Tag Archives: Castle View High School

Gold Award Girl Scouts impact Colorado communities and beyond

Twelve Girl Scouts from across Colorado have earned the distinction of Gold Award Girl Scout, the highest honor in Girl Scouting, after completing Take Action projects benefiting their local communities and those around the world.

  • Brittany Argo from Aurora, Cherokee Trail High School, built a prayer garden at St. Michael’s the Archangel and aided in the construction of a prayer garden at a church in the Philippines.
  • Evyn Batie from Loveland, Mountain View High School, led a team of students to create the Northern Colorado Student Mental Health Resource Guide, an electronic compilation of some of the best youth mental health resources across the region.
  • Bryce Civiello from Evergreen, Conifer High School, designed a pamphlet for teens that can help them take the first steps toward getting help from a mental health professional.
  • Angela Foote from Centennial, Arapahoe High School, developed a relationship between the organizations Family Promise of Denver and Denver Tech for All to ensure low-resource students and families have ongoing access to computers.
  • Madeline Ford from Englewood, Cherry Creek High School, partnered with the Boys & Girls Club to create a five-session literacy program, which promotes a positive reading environment and teaches children new ways to express themselves through books and poetry.
  • Littlepage Green from Breckenridge, Summit High School, created a lesson plan and video to educate students about food allergies. In-person lessons also included training on how to properly use an epi-pen.
  • Maya Hegde from Englewood, Cherry Creek High School, partnered with the Mangala Seva Orphanage in India and Brydges Centre in Kenya to teach girls how to make reusable sanitary pads using materials they already have. The program she developed also taught the girls how to sell sanitary pads in their own communities to tackle the stigma around the menstrual cycle.
  • Grace Matsey from Highlands Ranch, Mountain Vista High School, created a music tutoring program for elementary and middle school musicians, which was run by members of her high school’s Music Honor Society.
  • Annarlene Nikolaus from Colorado Springs, Discovery Canyon High School, oversaw the construction of a series of buddy benches for local K-12 public schools. Students also participated in age-appropriate lessons led by Annarlene about buddy benches and what they can do to be better friends.
  • Bailey Stokes from Buena Vista, Buena Vista High School, created outdoor-based lesson plans for the use of fourth grade science teachers across Colorado. Topics covered included investigations, habitat, and adaptations.
  • Emma Lily from Longmont, Silver Creek High School, designed a website, created a podcast, and wrote a children’s book celebrating the Longmont Sugar Beet Factory and its historical significance.
  • Katherine Walden from Larkspur, Castle View High School, taught elementary school students about the importance of bees and how to install bee boxes that local bee species and other pollinators can call home.

Open only to girls in high school, the Girl Scout Gold Award is the most prestigious award in the world for girls—and the most difficult to earn. The Gold Award project involves seven steps: 1. Identify an issue, 2. Investigate it thoroughly, 3. Get help and build a team, 4. Create a plan, 5. Present the plan and gather feedback, 6. Take action, 7. Educate and inspire. 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 recipients, and girls who enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces may receive advanced rank in recognition of their achievements.

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

Girl Scouts of Colorado is 32,000 strong—more than 22,000 girls and 10,000 adults who believe in the power of every G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ to change the world. Our extraordinary journey began more than 100 years ago with the original G.I.R.L., Juliette Gordon “Daisy” Low. On March 12, 1912, in Savannah, Ga., she organized the very first Girl Scout troop, and every year since, we’ve honored her vision and legacy, building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. We’re the preeminent leadership development organization for girls. To volunteer, reconnect, donate, or join, visit www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org.

Girl Scout Gold Award project: Alexis Montague, Castle Rock, “Encouraging females to pursue STEM careers”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award, I focused on encouraging girls to pursue STEM careers by providing middle school and high school girls with role models. My research showed that STEM is primarily dominated by males with ratio being around ¾ male and ¼ females. Women in STEM is a complex issue that is caused by numerous problems. I decided to focus on role models since studies have shown that by providing successful female role models, more women are willing to put in the effort for these careers. In order to achieve this, I developed a panel consisting of engineers from many different fields within engineering. They came and talked about the challenges within the STEM field and how to overcome them. The panelists also discussed what employers are looking for both in academics and internships.

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

I measured the impact of my project through a survey given at the end of my panel event. The survey contained questions about how to improve the event for the future and if the girls who attended had learned anything new. I also talked to many of the girls after my event to hear what they had thought about the event.

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

My project will be sustained through my high school. My school has been divided up into four different academies: STEM, BHS, VPA, and LGC. As I had already done my event at the school and had numerous teachers and administers involved, my advisor/teacher is willing to sponsor another girl to run the event with the guidance of my manual, so all they must do is choose a date that works with them, find panelists, and advertise to the middle schools.

One of my panelists is a member of the Denver chapter of Business and Professional Women. When she heard that a component of the Gold Award project was that it needed to be sustained in some way, her chapter agreed to also put on this event in the future as part of their programming.

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

The imbalance between the genders within STEM careers is a national issue. For my project to reach a wider audience nationally, I created a website. The website depicts the issue of women in STEM and highlights some of the reasons behind the difference between the genders.  I sent letters to 50 schools within Colorado, ranging from Fort Collins to Colorado Springs, with the information about my event and what girls learned, why they should do it, and where they could get the manual and visit my website for more information.

What did you learn about yourself?

The most important aspect that I learned about myself was discovering what I was most passionate about and discovered my voice for it. It has enabled me to stand for what I believe in and develop solutions for the problems. It also showed me that I am able to successfully put on events as a leader.

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

My Gold Award has provided me with numerous professional skills and the ability to put on a major event. I know it will have a major impact on my ability within my own career. My Gold Award taught me invaluable tools that I need for my future career, both in acting professional and the ability to lead and develop a major event.

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

I have been a Girl Scout since I was in kindergarten. The Gold Award was the final award that I could complete within the program after finishing the Bronze and Silver. But, it was more than that. The Gold Award took all my leadership and event planning skills I had obtained through the program and pushed them to their limits, and expanded past what I already had. It showed me what I was able to achieve with the skills I had learned through my 13 years of being a Girl Scout.

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

G:  The Gold Award made me find an issue that occurred within my community and forced me to find a solution, or in the case of my project be a part of the solution. It made me develop a plan in order to achieve the solution of providing role models so that I could pursue a component of the entire problem of the unbalanced genders within the STEM field.

**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: Rebecca Hefty, Castle Rock, “Improving Wiggly Field Dog Park”

Rebecca Hefty

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

A huge passion of mine is animals so when I saw a need in my community to improve my local dog park, Wiggly Field Dog Park, I knew that’s what I wanted to do for my Gold Award Project. The dog park did not have any shade for dogs or places for their people to sit. For shade, we installed a 10’x 16′ Trex pergola on a cement slab.  I also installed two new picnic benches underneath of the pergola for people to sit and relax. We also installed a sign in Wiggly Field Dog Park’s parking lot, so the community can easily find the local dog park. On Sunday, January 29, 2017, from 1 – 4 p.m. I held an Opening Day Celebration at Wiggly Field Dog Park. At the celebration, I invited local dog-related businesses to have stations with merchandise for sale and/or information about their business. The celebration also had a Girl Scout troop selling Girl Scout Cookies because it was the also the first day of cookie sales for the year.

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

Before I did this project the park would only have a few visitors a day.  At the Opening Day Celebration, we had about 250 people come with their dogs. I had many people tell me “I have never seen this many people here,” “we come here all the time, but there are never any dogs to play with our dog,” “ I didn’t even know that we had a dog park in our neighborhood.”  Since the Opening Day Celebration the park has 10-15 visitors each day. I think this number will also increase as the weather improves and more people are doing things outside with their dogs.

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

Throughout my project I made many conscious efforts to make changes to the park that would last for a long time and will not require a lot of maintenance. For example, we ordered a Trex pergola instead of a wood/ cedar pergola. Even though a wood pergola would be less expensive upfront it actually becomes more expensive in the long run. Trex pergolas are made from recycled plastic and they have a 20-year warranty on them so if something goes wrong  The Meadows Neighborhood Company, the business that maintains the park, will be able to fix it free of charge as long as they follow the warranty requirements.

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

I have a huge passion for helping all animals especially misunderstood breeds like pit bulls and rottweilers. I feel that the Villalobos Rescue Center has made a huge difference in so many pitbulls lives but they have also made a huge impact on the way people think about pit bulls. I also sent the Villalobos Rescue Center in New Orleans a letter explaining what a Gold Award is and what I did for my project. I also attached some pictures that were taken throughout my project so they could see what I have done to better the lives of people and their dogs in my local community.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned so many valuable life skills from this project, including leadership, perseverance, and negotiation skills. There were many times during the process of my project that I thought to myself “every girl should do this kind of project” and “when I have kids, I want them to be apart of an organization like this that helps kids learn valuable life lessons and prepare them for their future.”

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

By earning my Gold Award, I have opened a lot of doors for myself. It is an accomplishment that I will be able to write on college applications and job applications for the rest of my life. Earning your Gold Award says something about who you are and also sets you apart from others.

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

Ever since I joined Girl Scouts I have been working towards my Gold Award by working on the journeys and earning my Bronze and Silver award. Everything I have done in Girl Scouts has prepared me for earning my 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

Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Lindsay Iannone, Castle Rock, “Revitalization and Organization of the Faith Lutheran Church Library”

 

Lindsay Iannone

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I addressed the library functionality at Faith Lutheran Church (FLC) and the shortage of public computer availability in the city of Castle Rock. I removed unwanted books, received new donations, and purchased books and DVDs. In addition, I created an online cataloging/organization system for the library. I also added a public computer that church members, visitors at the church waiting on financial aid, and anyone in the community can use as a resource.

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

The biggest example of the project’s impact on the community is the overall turnaround of the library. The library is completely organized and accessible to all members and visitors of the church and anyone in the community. Multiple members and staff of the FLC commented on how grateful they were that I completed this project and how they will be able to use the space in the future. I also reached out to different community organizations to educate them about the new computer and book resources so that they could refer their clients to the church as well.

Howis your project sustainable?Howwillyourprojectcontinue to impact after yourinvolvement?

A group within FLC will be continuing the maintenance of the library for years to come. I wrote a guide about how to keep the library organized, how the cataloging system works, and how the computer should be kept up to date, so that the group has all of the details and expectations laid out clearly. This will keep the library organized, accessible, modern, and interesting for the congregation and community to use.

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

My global link was with the Lutheran Church of South Sudan (LCSS). The LCSS is building the Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Gambella, Ethiopia to train local and regional pastors. One of their most important buildings will be, of course, a library. However, the LCSS does not have the funds to buy thousands of resources for their seminary library. We donated 223 books, VHS, and Bibles that were not being used in the FLC library to the LCSS seminary. These books will help them reach their goal of 10,000 copies, and allow them to train even more pastors in the region.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned so many valuable things from doing this project! The most obvious skills I have developed are communication skills. Additionally, I learned more about multi-tasking, organization, and adult-life skills. I also greatly expanded my leadership experience and skills through this project, and discovered that I actually really enjoy leading teams and individuals.

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

Earning my Gold Award has set me on a road to success. With all the skills I’ve learned, I feel very prepared to enter college and the adult world as a strong and contributing member of society. The Gold Award has also given me an advantage in select college and scholarship programs, which will help advance my knowledge and fund my education.

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

I have been in Girl Scouts since kindergarten, so earning my Gold Award felt like the greatest culmination to my Girl Scout journey. It was a way to combine all of the skills I had learned in Girl Scouts over the years into one great project that could serve the community. There is not better way to honor and celebrate your time as a Girl Scout than through the 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