Tag Archives: Discovery Canyon 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.

Gold Award Girl Scout: Annie Nikolaus, Colorado Springs, “Building a Buddy Bench Community”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award project, I built buddy benches for my local K-12 public school. Each level of the K-12 school (high school, middle school, and elementary school) received their own decorated Buddy Bench, but also got to participate in an age-appropriate lesson about buddy benches and what they can do to be better friends to other students. As part of the high school lesson plan, the high school student council helped to decorate a Buddy Bench that was donated to the Air Force Academy Youth Center for them to use with their kids!

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

I measured the impact of my project by having students take surveys after they went through the lesson I had made. I asked questions about what they learned and how they thought they would be able to use their new knowledge in the future. I also received a lot of feedback about my project from teachers, students, and families that I took into account when looking at the overall impact of the project.

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

My project is sustainable because the Discovery Canyon High School Student Council decided to continue my project. They will be working with the counselors at Discovery Canyon to continue the friendship lessons for all the campuses and maintain the benches! Kids will continue to learn about friendship and have the tool of buddy benches years to come.

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

I compiled all of my lesson plans, bench designs, and materials into one large document and sent it out to schools in Colorado, across the country, and internationally. I thought that these plans would work great all over the world because kids everywhere deal with loneliness and can use the tools and learn new skills on how to be a good friend.

What did you learn about yourself?

The biggest thing I learned is that I can complete a project this big! It was hard to work on something for so long and not see the end, but every little bit of effort gets you closer to your goal! Now, I know I can accomplish projects like this (or even bigger) in the future!

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

My Gold Award will impact me in the future because it gives me an experience that I can rely on as a foundation when I take on bigger projects. It will give me the motivation that I can do great things in the future because I know I have accomplished something so big before.

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

The Gold Award was an important part of my Girl Scout experience because it was an achievement to show off all the time and effort I had spent in the Girl Scout program over the last 12 years! It gave me a nice way to finish that experience and a bridge to the next chapters of my life!

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

Earning my Gold Award helped me become an innovator because throughout my project I faced many challenges. To finish my project and to make it the best it could be, I had to come up with creative solutions and think outside the box to overcome the problems I faced. Without trying new ideas I would have been stuck, but instead, I kept trying new things until something worked!

**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