Tag Archives: Arvada

Gold Award Girl Scouts impact Colorado communities and beyond

In the face of the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Girl Scouts continue to do all they can to make our world a better place by taking action to address issues facing their local communities. There are no better examples of this Girl Scout spirit and resiliency than the 16 Girl Scouts from across Colorado who recently earned the distinction of Gold Award Girl Scout, the highest honor in Girl Scouting. They include:

  • Sidney Barbier from Steamboat Springs, Steamboat Mountain School, tackled the issues of waste and recycling, particularly at Colorado state parks. She designed signage for state parks, hosted events to educate others about waste diversion, and even created a Junior Ranger curriculum.
  • Charlotte Blish from Arvada, Arvada West High School, started a nonprofit, Watering Communities, to teach elementary-aged students about how the lack of clean water impacts socio-economic and education resources in parts of Africa.
  • Clare Bolon from Longmont, Apex Homeschool Enrichment Program, developed and taught a week-long online course about how to write and read cursive. She also created resources to help students continue to practice their cursive after completing the course.
  • Kayla Fairweather from Parker, Ponderosa High School, developed a video curriculum on Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) to supplement the T1D training that teachers currently receive. It features the perspectives of diabetic students, parents, a professional athlete with T1D, an endocrinologist, and a diabetes resource nurse.
  • Zoe Johnson from Monument, Palmer Ridge High School, created a handbook and video about horse care and safety to educate new or inexperienced horse owners, as well as barn staff at summer camps.
  • Beatrice Lin from Longmont, Silver Creek High School, developed a workshop and handbook for Girl Scout Daisies and Brownies called “Bringing Global to Girls” (BGtG). The goal is to help younger Girl Scouts develop a sense of connection to the rest of the world and appreciation for other cultures.
  • Ellie McWhirter from Denver, East High School, developed a series of educational materials, including a website, to decrease plastic bag usage in her community and increase the knowledge of plastic bag pollution.
  • Isabella Mendoza from Longmont, Silver Creek High School, designed a cheap and sustainable habitat for solitary bees to lay eggs in and distributed more than 350 habitats around Colorado and the world. She also hosted a community event for people to make their own habitat.
  • With the help of local Girl Scout troops, Ashlyn Morrill from Parker, Chaparral High School, created a pollinator garden that attracts various pollinators, including hummingbirds, butterflies, bees, etc. Girls learned the importance of pollinators and were inspired to do their part to help conserve the pollinator populations.
  • Opal Mosbarger from Peyton, Falcon High School, addressed the issue of animal displacement during emergency situations. She collected kennels and blankets for Perfect Fit Wellness Center, so people can keep their pets safe during natural disasters and other emergencies.
  • Wren Murzyn from Fort Collins, Poudre High School, partnered with doctors, nutritionists, and others to create a guidebook to assist individuals who are wanting to get healthy, but don’t know where to start.
  • Meredith Neid from Denver, George Washington High School, started a self-care club at her high school to healthily address rising levels of stress amongst her peers. After the start of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, she adapted her project to include Zoom conversations with high school seniors about processing the pandemic and what it means to grow up during this time.
  • Anna Rahn from Colorado Springs, Pine Creek High School, created 17 STEM activities for schools and after-school programs. Due to the pandemic, she was unable to distribute them to local schools, so she developed a website where PDFs of the activities are available.

The Girl Scout Gold Award is the mark of the truly remarkable— earned only by a high school Girl Scout who works to address an issue she’s passionate about in a way that produces meaningful and lasting change. Whether it’s on a local, national, or global level, Gold Award Girl Scouts provide innovative solutions to significant challenges. Of the skills learned through Girl Scouts’ Highest Awards, leadership, organization, and critical thinking are the fundamentals of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Universities and colleges offer scholarships unique to Gold Award Girl Scouts, and girls are entitled to enlist at a higher pay grade if they join the military.

“Gold Award Girl Scouts don’t just change the world for the better, they change it for good—and these Girl Scouts embody everything this achievement stands for,” said Leanna Clark, Chief Executive Officer of Girl Scouts of Colorado. “Each of these young women addressed an issue that’s important to her in order to earn her Gold Award, and we congratulate each of these Gold Award Girl Scouts on this momentous accomplishment.”

You can learn more about these Gold Award Girl Scouts and their projects on the Girl Scouts of Colorado blog.

Meet National Gold Award Girl Scout Julia Trujillo

Girl Scouts of Colorado has two special opportunities for you to hear directly from 2020 National Gold Award Girl Scout Julia Trujillo. As a National Gold Award Girl Scout, Julia is one of one of ten teen activists honored by Girl Scouts of the USA. As a senior at Arvada West High School, Julia tackled the lack of accessibility to menstrual products in Colorado public schools and the stigma of periods. She partnered with Colorado State Representative Brianna Titone and led the high school’s Intersectional Feminist Club to create a legislative action committee, which introduced a bill to end period poverty and stigma, and advocated for students in Title One schools. Julia was also selected to be GSUSA’s girl activist and representative at the United Nation’s Girls Speak Out Girl’s Rights Townhall earlier in October.

  • Watch this special interview with Julia and Girl Scouts of Colorado CEO Leanna Clark.
  • Julia also participated in GSCO’s “Meet an Expert” webinar series on October 27, 2020. Girl Scouts of all ages and adults joined from across Colorado to learn about Julia’s journey to the Gold Award, becoming a National Gold Award Girl Scout, and her advice for other girls. Missed it? Listen here.

Girl Scouts who participated in the live session or listen to the recording can purchase their “Meet an Expert” patch online: https://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/about-girl-scouts/gsco-shop.html

Resources from the webinar:

Questions? Email aimee.artzer@gscolorado.org.

We want to hear how your girl is using her Girl Scout skills by taking initiative, caring for the community, and Girl Scouting at home. She can send in her story here.

Colorado Girl Scout Earns National Award for Addressing Lack of Menstrual Product Accessibility

Ahead of International Day of the Girl on October 11, Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) announced Julia Trujillo of Arvada as a 2020 National Gold Award Girl Scout—one of 10 teen activists nationwide who has shown extraordinary leadership and created change with sustainable impact. As a senior at Arvada West High School, Julia earned the Girl Scout Gold Award for tackling the lack of accessibility to menstrual products in Colorado public schools and the stigma of periods. As part of Julia’s research for her project, she found a 2017 BBC report that indicated 49% of 14-to-21-year-olds in the United States have missed an entire day of school because of their period and of them, 59% have made up an alternative excuse. Julia partnered with Colorado State Representative Brianna Titone and led the high school’s Intersectional Feminist Club to create a legislative action committee, which introduced legislation to end period poverty and stigma, and advocated for students in Title One schools. Even though Julia’s bill did not pass due to budget cuts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, her work inspired commitments from Jefferson County and Denver public schools to provide district-wide menstrual products. Julia also continues to advocate for ending period poverty and is currently interning for Rep. Tiptone.

In addition to being honored as a National Gold Award Girl Scout, Julia has been selected to be Girl Scouts of the USA’s girl activist and representative at the United Nation’s Girls Speak Out Girl’s Rights Townhall. She will speak about her advocacy efforts for menstrual equity. This event brings girl activists and policy makers together to discuss the gaps, challenges, and success in the girl’s rights agenda and how we can work together to build a more equitable world for girls.

Each year, thousands of Girl Scouts nationwide earn the Gold Award, the highest achievement a Girl Scout in high school can earn. These Gold Award Girl Scouts tackle an issue that is dear to them and drive lasting change in their communities and beyond. Annually, GSUSA recognizes 10 of these girls as National Gold Award Girl Scouts for completing projects that exemplify strong leadership and sustainable impact. Earning the Gold Award opens doors to scholarships, preferred admission tracks for college, and amazing career opportunities—as well as skills that set girls up for success, like strategic thinking, communication, collaboration, problem solving, and time management.

“We are immensely proud of the 2020 National Gold Award Girl Scouts! They are addressing issues that impact their community and matter to them,” said interim GSUSA CEO Judith Batty. “To earn the Gold Award, Girl Scouts must identify the source of a problem, develop a sustainable solution, and engage their communities in bringing about that solution. These ten remarkable girls are proof that Girl Scouts gives girls the tools to harness their inner power and make a meaningful difference in the world. In this difficult year and always, Girl Scouts are our hope for the future.”

This year, National Gold Award Girl Scout nominations underwent a rigorous multi-round review process, with finalist applications reviewed by a panel of previous National Gold Award Girl Scouts, leaders from a range of professional fields, GSUSA staff, Girl Scouts’ national volunteer partners, and representatives from the Kappa Delta Foundation and Arconic Foundation. The 2020 National Gold Award Girl Scouts will receive a combined $100,000 in college scholarships from Susan Bulkeley Butler, founder of a women’s leadership development organization and a former member of the Girl Scouts of the USA Board of Directors. The Kappa Delta Foundation and Arconic Foundation also each generously contributed $50,000 in college scholarships.

On October 10, girls are invited to attend the Girl Scouts Change the World virtual celebration ahead of International Day of the Girl to meet the 2020 National Gold Award Girl Scouts as they share their projects to inspire a new generation to step up in unique ways and transform the world around them. The event is powered by technology sponsor Microsoft. It is specially designed for Girl Scouts in grades 4-12 but is open to caregivers, volunteers, and girls who want to be inspired.

“Microsoft believes in inspiring girls to become the next generation of innovators and leaders,” said Olga Lymberis, Sr. Director, Community, Small Business, Education and Cloud Marketing, Microsoft. “For the second year, we are sponsoring the National Gold Award Girl Scout celebration because we know that closing the gender gap in fields like STEM requires tapping into girls’ creativity, providing encouragement, and highlighting real-world role models like these Gold Award Girl Scouts. By highlighting girls’ incredible achievements, Microsoft is continuing its efforts to promote diversity, inclusion and gender equality now and in the future.”

I 💚 Fall Product Program: Hailey from Arvada

Girl Scouts of Colorado’s 2020 Fall Product Program is now underway, and there’s still plenty of time for you to get started! Fall Product Program is a great way for troops (both new and existing) to earn proceeds to use for Girl Scout activities throughout the year or to get one step closer to reaching their next goal. All troops receive 13% of their magazine orders as troop proceeds, plus $1/per item for nuts and chocolates sold.

GSCO Media Star Hailey from Arvada told us what she likes about this program:

How many years have you participated in Fall Product Program?

I have been doing the Fall Product Program for three to four years

Do you like creating an avatar that looks like you? Do you record a message too?

Yes. I like to create an avatar because I can make her look just like me and I love it, it makes me feel like I have a mini fairy. For some years, I have recorded a message and other years not, but I like it either way.

What do you like about having an online storefront? Is it easy to connect with family, friends and other customers? Is it fun to use?

I like this because I can send the link to family who live outside the state. It is easy and fun to use.   

What tips for success would you share with girls who are participating for the first time?

Share with everyone and have a great goal! People like to know what you are going to do with the money you earn.

What nut or candy item (s) do your customers like best?

They like a little bit of everything. I always mention the Peanut Butter Monkeys.

What has your troop done with Fall Product Program troop proceeds that you’ve earned?

We use this money for supplies for the year.

What’s the coolest reward that you have earned?

S’mores Club stuff

Thank you, Hailey, for sharing your experience and tips with other Girl Scouts!

Want to participate? You’ll find the M2OS log-in instructions and set-up instructions, family guides, and an order card that shows all girl rewards are on the Fall Product Program page of the GSCO website. Parents/caregivers can also watch the How to Get Started in M2OS – For Families video and learn how to help their Girl Scout.

Need more information? Go to the Fall Product Program page on our website: https://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/cookies/fall-product-program.html and check out the Fall Product Program weekly update videos posted to GSCO Facebook page and YouTube channel.

Questions about Fall Product Program or need assistance? We are here to support you! Contact GSCO customer care at 1-877-404-5708 or email inquiry@gscolorado.org.

We want to hear how your girl is using her Girl Scout skills by taking initiative, caring for the community, and Girl Scouting at home. She can send in her story here.

Gold Award Girl Scout: Charlotte Blish, Arvada, “Watering Communities”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

Watering Communities started as an education platform for local elementary schools to discuss how the lack of clean water impacts socio-economic and education resources in parts of Africa while combining into the Jefferson curriculum of “how one person can make a difference.” I authored curriculum for the classroom setting, small workshops, large workshop venues, and an after-school club. In addition, I established a 501c3 nonprofit titled Watering Communities to extend the curriculum globally and to be able to send first-aid kits with water filters to countries experiencing natural disasters. I worked with international schools in Hong Kong and Taiwan, helping author STEM curriculum for their science, technology, and field-work courses; where students learned how to create various water filters, code a problem-solving game while learning how water impacts education and health, and compete a curriculum workshop so students could apply their knowledge in a field-type setting outside of the classroom.

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

Depending on the setting, it was measured by growth of knowledge either with a survey or group discussion. I measured if the students were able to apply the knowledge they had gained by recreating water experiments, building water filters, and applying the skills they had learned out in the field.

How is your project sustainable?

Watering Communities is sustainable two different ways:  As a 501c3 nonprofit with a board of directors and by a signed letter of commitment from Think International Primary. By establishing Watering Communities as a 501c3 with a board of directors, the board is able to proactively set goals on how to expand the educational components into additional overseas schools or organizations as well as monitoring water crises at the international level to send first-aid kits with water filters. Think International Primary enjoyed the custom-curriculum I wrote for them so much they are continuing to implement it at the fourth-grade level in their STEM classes. Students will learn about how water crisis can limit opportunities both physically and mentally, learn the science of water through an eight-week course, built prototype water filter models, and then apply the water filters into real world situations in a field setting. Think International Primary was inspired to also take on a fundraising component to help local children in their community.

What is your global or national connection?

Think International Primary of Hong Kong saw the webpage for Watering Communities and was curious about the curriculum specifically because it was oriented to towards elementary-age kids and was hands-on learning.  They reached out to me and we discussed what their needs were curriculum-wise, what additional resources I could help them with, and how the curriculum could apply to real life experiences outside of the classroom. Think International Primary asked me to custom-author a program to fit inside their eight-week STEM lesson plan based on learning about the scientific aspects of water, the properties of water, and how water affects people’s lives socially and economically. I built lesson plans to create water filtration systems, authored a software program to teach coding to students that emphasized the socio-economics of water in Africa, and planned workshop activities where the students could use all the skills they learned during a week-long camping expedition (think Outward Bound meets Outdoor Lab).  The students were so inspired by Watering Communities and working with me that they in turn wanted to help others. They hosted two fundraising events; one for recycling and one financial where the proceeds purchased water filters to be sent to a nonprofit in Thailand. It was during these additional events that Taipei Kuei Shan School heard about the program and adopted it in their curriculum as well. Taipei Kuei Shan School is also working with Watering Communities using the curriculum as a resource in their spring semester for 2020 and plans to again in 2021.

What did you learn about yourself?

When I began interviewing prospective candidates to be on the board of directors for Watering Communities, I felt confident and accomplished. I had taken every skill that I had learned throughout the years of Girl Scouts, from planning to problem solving, to delegating and taking the initiative, that I felt like the president of a company. I set out to educate my five local elementary schools about how something as simple as access to clean water can impact someone’s life and it grew beyond my wildest dreams to being a working 501c3, as well as making connections internationally in both Hong Kong and Taiwan. I initially thought I would run a couple of fun workshops and it grew into working hand-in-hand with our local teachers to supplement their curriculum, into authoring curriculum that is being used internationally in Hong Kong and Tawain, and into coding software for a game. Being able to see kids’ faces light up when they talk about their experiences with the curriculum was amazing.

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

By earning my Gold Award, I realized I can use a multitude of skills that will impact my future. I can choose from a variety of leadership skills like project management, delegating, training, and team collaboration. I can use soft skills like interviewing, giving positive feedback for reinforced behavior, and showing kindness to others. I know how to develop networks and how to build up those resources. I can author original curriculum and then customize it to be flexible in different learning environments. I know without a doubt I can take all these skills, and many, many more that I learned along the way while I earned my Gold Award, and apply them for the rest of my life.

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

I was very lucky that I had a leader who whole heartedly believed in Girl Scouts being a girl-led experience. She allowed us to plan. She allowed us to problem solve. She allowed us to be in charge. She encouraged us to see outside of the box and to travel; we camped almost every month of the year. Our troop did a group project for our Bronze Award by hosting a garage sale to raise money to purchase pet food and we also organized a blanket and towel donation program for the local pet shelter, and I loved it. I loved organizing and leading the other girls.  For our Silver Award, our troop decided we would earn our Silvers as individuals. When the Navy deploys a submarine for six months, families are allowed to send one shoebox of goodies to be opened at the mid-way point.  Because only 65% of families send shoeboxes, I organized a drive to collect paperback books, treats, snacks, card games, etc. for sailors who would not receive a box. I was able to send enough shoeboxes for two submarines and every sailor onboard also received a box of Thin Mints or Samoas. I knew I could work hard, plan a project from start to finish, and grow my leadership skills. When I worked on my Gold Award, I used all of the skills from making good eye contract during workshops (thank you cookie sales), learning about water as a resource (traveling to Costa Rica, Girl Scout Destinations), planning and organizing events (Father-Daughter dance with 200+ attendees per year, 2013-2018), being grateful (countless charitable experiences with Girl Scouts), and so many more experiences that I can’t list them all that I’ve had with Girl Scouts.  By earning my rank of Gold Award Girl Scout, I was proud of not just what I did to earn it, but of all the experiences that helped to make me the leader I am today.

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

I view myself as all of these things. Girl Scouting and the Gold Award helped me to become a well-rounded leader who has to be willing to take risks and be vulnerable. I could have simply run workshops and educated others about the impact of lack of access to clean water in rural Africa, and that would have been good enough to earn the Gold Award. I took a risk and authored curriculum for my local area schools and was inspired by the students’ questions and curiosity that I wanted to do more, so I set up and ran Watering Communities as a 501c3 nonprofit to try to get the word out. I had to innovate and custom-write curriculum for an international school in Hong Kong and then again in Taiwan. I had to be a go-getter when I was planning for how Watering Communities would continue function when I left for college.  Interviewing accomplished business leaders and selling them on the idea of being part of the dream so we could continue to work internationally was mind-blowing. The Gold Award process allowed me to use all my skills that I learned throughout scouting to accomplish the original goal and grow it into something grand.

**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.

Virtual Latinx/Hispanic STEM Event

Submitted by Genesis R., Girl Scout Gold Award candidate

Metro Denver

Arvada

[Details and forms available in Spanish and English. Detalles y formularios disponibles en español e inglés.]

Have an empty spot on your calendar on June 27, 2020 from 9-11:30 a.m.? Do you have a second-fifth grader interested in learning more about STEM? Come join us for a Virtual STEM Event!

This event was created as part of a Gold Award project aimed to get more girls from Latinx and Hispanic communities involved in STEM. Did you know that in 2015/2016, Latinas only represented 3.8% of STEM Bachelor’s Degrees across the United States?
(“Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM): Quick Take.” Catalyst, 14 June 2019, www.catalyst.org/research/women-in-science-technology-engineering-and-mathematics-stem/)

We will be talking about what STEM is, the impact and benefits of it, and doing some hands-on activities. If you are interested, please have a caregiver fill out the sign-up form with the attendee. Registration closes on June 20 at 11:59 p.m. (MDT) or when we have reached our capacity.
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfCI3Nfo6-PNrTJCItsErTcl-HvDLCpbX9mjEnumEbalh2WnQ/viewform?usp=pp_url

Calling all PAI’s and PA’s! Do you want a chance to practice your leadership skills? We’re looking for PAI’s and PA’s to help lead our camp. PAI’s can complete three out of six activities towards their PA pins. If you are interested in volunteering, please fill out a form below. We will be accepting entries until June 17 at 11:59 p.m. (MDT).
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScfJx4GEB0_EUHpRqT25eR0nDQ5UsbZf2sj2EORtBeuDH_C_A/viewform?usp=pp_url

We will be hosting this event through Zoom. A few days prior to June 27, we will send a reminder email, and the link to join. Capacity will be limited, so sign up soon! In addition, we would appreciate you filling out the survey below before attending the camp! If you would like to reach out to us, please feel free to email latingirlsandthefuture2020@gmail.com. Thank you!
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScVGLETizobVL2_k8zl1gQaeC-j2oDJdsQN0R50S9vPcPwk8Q/viewform?usp=pp_url

¿Tiene un lugar vacío en su calendario para el 27 de Junio de 9 a 11:30 AM? ¿Tiene un alumno de segundo a quinto grado interesado en aprender más sobre STEM? ¡Únete con nosotros para un evento virtual de día STEM!

Este evento fue creado como parte de un proyecto del Reconocimiento de Oro destinado a involucrar a más niñas de comunidades Latinas y Hispanas en STEM. ¿Sabía que en 2015/2016, las Latinas solo representaban 3.8% de los títulos de licenciatura de STEM en los Estados Unidos?
(“Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM): Quick Take”. Catalyst, 14 de junio de 2019, www.catalyst.org/research/women-in-science-technology-engineering-and-mathematics-stem/)

Hablaremos sobre qué es STEM, el impacto y los beneficios, y haremos algunas actividades prácticas. Si está interesado, pídale a un guardián legal que complete el formulario de registro con el asistente. (Solo necesita completar 1 de los formularios a continuación). La inscripción cierra el 20 de Junio a las 11:59 p.m. (MDT).
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfEeVZKy9aQoXn8NR7FSBw6QYaHjbfudpTEvrLF2PyPC-8OIg/viewform?usp=pp_url

PAI y PA

¡Llamando a todos los PAI’s y PA’s! ¿Quieres una oportunidad para practicar tus habilidades de liderazgo? Estamos buscando PAI’s y PA’s para ayudar a dirigir nuestro campamento. Los PAI’s pueden completar 3 de 6 actividades para sus pines de PA. Si está interesado en ser voluntario, complete los formularios a continuación. Aceptaremos entradas hasta el 17 de Junio a las 11:59 p.m. (MDT).
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfEeVZKy9aQoXn8NR7FSBw6QYaHjbfudpTEvrLF2PyPC-8OIg/viewform?usp=pp_url

Organizaremos este evento a través de Zoom. Unos días antes del 27 de Junio, le enviaremos un correo electrónico recordatorio y el enlace para unirse. La capacidad será limitada, ¡así que regístrese pronto! Además, le agradeceríamos que complete la encuesta a continuación antes de asistir al campamento. Si desea comunicarse con nosotros, no dude en enviarnos un correo electrónico a latingirlsandthefuture2020@gmail.com. ¡Gracias!
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScVGLETizobVL2_k8zl1gQaeC-j2oDJdsQN0R50S9vPcPwk8Q/viewform?usp=pp_url

Download PDF Flyer

We want to hear how your girl is using her Girl Scout skills by taking initiative, caring for the community, and Girl Scouting at home. She can send in her story here.

Volunteer Spotlight: Christie Waldrep

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Christie Waldrep of Arvada in the Metro Denver region is a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

GSCO asked Christie to answer a few quick questions about her volunteer experience. We hope you find her as inspiring as we did.

Why did you become a Girl Scout volunteer?

I became a volunteer for Girl Scouts when my daughter’s troop leader quit coming.

Tell us about your different volunteer roles as a Girl Scout.

I have a multi-level troop ranging from first through eighth graders. I am service unit fall product program manager, as well as the troop product program manager.

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

I have learned it is hard to keep a troop together and even harder to find volunteers. In the last seven years of being my daughter’s leader, I have had ten co-leaders.

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

I hope the girls learn skills they didn’t know they are capable of doing, like sewing, climbing, and being a leader.

How has your experience as a volunteer helped you become a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader)?

I feel like I have become a go-getter by just keeping some of my older girls in the troop into middle school and a risk-taker by bringing on new parents almost every year, looking for someone willing to help me lead the next generation. 

Want to nominate a volunteer for Girl Scouts of Colorado to spotlight? Please email Public Relations Director AnneMarie Harper at annemarie.harper@gscolorado.org. 

The nomination deadline for 2020 Volunteer Recognition Awards is April 30. GSCO invites members statewide to take this opportunity to recognize an outstanding volunteer by nominating them for a Volunteer Recognition Award. Nominators are responsible for ensuring enough endorsements are submitted to support their nomination of a volunteer for an award. Your volunteer support specialist can check nomination and endorsement submissions for you. Learn more.

Volunteer Spotlight: Jaime Ayala

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Jaime Ayala of Arvada in the Metro Denver region is a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

GSCO asked Jaime to answer a few quick questions about her volunteer experience. We hope you find her as inspiring as we did.

Why did you become a Girl Scout volunteer?

I was a Girl Scout when I was young and had the best experience because my leader was amazing. I wanted the same thing for my younger daughter and decided to start a troop because there were none in our area for her to join.

Tell us about your different volunteer roles as a Girl Scout.

We started when my daughter was in second grade, so I was just hoping to get enough girls to form a troop. The first year we ended up with 18 Brownies. When half of the troop bridged at the end of that year, I decided that if we were going to have two levels, we might as well open to any Daisies that were interested as well. Our troop has continued to grow and this year, we are currently at 67 registered girls in K-8th. I have supported the troop as the main leader. I have also taken on a couple levels and this year, I am lucky enough to have a dedicated leader at each level, so I get to support all of the girls as needed. I have served as our TCM for all five years as well.

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

I have learned to use the project management skills that I use at work every day to help manage our large troop. I have also learned that I love helping girls find their inner strength and grow into amazing young ladies.

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

I hope they have learned that they are strong and can do anything they put their minds to. I hope they have learned leadership skills and have gained the confidence to know that their opinions matter and that they should never be afraid to voice their opinions. I hope they have learned that they can make ANY impact on the world around them, no matter how big or small, through their actions. I hope each girl looks back on her time with Girl Scouts with fondness and has great memories, like I did, and maybe decides to be a part of this organization and be a leader to future girls. 

How has your experience as a volunteer helped you become a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader)?

Being a leader has given me the opportunity to develop relationships with girls and parents that I would have never have had the opportunity to meet.  Being a part of this amazing troop has allowed me to do so many fun activities such as hiking and camping, but I really appreciate that we have focused on supporting our community. We’ve done a stuffed animal drive, multiple warm clothing drives, etc.

Want to nominate a volunteer for Girl Scouts of Colorado to spotlight? Please email Public Relations Director AnneMarie Harper at annemarie.harper@gscolorado.org. 

The nomination deadline for 2020 Volunteer Recognition Awards is April 30. GSCO invites members statewide to take this opportunity to recognize an outstanding volunteer by nominating them for a Volunteer Recognition Award. Nominators are responsible for ensuring enough endorsements are submitted to support their nomination of a volunteer for an award. Your volunteer support specialist can check nomination and endorsement submissions for you. Learn more.

Sister CEO sellers

Submitted by Tricia P.

Metro Denver

Arvada

Girl Scouts (and sisters) Hailey and Peyton heard about the CEO reward for selling 2,020 packages of cookies this year and they were on board! Mom, on the other hand, had her doubts. That is 4,040 packages in one house! But, these girls are go-getters and risk-takers. They were not taking caution for an answer.

About four weeks into the program, they were just half way to their gaol and getting very tired. We had a long talk and they said they wanted this and were going to do it! That’s when they sold 600 packages in one weekend. Together and with the support of family friends and local businesses, they did it. They finished with not just 2,020 each, but 2,151 each!

This story was submitted using the Share Your Stories form. You can share your Girl Scout moments, too.

Gold Award Girl Scout: Julia Trujillo, Arvada, “The Period Project: Free and Accessible Menstrual Products for Colorado Schools”

What did you do for your Gold Award project? 

For my Gold Award project, I asked Colorado Representative Brianna Titone to introduce a bill on my behalf. House Bill 1131 creates a grant program to provide funding for free and accessible menstrual products/product dispensers in Title One Colorado schools. I rallied community support and started the conversation about period poverty and period stigma in our state’s government and in my community and beyond.

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

The target audience of my Gold Award is girls/menstruators in schools with 75% or more students in free and reduced price  lunch programs. By creating a program that prioritizes getting products into these low-resource schools, I have been able to ensure that my Gold Award will impact those with the greatest need.

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

The grant program created, if passed, will be sustained through the state. It has currently cleared the House Education committee and still needs to pass through the Senate, but I’m very hopeful and confident in this because of the bill’s success thus far. If the bill does not pass, my work has still inspired significant initiatives such as the commitments from Jefferson County and Denver Public Schools to provide district-wide products.

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

My efforts to eradicate period and poverty started small within my own high school and expanded from there to address the needs of students in my district and finally throughout my state. The attention the bill has gained through various media outlets including a podcast based out of New York will help spread this movement throughout the nation with the help of various organizations and nonprofits I partnered with and secured testimony from such groups as Period.Org, Period Kits Denver, and Free The Period Co. which have all been spreading the word about the bill through social media and blog posts. Period poverty and stigma is rampant worldwide. There is a lot of work to be done to solve this global epidemic. By normalizing periods and providing for menstruating minors in developing  countries, it will become easier for us to view periods as normal aspects of life. Providing products to those in need will become a matter of public health and safety. This will allow our society to begin to prioritize addressing the unmet needs of menstruators all around the world.

What did you learn about yourself?

I have learned that I am 100% capable of advocating for my ideas and beliefs, even in the face of opposition and I can respectfully and intelligently disagree and vocalize my disagreement. My project has shown me that my ideas and solutions are worthwhile and can help the world around me. By spending so much time outside of my comfort zone, I’ve expanded my comfort zone. Countless meetings, proposals, presentations, interviews, etc. have made me feel like I can handle any pressure or task.

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

My Gold Award has entirely changed my idea of what my future will look like. Going into my project, I was fairly uncertain of what exactly I wanted to do. Throughout my Gold Award journey, I’ve discovered the passion and interest I have in policy and the legislative process. I’ve discovered I want to pursue a career in this area.

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

I feel that earning my Gold Award has allowed me to finally put all the leadership skills Girl Scouts armed me with to use. I was able to truly find real life applications to everything I’ve learned over the years about being assertive and creating change when I see a problem.

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

I truly feel that I have become a risk-taker. From speaking about taboo, vulnerable issues in a testimony before a legislative committee, to proposing a resolution to my school board, to lobbying to General Assembly members and senators, my Gold Award has put me in countless situations that would have terrified me a year ago. I have learned to believe in myself and believe that if I put in the work and research, I will be heard, and deserve to be heard. Taking risks throughout my Gold Award project has allowed me to become a braver, stronger, and more confident version of 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