management, networking, and project management skills, I gained from doing this project will be invaluable for my future. Both in college and a prospective future career in genetic research, I will have to organize and execute large-scale research projects, which will require many of the same steps and skills as my Gold Award project did. Because of this, my leadership skills will continue to grow and improve as I identify topics of research interest, plan, and execute research, as part of or leading a team, that can hopefully help the greater community.

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

The Gold Award was a great way to use and refine the skills I had begun to develop through my 13 years in Girl Scouts. From selling cookies to going to camp, Girl Scouts introduces important skills, like networking, planning, and fundraising and these skills get put to practical use, as well as become improved, when you do your Gold 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

Christina Bear named Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy

Christina Bear 4x5

Congratulations to Christina Bear, 2015 Gold Award recipient from Golden! On August 28, 2015, she was named Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy by the Association of Fundraising Professionals. The award comes with a $2,500 prize to be used for education expenses. It is presented to an individual youth volunteer (18 and under) who has demonstrated outstanding commitment to the promotion of philanthropy and volunteerism through his/her work in the community. This commitment and impact is demonstrated specifically through sustained activity over a period of time. The individual acts as a role model for other youth in the community and generates interest in volunteerism in other groups.

In April 2015, Christina was awarded the inaugural Stephanie A. Foote Leadership Prize for Gold Award Excellence. 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 not only recognized for her project to earn her Gold Award, but also for a project she completed with her younger brother, Eric, in 2010. Their Radon Awareness Project (RAP) was locally- and nationally-recognized as a program to educate the community on the dangers of radon. With input and support from the Colorado Dept. of Public Health and Environment, EPA, American Lung Association, Jefferson County Health Department, Habitat for Humanity, Girl Scouts, 4-H, and CanSAR (Cancer Survivors against Radon), Christina and Eric created a targeted campaign to educate the community about radon and testing. Since inception, RAP has reached over 500,000 people via newspapers, TV, social media and rallies and more than 500 schools are contacted annually to participate in a Colorado radon poster contest. In 2012, Christina and Eric were invited to speak at the White House Summit on Environmental Education and at the Children’s Environmental Health Network (CEHN) where they discussed how youth can collaborate with public health officials to make a difference in environmental health, In addition, RAP has championed a Radon Resistant New Construction building code that has been adopted by 20 Colorado cities and contributed to writing HB 12-1165 which would require radon testing whenever a home is sold.

“Christina exemplifies courage, confidence and character. Her continued pursuit of excellence in all aspects of her life inspires her peers and community members to listen and follow, taking action to make their world a better place,” wrote Girl Scouts of Colorado CEO Stephanie A. Foote, who nominated Christina for this prestigious award.

Christina will officially accept her award at the annual National Philanthropy Day Luncheon on November 13, 2015 at Seawell Grand Ballroom, Denver Center for the Performing Arts.

2015 NPD winner release ALL

GIRL SCOUT GOLD AWARD PROJECT: Meagan Prewitt, Colorado Springs, “Shining the Light on Special Needs”

Meagan Prewitt

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

My project addressed the issue of inadequate accommodations  for children with special needs who attend Sunrise United Methodist Church.  My goal was to provide tools and/or a therapeutic area for these children.  While the scope of my project was scaled back from an entire room to a mobile chest, I feel children with special needs will benefit  greatly from the tools I put together for them.

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

I know that I made a difference because the children with special needs at SUMC are already using the tools I have provided to help them in their classes. The parents also feel more comfortable leaving their children now that they know they have ways to help with their disabilities.  My church community is now more aware, as are other churches, of the need for the appropriate area and tools for special needs programs. There are many people now willing to be volunteers to help continue to build on the project in the future and spread the word about it in the community. The children with special needs and their families are very happy that a program like this has started and the hope is that that will help them continue to attend church.

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

I created a Special Needs Project Report booklet that outlines the life-cycle of the project.  It details what equipment is needed, how to make some of the projects, suggestions on how to expand the program and a list of resources (books) that can be used for study. My project will continue to make an impact because there are people at Sunrise who will continue to work on growing this project and letting the community know that they have a safe place for children with special needs.

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

I presented my booklet to three other churches  (First United Methodist Church, First Presbyterian Church and Wilson United Methodist Church).  It is my hope that this booklet will aid these churches in starting their own programs and become a growing force in the community so that even more people can be educated on the importance of a comfortable and safe environment for the special needs community.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that being in a leadership role is a big responsibility that requires good communication skills, but that I am capable of managing a project this size. I now have a better understanding of how to manage and coordinate a project start-to-finish  and have attained better skills in gathering requirements for a project. I also learned that I have the skills to present a project like this to a person or group of people.

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

I am now more aware of those with special needs and working on this project has inspired me to want to do more for not only children with special needs, but anyone who is under-privileged.  I will strive in the future to make an impact in their lives.

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

Through my project, I have discovered ways to find challenges and overcome them. I have also gained practical life skills of communication through setting up meetings with various members of my church community. I found a way to promote cooperation and team building, as many members of my church came together to assist me on my project. I have many new relationships with these people and feel more connected to my community. I was able to identify a major community issue and can now identify more that I may be able to take action to resolve in the future. I know that I will be able to resolve more issues because I have gained a lot of confidence through this project, learned how to problem solve, discovered how to advocate for myself and those who can’t do it for themselves, and been able to inspire others to act and help me in my goals.

***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: Catherine Welch, Highlands Ranch, “ iTech for Seniors”

 

Catherine Welch

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

My project addressed senior citizens and their connection to technology. Because most of the older generations aren’t as familiar with technology as my generation is, my goal was to increase their knowledge about different electronics in our world today.  I set up multiple open-house technology sessions at Holly Creek Retirement Community. Along with the help of my volunteers, we were able to help over 33 residents with their technology questions.

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

I created surveys for residents in the Skylark Adult Day Care to complete at the end of every session. This helped me get feedback from the residents. It was a way to help me improve my sessions to ensure all their questions were getting answered.  I also was able to learn what different technology they were having difficulties with and they ranged from cordless phones to iPads.

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

After I completed my sessions at Holly Creek, I spoke with several members of my community, sent emails to multiple church youth groups, presented my project to the Centennial Star Service Unit leaders, and posted in the Facebook page for the service unit. Through these efforts, I was able to come in contact with Junior Girl Scout Troop 62599 to carry on my project with Holly Creek. I am so excited that others in my community will be able to see what a rewarding experience this can be. I have also left manuals at Holly Creek so the residents can refer to them on a daily basis.

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

Technology is present everywhere in our world today and the need for assistance with it is not only present in my community, but it is also present in other communities across the nation, and across the globe. One resident that my team and I helped was able to connect with his grandson on the east coast whom he hadn’t seen in many years. By giving the residents access to this technology, and knowing how to use it, they can be better connected to our society.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned a lot about myself while doing this project. I had to figure a lot of things out on my own and sometimes I would get to the end of the rope and think it was the end, but I continued to motivate myself and get the job done. I also used leadership skills like being open-minded to other’s opinions and ideas. When things wouldn’t go how I expected them to, I had to be open to ways around the obstacle. I worked on communication as I worked with a variety of different people and their styles of dealing with others.

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

This project gave me the experience and tools to be able to take on group projects with multiple people. It gave me confidence to take on long-term projects and follow through to the end. It proved my communication skills because of my interactions with older adults, presentations and speaking with people I haven’t worked with before. Using these skills will allow me to be an effective leader and to accomplish my goals despite setbacks I might face.

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

Earning my Gold Award was a way to finish out my Girl Scout career. I have been in Girl Scouts since I was 5 and throughout my 13 years I have been able to complete many things, including my Bronze and Silver Awards, so earning the Gold Award was a way to complete the missing pieces to my puzzle in Girl Scouting.

***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