Tag Archives: Girl Scout Gold Award

Christina Bear’s message to Colorado Bronze, Silver, and Gold Award Girl Scouts

Gold Award Girl Scout Christina Bear is the first recipient of Girl Scouts of Colorado’s Stephanie A. Foote Leadership Prize for Gold Award Excellence. In 2015, Christina earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor in Girl Scouts, for organizing a week-long technology 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. Later that year, she was awarded the Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy Award presented by the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Now a student at Harvard University, Christina has a special message to Colorado Bronze, Silver, and Gold Award Girl Scouts.

My name is Christina Bear and I am the first Girl Scout to receive the Stephanie A. Foote Leadership Prize  for Gold Award Excellence. Thank you GSCO and thank you Ms. Foote.

There are three pillars of this award that I see every single day.

  1. Excellence. It constantly inspires me to be the best I can be no matter what I do.
  2. Community impact no matter how small or big.
  3. Networking with people having different skill sets and sharing my very own skill sets to be stronger and better as a team.

I attend Harvard University and I’m a junior majoring in Computer Science. My favorite class: CS50. After my freshman year, I was invited to be a Teaching Fellow and I’ve done that for two years. Girl Scouts gave me many opportunities to teach and having confidence to teach makes it smoother.

After my freshman year, I went to Paris and worked with a team of students in an Urban Biology summer elective to find a solution for refugees in Paris who need access to water for bathing and hygiene. From the get go, I led my team to truly create impact for a global challenge. We had to work hard to make our project sustainable (bubblebox.com). I’m happy to share with you our community project won a grant of 25000 euros to further our prototype and I am networking with the engineering department here at Harvard to bring the prototype to fruition. My skills from Girl Scouts of organization, team building, and communication have sure come in handy!

This summer, I will be doing an internship at Facebook. It was like preparing for my Gold Award. Interview skills, resumes, business cards, thank you emails, and follow up letters – all these skills I learned at Girl Scouts came to help me in searching for my internship.

Ms. Foote, the staff members, and Board of Directors of GSCO, and my Gold Award mentor, Ms. RaeAnn Dougherty, I want to thank you. You have given me the gift of empowerment and shown me the importance of community impact which for me has now taken on a global scope.

To all Gold Girl Scouts, Silver, and Bronze, your hard work makes a difference in our community. Grow yourself to be the best you can be. Believe in yourself and trust in your skills set. I am incredibly proud of you!

Gold Award candidate fights hunger with container gardening kits

Girl Scout Ambassador Kyra T. from Grand Junction is working to earn the Gold Award, the highest honor in Girl Scouts. For her project, she partnered with the Grand Junction Community Food Bank to provide their clients with vegetable container gardening kits. Each kit contained soil, seeds, nutritional information, and a “how-to” brochure, which she created after experimenting with container gardening. GSCO asked Kyra to describe her project in her own words. She wrote, “By creating and distributing container gardening kits, my hope is to influence healthy food choices among low-resource or struggling families so they are able to provide their children and themselves with healthy produce at low or minimal cost, as well as teach their kids about good nutrition. Container gardens are suitable for a variety of plants and can be grown on a windowsill, a front porch, or balcony, making them suitable for many types of living environments and easy for families to use.”

Thanks to News11/KKCO-TVand Grand Junction Daily Sentinel for sharing Kyra’s story with their audiences.

Colorado lawmakers honor Gold Award Girl Scouts

On Monday, April 8, Colorado State Senators broke from traditional business to honor 42 Gold Award Girl Scouts from across Colorado. More than half of this year’s honorees were at this recognition, which took place shortly after the session opened at 10 a.m. To earn the Gold Award, the highest honor in Girl Scouts, each of these young women completed a large-scale project that solves a community problem not only in the short-term, but for years into the future. By doing so, they’ve gained extraordinary leadership and citizenship skills that mark them as valuable contributors to their communities and world.

In addition to honoring these Girl Scouts and their extraordinary Gold Award projects that benefited communities across the world, Girl Scouts of Colorado introduced the winners of the Stephanie A. Foote Leadership Prize and the Debbie Haskins Spirit of Girl Scouting Award. Emily Kretschmer from Colorado Springs received the Stephanie A. Foote Leadership Prize. She partnered with the nonprofit Status: Code 4 to produce a documentary to raise awareness of the hardships families of first responders can face and start meaningful conversations amongst families themselves. The Stephanie A. Foote Leadership Prize was made possible through a generous gift to the Girl Scouts of Colorado Endowment by Girl Scouts of Colorado President & CEO Stephanie A. Foote. “Emily’s project is an exceptional example of sustainable impact through leadership. I am proud to present this prize to her and recognize Girl Scouts whose Gold Award projects have made a lasting impact,” Foote said.

Emily was honored along with three other Gold Award Girl Scouts, who the selection committee for the Stephanie A. Foote Leadership Prize determined were deserving of Honorable Mention. Madeline Ford from Englewood partnered with the Boys & Girls Club to create a five-session literacy program to promote a positive reading environment and teach children new ways to express themselves through books and poetry. To tackle the stigma for girls in some countries around the menstrual cycle, Maya Hegde from Englewood developed a program to teach girls in underdeveloped countries girls how to make reusable sanitary pads with materials they have and how to sell sanitary pads in their own communities.  Keaton Maring from Arvada built a life jacket loaner station at Standley Lake. Along with the station, she created an educational sign and a sustainable loaning program for the life jackets to provide more people with lifesaving equipment.

Mykaela Ryan from Broomfield was awarded the Debbie Haskins Spirit of Girl Scouting Award. She drew on her personal experiences with stuttering to create a video and educational presentation to inform high schoolers about how to interact with someone who stutters. Mykaela demonstrated bravery and pride by presenting her project directly to students at her own school, and beyond, to raise awareness and stop bullying. This award is given in memory of Girl Scout Gold Award Mentor Debbie Haskins, who had a passion for working with older Girl Scouts. It recognizes one outstanding Gold Award Girl Scout from Colorado who exemplifies the Girl Scout spirit through courage, confidence, and character.

“Earning the Girl Scout Gold Award designation is truly a remarkable achievement, and these young women exemplify leadership in all its forms,” said Foote. “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 are making the world a better place.”

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.

The following Colorado Girl Scouts are among the 42 statewide who will be receiving the prestigious Gold Award for the 2018-19 Girl Scout awards year:

  • Mia Aguon from Parker, Ponderosa High School, was inspired to prevent the use of vaporizers inside of businesses in her community. She created straightforward and informative “No Smoking Including E-Cigarettes” signs to raise awareness for customers and allow business owners to be supported in not allowing indoor vaping.
  • Brittany Argo from Aurora, Cherokee Trail High School, built a prayer garden at St. Michael the Archangel’s and aided in the construction of a prayer garden at a church in the Philippines.
  • Danise Bachman from Northglenn, Colorado Preparatory Academy, discovered through her own experience with grief a lack of resources for children, especially around the holidays. She partnered with Judi’s House to create thoughtful coloring and activity pages for children experiencing grief to reflect on their special person.
  • 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.
  • Mackenzie Block from Colorado Springs, Liberty High School, partnered with Ronald McDonald Charities to create a treasure closet, so children staying at the house in Colorado Springs can play with and check-out new and engaging toys. She also put together a how-to guide, which she shared with other Ronald McDonald Charities across Colorado and the United States.
  • Inspired by her own struggles with mental illness, Trinity Brubaker from Longmont, Lyons Middle/Senior High School, created a Free Little Library focused on mental health resources. She also developed and taught a comprehensive curriculum to local students to raise awareness about mental health issues.
  • After learning that many people don’t know how often they need to replace their smoke detectors and the dangers of having a defective smoke detector, Cassidy Christian from Highlands Ranch took action. She developed a “Smoke Detector 101” resource in Spanish and English. She also designed and distributed magnets to remind families to change their smoke detectors.
  • 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.
  • Emily Clark from Colorado Springs, Rampart High School, used her own artistic ability to create a comprehensive and engaging art curriculum for fourth graders centered around what it means to be a naturalist. She partnered with a local school to teach the lessons herself and adapt the program to be used in many different educational settings.
  • Emma Conroy from Golden, Golden High School, lives with epilepsy and was inspired to help children who may feel intimidated by getting an EEG, so she created an educational video on what to expect when getting an EEG. She also developed an informative card to direct individuals to her video and partnered with local hospitals to share it with patients and families.
  • Kayla Davis from Granby, Middle Park High School, designed, built, and installed an adaptive obstacle course for the National Sports Center for the Disabled for use with their athletes. She also acquired a grant to purchase a box trailer to easily transport the obstacle course so more athletes can use it across Colorado.
  • Daisy Deane from Littleton, Regis Jesuit High School, partnered with Carson Nature Center to build mason bee houses and created an educational program for children to learn about mason bees and how they help the environment. The nature preserve continues to maintain the informational program and the mason bee houses.
  • Mariam Dhunna from Aurora, Grandview High School, created a pen pal program for children ages 11-19 living with epilepsy to show them that they are not alone and encourage them to be social. Mariam also taught a comprehensive social skills curriculum for the children focused on learning how to feel confident in establishing new relationships.
  • Sarah Dormer from Greenwood Village, Cherry Creek High School, upcycled 76 dog waste bag dispensers that her city was going to throw away by turning them into solitary beehives and birdhouses. She then distributed the beehives and birdhouses to community members at the Greenwood Village Earth Day celebration.
  • Brooke Eshbach from Colorado Springs, Liberty High School, invented and built creative models of training aids for service dogs in partnership with the Paw Pals Assistance Dogs organization. Her training aids have been so helpful and successful that she now has a pending patent for the design.
  • Amy Fishman from Boulder, Fairview High School, created and taught a curriculum to encourage teens to take initiative in their connection with nature and environmental stewardship. The program she designed introduces engaging issues and gives students the tools to take action outdoors.
  • 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.
  • Summer Gehman from Littleton, Columbine High School, created a fully functioning library for children with life-threatening diseases who attend camp at Roundup River Ranch every summer. She hosted a book drive and was able to fill the library with 1,307 books and developed a sustainable check-in and check-out program for the library.
  • 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.
  • Through her own experiences with central auditory processing disorder, Kristine Guy from Monument, Colorado Springs Early Colleges, realized teachers and educators are the best resource for students to help identify the disorder within themselves. She created a comprehensive training for teachers, and developed a website and pamphlet, available in English and Spanish.
  • 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.
  • Kimberly Jones from Colorado Springs partnered with her local humane society to create a comprehensive and supportive volunteer training program to support their Pets Day for children event. She also shared her curriculum for other humane societies around the country.
  • Emily Kretschmer from Colorado Springs, Air Academy High School, produced a documentary in partnership with the nonprofit Status: Code 4. The purpose of her documentary is to raise awareness of the hardship families of first responders can face and start meaningful conversations amongst families themselves.
  • Emma Lilly 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.
  • Keaton Maring from Arvada, Ralston Valley High School, built a life jacket loaner station at Standley Lake. Along with the station, she created an educational sign and a sustainable loaning program for the life jackets to provide more people with lifesaving equipment.
  • 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.
  • Mckayla Nelson from Colorado Springs created a comprehensive guide for parents and families called “Ready for Kindergarten,” which helps prepare students for success in school. The guide is available in English and Spanish and is being used by teachers and administrators across the state.
  • 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.
  • Mykaela Ryan from Broomfield, Broomfield High School, created a video and educational presentation to inform high schoolers about how to interact with someone who stutters. As someone who experiences stuttering herself, she demonstrated bravery and pride by presenting her project directly to students at her own school, and beyond, to raise awareness and stop bullying.
  • Alyson Serio from Colorado Springs, Pine Creek High School, called upon her own interest in graphic arts to inspire a new generation of students in her community to explore STEM through photography. She developed a photography and Photoshop club at her local middle school to get more children engaged in photography.
  • 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.
  • Abigail Stuart from Aurora, Grandview High School, connected local food pantries with elementary schools to create a program in which she encouraged students to donate their unopened lunch snacks to their local food pantry. Over the course of her project 1,900 items were successfully donated at just one of the schools, and the schools continue to donate.
  • In memory of her friend who was killed by a drunk driver, Samantha Stuart from Aurora, Grandview High School, took action to raise awareness among her peers of the dangers of drunk driving and the need for blood donors. She planned and implemented a blood drive at her school that included educational booths on the dangers of impaired driving.
  • Victoria Tilden of Denver, East High School, noticed through her own gymnastics experience that students were often getting hurt and dropping out of the sport. To address this, she created a workshop and comprehensive training video on how to prevent injuries and how to fall safely in gymnastics. Victoria also partnered with local gyms to share and teach her curriculum to gymnasts and coaches.
  • Emily Turner of Denver, East High School, educated the public about loving a shelter pet who exhibits aggressive behavior and placed the spotlight on her own dog, Hugo. Along with Hugo, she created online training resources to raise awareness of dog aggression and give useful and practical training tips to owners.
  • 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.

See more photos on our Flickr page: https://bit.ly/2Z1EO0b

Gold Award Girl Scout: Amy Fishman, Boulder, “Connecting Teens With Nature”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

As a high school student in Boulder, I’ve had incredible access to the outdoors throughout my teen years, like many of my classmates. However, as I’ve progressed through school, I learned that many of my peers do not remain engaged in the environment or its issues: they do not spend time outside, choosing instead to focus on schoolwork, Netflix, or other indoor activities, rather than the area that surrounds us. For my project, my aim was to foster a connection between teens and the environment. To this end, I worked to acquire information focused on teens’ engagement with the outdoors and then facilitated an improved connection with the outdoors. Through this, I also increased their understanding of environmental issues, in Boulder and beyond.

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

At the start of my project, I administered surveys to students at high schools in my area. The results of the surveys illustrated the lack of environmental connection experienced by my peers. After analyzing the surveys, I designed a program based on their results that subsequently improved participating teens’ levels of engagement with nature and understanding of issues impacting the environment by approximately 30%.

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

Science Adventure Program has agreed to a written commitment to continue the project through an annual meeting focused on fostering environmental stewardship and awareness in high school aged teens before they begin adult life. I shared information with a number of environmental groups, both local and international.

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

As part of my project’s sustainability, I contacted the environmental organizations Green 10, Sierra Club, and Forest Stewardship Council. Green 10 is a coalition of environmental organizations that are active on the European level, which helped me to have a global impact by sharing my information. Forest Stewardship Council is located in the United States and focuses on environmental stewardship in relation to United States forests. Both Green 10 and Forest Stewardship Council responded to my research, which helped to spread the information acquired in my project nationally and globally.

What did you learn about yourself?

Throughout this project, I learned how to effectively communicate my ideas to a wide variety of audiences. I have also learned the importance of delegating work while in a leadership position. I realized that I was incapable of doing everything myself: for example, I could not administer a large quantity of surveys to multiple high schools. By delegating, I was able to reach my goals.

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

I believe that earning my Gold Award will impact me primarily due to the fact that my communicative and leadership abilities have improved. Because I want to continue my education in regards to environmental studies, which has a focus on collaborative group work, having strong communication skills will be impactful to me in the future.

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

At the beginning of high school, a large number of girls in my troop ended their involvement. This was deeply disappointing to me, because Girl Scouts has been deeply important to my personal community and friend group. Only one other girl remained part of my troop, and we both decided to complete our Gold Awards. Our work on our separate projects added to my experience as a Girl Scout, and I think that because we were supporting each other in our goals, I was able to build a strong community and truly learn from my experience as a Girl Scout in high school.

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

I think that my Gold Award project helped me to become an innovator because I was obligated to solve problems as they arose, which challenged me, but also forced me to grow in this respect. For example, one meeting with students was scheduled in late December, but it became difficult for classmates to meet up in person for the second meeting in January. To resolve this, I chose to lead a session through a group email conversation. This, to me, was an effective and innovative solution, and helped me to become a stronger problem solver.

To me, completing my Girl Scout Gold Award project represents the fulfillment of my commitment to Girl Scouts. Much of my younger years focused around being a Girl Scout, and to recognize that I have gotten to this point as one is deeply important to me. I connected with my community by sharing my passion and my idea with the people around me, which has been one of the most important aspects of my time as a Girl Scout.

**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

Gold Award Girl Scout: Mykaela Ryan, Broomfield, “The effects and how to stop bullying”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

The root cause of my project was helping people understand what it is like to have a speech impediment and how to avoid bullying people with disabilities.

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

I presented to high schoolers. The impact my project had on the students was they understood what myself and other people who stutter go through. I gave them a survey before and after my presentation for a total of 42 surveys. The pretest average score was 3/10-4/10 and two people got 10/10 and the after survey average score was 8/10-10/10. The teachers and students were interested and engaged during the presentation and said they learned more about stuttering. One of the teachers, Mrs. Stover, even said my presentation was a great example of how to engage an audience because I started out with a video clip of teenagers who stutter. The class also responded well to my own video of my friend at camp.

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

My Loyo (Living on Your Own) teacher and my speech pathologist will continue my project. In fact, after I gave my two presentations, Mrs. Shepherd asked my fifth period teacher if I could present my project to that class. The teacher said , “Of course!,” so I will be presenting my project again. My website is up and running and I have given my PowerPoint and brochure to Mrs. Shepherd for next year’s classes. I have a letter from Mrs. Shepherd saying she will do that.

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

I have my website up and running. My website address is  Http://mrryan02.wixsite.com?stuttersupports. I am working with Camp Say to have my website listed on their website.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned about other people’s reactions to people getting bullied because of their stutter. I learned a lot about myself. I pushed myself to find someone famous to come to my presentation. I faced my fears in making a video, reaching out in person to my assistant principal, asking my teachers if I could present, and working 80 hours on one project.  I learned I have what it takes to speak in front of my classmates and follow through on a large project.

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

Earning my Gold Award has taught me to be persistent in my goals and what I want to achieve in life.

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

Because it made me face my fear of talking in front of the class or in front of anyone.

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

Risk-taker because I took a risk of talking in front of the class and it turned out really well. People loved 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

 

Gold Award Girl Scout: Mckayla Nelson, Colorado Springs, “Ready for Kindergarten”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

The overall theme of my project was to help prepare students for success in school. There were two parts to my project. With the help of kindergarten teachers from Cheyenne Mountain School District 12, I wrote a “Ready for Kindergarten” booklet that outlines important skills and behaviors necessary for a child to know before starting kindergarten. After receiving feedback from teachers and editing, I translated the booklet to Spanish and had it reviewed by a high school Spanish teacher. I also coordinated and led the high school club Student and Teachers Aiding Humanity (STAH) in a children’s book drive at my school to provide books to Skyway Elementary School for their reading intervention program. The teachers will distribute the books to those students who most need them.

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

I received positive feedback regarding the “Ready for Kindergarten” booklet from John Fogarty, Assistant Superintendent of Student Achievement; Stacy Aldridge, Principal at Skyway Elementary School; Sandi Sessions, Skyway Elementary Kindergarten Teacher; Courtney Parker, Gold Camp Elementary Kindergarten Teacher; Stacey Merkel, Pinon Valley Elementary Kindergarten Teacher; and Landra Decker, Gold Camp Elementary Kindergarten Teacher. I was also thanked by Amy Babcock and the other interventionists at Skyway Elementary for the hundreds of books donated.

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

I provided Cheyenne Mountain School District 12 with both digital and paper files of the “Ready for Kindergarten” booklet for use at their annual kindergarten round-up. I also provided the booklet to several different school districts throughout the state so that they can use the project as well.

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

As a nation, we need every child to be well educated. Although every child in the United States has access to an education, many students start at a distinct disadvantage due to family situations and lack of access to other educational resources. I created my project to aid this situation in my community.

What did you learn about yourself?

Throughout this project, I learned to be more confident in myself and I improved my communication skills. I also improved my leadership skills and learned how to better manage my time.

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

This project has taught me so many life skills that I will use in the future. I learned how to better communicate with adults and ask for help, which had intimidated me before. I learned from all of the mistakes I made throughout the project and I will now be able to avoid them and learn from them in the future.

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

I think that this project help me grow as a person and as a leader and that I will be able to use the skills I learned to help me in the future. It was great to be able to come up with an idea and to be able to see it through to the end by leading other people in the project.

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

Throughout this project, I developed my leadership and go-getter attitude and learned how to better manage my time and how to work with a team to accomplish a goal. At the beginning of the process, I found it difficult to find the time to work on my project, but as the deadline grew closer, I started creating schedules and prioritizing tasks, which helped me complete the project. When working with other people on my team, I improved my communication skills and I learned how to delegate tasks to efficiently finish a job.

**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

 

May 1 Gold Award proposal deadline for graduating seniors

Starting in 2017, Girl Scouts of Colorado implemented a May 1 deadline for graduating seniors to submit their Gold Award project proposals. This means that any girl who is graduating from high school has until May 1 (annually) to submit her Gold Award project proposal via the Go Gold website. After May 1, girls who are graduating from high school will no longer be eligible to earn their Gold Award if they have not already submitted a project proposal.

Gold Award Girl Scout: Lilli Tobias, Breckenridge, “Ti Biznis”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I partnered with the Colorado Haiti Project and developed a youth entrepreneurial program for the eighth-grade class at St. Paul’s Episcopal School in Petit Trou, Haiti. The three-day hands-on business workshop was an opportunity for eighth-grade students to “start” small businesses or Ti Biznis. The students learned the five fundamentals of business beginning with creating a business plan, gathering a loan, creating a product, advertising it, and creating a profit to be sustainable.

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

Following the three-day workshop, the students took a business survey, as well as demonstrated their proficiency by all earning a profit. Even more so, following the workshop, the students went home and created more products with the materials they were able to purchase with their profit and began selling their products for real money.

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

Following my workshop, the Colorado Haiti Project will continue to use my curriculum and the design of my workshop for five years. Along with the Colorado Haiti Project, I have also been in contact with other Haitian schools as well as a non-profit that works in Honduras where my curriculum could be of value.

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

As my Gold Award is already internationally focused, I have presented to several local groups to expand the impact of my Gold Award within Summit County. I have presented to the French Honors Society at my school, to my leadership class, and to Interact, the youth version of Rotary International. I also reached out to  9News several times through email, call, text, and video and did not receive a response. Through my local outreach, The Summit Foundation, an organization in Summit County that promotes philanthropy, awarded me with 2017 Most Outstanding and Philanthropic Youth at a community-wide ceremony held in November 2017. I will continue my impact through speaking to local troops about the value of the Gold Award and Girl Scouts as well as promoting education in other third world countries such as Honduras.

What did you learn about yourself?

Through my Gold Award, I learned to truly step into my leadership potential. This started with being comfortable talking on the phone, to organizing huge fundraising events, organizing volunteers, gathering community support, improving on being adaptable, to my most important and improved skill of public speaking. All of these skills are vitally important to growing up and becoming a female leader of tomorrow. My Gold Award has allowed me to be a source of leadership and philanthropy in my community, which will lead to scholarships, colleges, and so much more. I can not thank Girl Scouts enough for not only providing me with this opportunity, but for encouraging me to reach for the stars.

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

My leadership skills will absolutely continue to grow and strengthen because of my Gold Award. We all set our own limitations, whatever they may be, and throughout my Gold Award journey, I have truly surpassed many of the limits I had set. My public speaking, ability to smoothly and comfortably speak on the phone, organize, direct, and leverage influence was all cultivated in my Gold Award and is now propelling me to new heights. My main fundraiser for my Gold Award was a Haitian Gala dinner. It was my first time ever attempting to organize an event of this nature and capacity and it was beyond successful. It was so successful, fun, and I learned so much from it that I will be doing another gala dinner this year on March 17, 2018, to support education in Honduras. Not only has Girl Scouts and my Gold Award developed my leadership, but it has developed my philanthropic spirit. All the work and efforts put forth through my Silver Award which turned into me starting my own philanthropic bakery, to my Gold Award and promoting education in third world countries was never done for fame but because I truly find joy in doing so. However, in 2017 the Summit Foundation honored me as Summit County’s Most Outstanding Philanthropic Youth of the year. This recognition was so heartwarming and humbling. I was able to shed light on Girl Scouts and the character development it provides and how “worth it” it is to stay involved in the program.

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

For me, the Gold Award journey was the bow on the present. It tied everything together, the Journeys, cookie program, various events, and service were all brought together in one package with completing the Gold Award. It’s all about the process from whenever a girl joins Girl Scouts to when they finish. And with it being such a long, yet rewarding journey, completing the Gold Award makes all the time, energy, and effort worth it. It’s such a  rewarding process that I hope all girls strive for!

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

My Gold Award forced me to be a go-getter. Without that characteristic of being a G.I.R.L, my Gold Award would not have been what it is. I have always had a “bossy” personality and once I got older I became ashamed of that characteristic and felt that it made me seem aggressive or mean. But through my Gold Award journey, it was put into perspective that being “bossy” doesn’t have to be a bad thing. I am proud that I can shape my characteristic of taking charge into a positive light of being a go-getter because, without strong girls and women who harness their go-getter mentality, we wouldn’t be heading into the groundbreaking future we are.

**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

Gold Award mentors statewide awarded President’s Award

Adult recognition awards are designed to recognize volunteers who have gone above and beyond the expectations of the volunteer role they hold, and who have deeply impacted Girl Scouts in ways that support and further GSCO’s goals and mission. The prestigious President’s Award recognizes the efforts of a service-delivery team or committee whose exemplary service in support of delivering the Girl Scout Leadership Experience surpassed team goals and resulted in significant, measurable, impact toward reaching the council’s overall goals.

As girls earn the highest distinction in Girl Scouts, we expect their mentors to help them meet our high standards and expectations of team building, measurability, sustainability, global/national connection, and uniqueness – the foundations of the Gold Award. Gold Award mentors/committee members across the state went above and beyond to support the development and implementation of the Girl Scout Gold Award program in the 2015-16 membership year and continue to do so today. The position asks that each member attend a Gold Award training and stay up to date on changes, review all project proposals, final reports, and presentation, work individually with mentees, observe girls in action, attend 75% of monthly meetings, and participate in celebrations. All members have met each expectation and exceeded expectations.

Several members reviewed the Gold Award training design, made improvements, and are now active Gold Award trainers who facilitate in-person trainings across the state. In the 2015-16 membership year, more than 200 girls and 115 adults received Gold Award training across the state.

Gold Award brainstorming sessions were offered in Denver, Longmont, and Grand Junction with mentors attending all and helping girls one-on-one explore ideas and establish next steps.

Six regional Highest Awards celebrations were held across the state and each one of them was volunteer supported. These events would not have been successful without the participation/support from all the Gold Award mentors/committee members.

Sarah Greichen, 2016 Gold Award Girl Scout and National Young Woman of Distinction wrote in her endorsement for this award, “Girl Scouts in pursuit of their Gold Awards are greatly impacted by their Gold Award mentors. Gold Award mentors teach girls vital skills such as organization, public speaking, leadership, business skills, etc. They serve as role models who provide guidance, advice, and critique. All Girl Scouts are positively impacted by their mentors.”

Jan Lucas, Gold Award Girl Scout and member of the GSCO Board of Directors, wrote in her endorsement of the award, “The Girl Scouts pursing their Gold Award are motivated, challenged, and supported through their mentor. This is an invaluable and life long relationship that is developed to even help them through other challenging times in their life. This committee is more than just a committee to help with this one project – the mission of this committee has given way to a bigger vision and that is a relationship for a lifetime.”

Highlights from 2015-16 include:

– Total Highest Awardees statewide = 1,618
– 48 Gold Award recipients (mentored by 17 different mentors)
– 393 Silver Award recipients (increase of 10.1% from 2015)
– 1,177 Bronze Award recipients (increase of 14.7% from 2015)
– Approximate total of girls who RSVP’d for celebrations = 692
– Approximate total girls at celebrations = 637
– Mentor/volunteer lead trainings and brainstorming sessions
– Mentor assistance with conflict resolution
– Mentor support for staff decisions and implementation
– Second annual Gold Award mentor retreat with representation from each region

27 Gold Award mentors were officially given their award spring 2017 and many were presented with their certificate at the 2017 Gold Award Mentor Retreat in November at Hamp Hut. The mentors who received this exciting award are:

Alison Clark-Hardesty
Alyssa Street
Amy Bissell
Bonnie Ledet
Cara Heist
Carey Hofner
Cindy Miller
Connie Campbell
Debbie Haskins
Diana Smith
Eva Bauer
Heidi Ragsdale
Jennifer Colosimo
Karen Wilson
Kathi Reddan
Katie Hess
Kay Shaw
Leslee Randolph
Linda Robinson
Lorrie Marzulla
Maggie Murray
Nancy Mucklow
Rachael TerLouw
Sandy Jackson
Shauna Clemmer
Sheryl Blish
Stephani Vick

Since spring 2017, nine new Gold Award mentors have joined and we continue to onboard new members each month.

Congratulations GSCO Gold Award mentors! We appreciate all your hard work and dedication to the Gold Award program in Colorado!

Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Emma Kerr, Monument, “Learning to Read, Enjoy, and Discover (READ)”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

My Gold Award project included two components. One aspect of it was building a bookshelf/reading center, and collecting pillows for a corner at Lewis Palmer Elementary School. The purpose of this was to create an inviting book nook that would draw kids to literature. The second aspect of my project was a Read-A-Thon program at the same elementary school. With the help of LPES, I was able to involve over 300 students in a fun, competitive reading program. High school students volunteered their time by reading with/to students of all ages.

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

After building and implementing the bookshelf in the library, I heard only positive comments from the librarian on the relationship between picking up a book and the new nook. Students were drawn by the comfortable pillows and funky bookshelf/reading center to go straight for a novel and curl up with it.

Through the numerous reading hours logged by the students from the Read-A-Thon, it was obvious that putting a fun twist on the idea of reading can encourage a student to pick up a book more often. The Read-A-Thon ended with computing the hours logged and providing students and classes with prizes for outstanding participation.

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

Lewis Palmer Elementary School has picked up the Read-A-Thon to continue with it beyond the initial year. The bookcase and pillows are both very substantial and will be reusable for years to come. They were handmade by many local women’s organizations in the Monument Community who were happy to help. The pillows have coverings so they can be washed and used for many years.

It is my hope that the students that participate in years to come have the same experience that these initial students were granted. The goal of the project is to create a more familiar relationship with reading and give students something that they can improve on for their personal benefit.

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

Beyond Lewis Palmer Elementary School, I am helping a high school in another area implement the same project at one of their feeder schools. They won’t be building a bookshelf/reading center, but through a simplified Read-A-Thon plan they can use high school volunteers to implement the program.

The amazing part of my project is that the group of children that will be impacted are those that still have their whole lives ahead of them. My goal was to focus on those still developing so that they can form and build upon reading skills – skills that can help in almost any area of learning or life skills.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that I need to set written goals for myself in order to ensure things get done. I also learned that I really enjoy working with younger kids.

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

Reaching my Gold Award was a lot of hard work and required lots of determination. From this process I have acquired new skills in communication, project planning, and presentation. These will be useful in almost any area of my future.

Also, now I can say that I have my Gold Award! Which is a connection to thousands of other girls and also is an avenue to earn scholarships for college!

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

My Gold Award was the “cherry on top” for my experience with Girl Scouts. I have been a Girl Scout since I was six (And I am fortunate that it my leader has been the same my entire Girl Scout years!) and have always dreamed of reaching every level of scouting. I know this is marking the end for me being a member of a troop, but I will always be a Girl Scout. The morals of a strong work ethic and a compassionate heart I will retain forever and I can thank Girl Scouts for developing them into what they are today.

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

Earning my Gold Award has shaped me towards an innovative mindset. Now, I look around my community and instead of just seeing problems I also see possible solutions. I may not have combated the most pressing issue in my community, but I was passionate about it and that’s what made the process a whole lot more fun.

**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