Tag Archives: Gold Award Girl Scout

Gold Award Girl Scout: Peyton Roeder, Erie, “A Bright Spot”

What did you do for your Gold Award project? 

Many parents experiencing homelessness feel as though they cannot provide enough for their children and many of these children feel unvalued. Additionally, many people want to help those experiencing homelessness in their community, but do not feel as though they can. Birthday parties can help solve these problems because they allow parents feel as though they are able to provide for their children, help children feel valued, and allow the community volunteers to support those experiencing homelessness. A Bright Spot provides families experiencing homelessness the means to throw birthday parties. Community volunteers signed up to donate birthday party supplies every year for a child’s birthday, which allows the parents to throw their child a birthday party. For this project, I partnered with BeyondHome, an organization in Denver that aims to help families on the road to self-sufficiency.

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

I measured the impact my Gold Award project made on my target audiences through the use of surveys. After the parties, I asked the parents if they felt they were able to provide something special for their child, the children if they felt valued, and the volunteers if they felt they were able to support those in need. I found that all of these groups were positively impacted by A Bright Spot.

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

My project is sustainable because BeyondHome will continue to run the program even though I am no longer involved. Additionally, the volunteers have committed to donating more birthday supplies as the need arises. Finally, I distributed directions on how to run A Bright Spot to other organizations so that they can start the program for their own children. My project will continue to have a positive impact on both  families and community volunteers for years to come as more and more children are able to have birthday parties.

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

My project has a global connection because homelessness is a global issue. Additionally, communities all around the globe want to support those experiencing homelessness, so I directly addressed a portion of the global issue. Finally, I spread the word about my project through a website, flyers, and newspaper articles as well as sending directions on how to start A Bright Spot to other organizations.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that I am capable of managing a large-scale program like my project. I also learned that I am able to come up with an idea for a program and make it a reality. Additionally, I learned that I really enjoyed providing birthday parties to the children. I chose this project because I thought I would like it, but I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. Finally, I learned that I enjoyed providing the volunteers with the opportunity to do something special.

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

Earning my Gold Award will impact me in the future because I learned many invaluable skills while completing my project. This will help me as I continue my education and in my career. Additionally, I will always be happy to know that I was able to positively impact people through my project.

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

My Gold Award was the culmination of all of my past experiences in Girl Scouts. My badges, Journeys, and camps taught me the skills I needed to complete this project. Additionally, my Gold Award taught me new skills that I can use alongside what I learned from previous years of Girl Scouts.

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

My Gold Award helped me become a G.I.R.L. by allowing me to develop my skills in each of these areas. I was an innovator when developing a plan for the project, modifying the plan to account for COVID-19, and managing the program. I was a go-getter and risk-taker when trying to convince people and organizations to volunteer to participate in the project. Finally, I was a leader when working with my team members on various aspects of the project.

**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: Lily Goudreau, Monument, “Affirmations in Lewis Palmer Middle School”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award project I addressed the problem of bullying in schools. I painted affirmations throughout Lewis Palmer Middle School and created a monthly affirmation chalkboard that’s in the main hallway. With the constant positive affirmations around the middle schoolers, it can help to make them be more positive towards themselves and others.

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

I measured the success of my project by creating a survey. I surveyed some students in  the school. I asked if they read the affirmations, if the affirmations impacted them, and if there should be bright paintings affirmations in all schools. I received a lot of positive feedback from this survey from the students, staff, and principal!

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

My project is sustained beyond my involvement through the monthly affirmation chalkboard I started and a guidebook I created. The students part of an anti-bullying group put a new affirmation on the chalkboard every month for everyone to read. In the guidebook, I created a checklist of all the supplies I needed and the steps I took.

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

I shared my project globally through a guidebook I created. I shared a checklist, the steps I took, and pictures. I shared the guidebook with schools globally to inspire them to put up colorful affirmations in their schools.

What did you learn about yourself?

Through this project I learned to take initiative. Before this project, I didn’t have the confidence to talk to strangers to ask for help. I had to talk to a lot of people I didn’t know and I have become more capable of speaking up for myself.

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

Earning my Gold Award will impact me in my future because it has prepared me for the real world. I spent a lot of time and commitment on this project. There were difficulties with it and I was able to overcome those difficulties. Earning the Gold Award is a very rewarding experience because it’s something you invest a lot of time in.

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 I knew it would be a very rewarding experience when I was done. I knew I would feel very accomplished because I completed my biggest project yet and I feel prepared to do bigger things now. I wanted to do the Gold Award project because I enjoyed doing my Bronze and Silver Awards, and wanted to continue to help my community.

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 made me become a G.I.R.L., specifically a go-getter. I have learned to speak for myself instead of having others do it for me. I really had to come out of my comfort zone to speak to people I didn’t know to get what I needed.  This project also had some difficulties and I was able to overcome those to complete my project.

**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: Allison Graham, Colorado Springs, “School in the Woods Nature Trail”

What did you do for your Gold Award project? 

For my Gold Award project, I built a trail at a fourth-grader school in District 20 in Colorado Springs called School in the Woods. With the trail, I created a trail guide that anyone of any age can use when they walk around the trail. It includes different plants that can be found on the trail, which ecosystem they can be found in (montane, foothills, etc.), and ways for them to connect with nature by using their senses.

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

I measured the impact of my Gold Award project on my target audience by asking those at School in the Woods to continue taking kids and their families on the trail. I also asked other volunteers at the school and the Nature Trail Committee what they thought of the trail. I hope that the kids who attend School in the Woods will be able to take their families on the trail and possibly learn something new.

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

My project will be sustained by the amazing people at School in the Woods. They have such an active program, and families who are always willing to volunteer and help the school with whatever they need. In the past year, there has been a committee formed between volunteers who are parents or avid volunteers from years past who have come together to work on the trails around the school. The Nature Trail Committee and Mr. Wuerth have agreed to help keep the trail intact. They will pull weeds, move rocks, and maybe expand the trail if needed.

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

With schools becoming more online and desk-based, students are struggling to find time to go outside and experience nature. We, as a nation, don’t know what the upcoming school year will look like. We know one thing for sure, we still need to get outside and take a walk. Students, elementary through college, have already been pushed to a desk job.

To get the word out about my project, I sent information about it to three different organizations that focus on outdoor education. I emailed the Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education, North American Association for Environmental Education, and Nation Environmental Education Foundation. I sent them the trail guide, which I gave to School in the Woods to use on the trail, the newsletter that was sent out to School in the Woods alumni, and general information about me, what I did, and what the Girl Scout Gold Award is.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned while making this project that I need a straight up deadline. I can’t really space out the work if there is not date deadline. I keep putting it off and off until I have a deadline. I know that this is something that I do need to work on, but I know that this drives me and is my motivation to do work.

I learned that if you are passionate about something, and you know you need to work on it more and need an extended deadline, that is fine. I was supposed to present my project a month earlier and I was disappointed when I was not finished. I felt bad and disappointed in myself. I now know that everything is not as serious as I think and that I should not be putting this much pressure and stress on myself. This is something that I should have never stressed that much about.

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

I think by earning my Gold Award, I gained a lot of confidence. I feel that I can go into the world and make changes. I also think that it will help me during job interviews because it gave me the confidence to talk to adults and know how to lead and work with a team.

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

I feel that the Gold Award was an important part of my Girl Scout experience because it showed me that you can still be a Girl Scout even at an older age. It also showed me what being a Girl Scout truly meant. It showed me that what I have been learning through Girl Scouts over the past couple of years, from kindergarten til now, comes into play when doing your Gold Award.

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 a risk-taker in the sense that before this project, taking on big projects wasn’t my forte. I didn’t like asking others for help and committing to something like this was hard for me. This project for me was a risk that I decided that I wanted to take. I now am also a go-getter when it comes to something that I am passionate about. I know that when I really want to do something that I should work hard to achieve it, and that I should be proud of it as well.

**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.

Celebrate Girl Scouts’ Highest Awards on Social Media

Celebrate your Highest Awards Girl Scout or your achievement of earning one of Girl Scouts’ Highest Awards on social media! Use any of the graphics at the bottom of this post to let friends and family know that you earned or are the parent/caregiver of a Bronze, Silver, or Gold Award Girl Scout. Be sure to tag us on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram. Twitter and Instagram users should also use #GSColo, #GirlScoutsGiveBack, #gsGoldAward, #gsSilverAward, or #gsBronzeAward.

Don’t forget to join Girl Scouts of Colorado on May 16, 2021 to celebrate our 2020-2021 class of Gold, Silver, and Bronze Award Girl Scouts in Colorado!

Virtual Highest Awards Celebrations

  • 1 p.m. Bronze Award Celebration
  • 2 p.m. Silver Award Celebration
  • 3 p.m. Gold Award Celebration

These celebrations are an opportunity to recognize the outstanding Bronze, Silver, and Gold Award Girl Scouts who have earned their distinction in the last year. All troops and/or girls who have earned their Bronze, Silver, or Gold since March 2019 are invited to participate in a celebration of their choice.

You do not need to register for this event! The celebrations will premiere live on our Facebook and YouTube channels at the event start time.

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: Gayathri Budamgunta, Longmont, “Warm and Fuzzies”

 

What did you do for your Gold Award project? 

While I was in middle school, I really struggled with my self-esteem and my body image. There are so many images on the internet and on social media where people have seemingly perfect bodies or lives, but a lot of the time, these images are photoshopped or people only share the positive parts of their lives. It wasn’t until I went to high school when I realized that the uniqueness of every individual is what we should be seeking. My Girl Scout troop also conducted a selfie project many years ago in which people could go around a room and write kind notes to others based on one of their selfies, which I think really opened my eyes to the harsh realities of the internet. And, I recognize that many people eventually come to terms with themselves, but I wanted to start that process at a young age, so that adolescents aren’t struggling with their identities especially with the presence of technology. “Warm and Fuzzies” addresses the issue of low self-esteem and body image in middle school students ages 11-13 and it is a way for individuals to connect to each other through meaningful notes/letters that they write to one another while engaging in positive reinforcements. Initially, this project was going to be in a live setting such that the students could hand write each other notes, but as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, I switched to a virtual version in which students each had their own Padlet boards where they could leave messages for their peers. With this project, students were able to build meaningful relationships with their peers while understanding the importance of self-confidence and body image.

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

As a means of determining the impact of my project, I asked the students to fill out both a pre-survey and a post-survey regarding their self-esteem and body image in addition to conducting individual interviews with some of the students. Through these surveys and interviews I found that there was a 34% increase in the overall self-esteem of the students. These results were achieved through the discussion of the negative effects of social media and technology use on adolescent self-esteem. I discussed concepts such as the prevalence of Photoshop, and how oftentimes what people see on social media isn’t actually reality. Furthermore, students were able to write each other meaningful and positive notes which promoted interaction between students and also provided positive reassurances. Many times, individuals are more likely to agree with a statement presented by others rather than themselves e.g., a student does not think they are hardworking, but when a classmate tells them that they are, there is a higher chance that they will believe it.

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

In order to sustain my Gold Award, I have created a “Warm and Fuzzies How-To Guide” which I have distributed both to some of the 8th grade Altona Way students, as well as to some administrators. This how-to guide includes both the live and virtual versions of my project with logistics as well as tips and tricks on how to successfully implement the “Warm and Fuzzies.” The Altona Way students expressed their passion for helping address adolescent self-esteem and body image issues from an early stage given that many of them have or are struggling with similar issues. I conducted two workshops with some of the 8th grade Altona Way students and taught them the process that I followed in order to conduct the weekly presentations for the students to learn about various themes. They have since been working together to develop numerous lessons that they can then present to more teachers throughout Altona to spread the project not only throughout the 7th grade class, but also to the other grades.

With the help of my “Warm and Fuzzies How-To Guide,” individuals can take on the role of starting a Warm and Fuzzies program at their local schools or within their Girl Scout troops.

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

Upon creating my “Warm and Fuzzies How-To Guide,” I reached out to a few national non-profit and organizations whose missions encompass the themes of adolescent and young adult self-esteem, confidence, and mental illness. I discussed the purpose and results of my project and shared my successes with these organizations along with my “Warm and Fuzzies How-To Guide.” I reached out to three national non-profit organizations including “The Youth Mental Health Project,” “BeYOUtifully,” and “Active Minds.” “BeYOUtifully,” more specifically, is an organization that is centered on supporting middle and high school girls through their journey toward self-confidence. They recognize that with the increased pressure from social media, peers, and friends, girls are overwhelmed with negative images and stereotypes regarding their identity and appearances. They support young girls and provide them with space to truly express themselves as individuals without the external pressures that they are faced with in the world. I strongly believe in the values of this non-profit organization because they perfectly coincide with my project as well as my passion for promoting self-confidence in adolescents, and specifically, girls. I cannot wait to hear back from them and soon hope to join “BeYOUtiful Me” sessions in which I will be able to connect with other young adults and young girls that struggle with similar self-esteem issues as me and many other young individuals.

What did you learn about yourself?

Through my Gold Award, I learned that I am able to overcome the obstacles I am presented with, as long as I am committed and I have a support team. I initially had a clear plan for my project, but for a period of time, everything was up in the air and I needed to reorganize the entirety of my project because I could no longer follow through with anything in a virtual setting because of the coronavirus pandemic. However, instead of completely abandoning my project, I worked with my team to develop a virtual plan that I could still implement despite the restrictions. In addition, there were many times throughout the course of my project when I was overwhelmed with my school and personal life, however, I was committed to my project and was able to persevere through such challenges with the support and reassurances from my family, friends, and mentors. There were times when I was working on college applications, school work, extracurriculars, chores, and my Gold Award. I became overwhelmed, but with a support team, some time management, and commitment I was able to successfully manage and work through all of these items. In addition, I have learned that I love helping adolescents and young adults in many different aspects of life. For example, I was able to connect with some of the students who were participating in my project and learn about their experiences and answer any questions they may have had regarding high school or even if they simply wanted to talk. I found that being able to connect with individuals from various age groups is extremely important and I have come to value such relationships.

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

My Gold Award has taught me many valuable lessons, especially with regard to leadership. With strong communication and organizational skills that I have learned, I feel that I am equipped to take on challenges that may come my way, including other projects, though they may not look exactly like my Warm and Fuzzies project. I have also gained a lot of experience with working with others, which in my opinion is a valuable skill that I will take with me into my future endeavors.

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

Like many Girl Scouts before me, I began my journey as a Girl Scout while in Kindergarten as a Daisy. I engaged in various activities including badgework and cookie sales. As I grew older and progressed in Girl Scouts, I worked through Journey books, Take Action projects, and my Bronze and Silver Awards. Similar to my Bronze and Silver Awards, my Gold Award is a large milestone in my overall Girl Scout experience. Like other aspects of Girl Scouts, the Gold Award is centered around growing as an individual and developing life-long skills, however, it is unique because as a Girl Scout, we are expected to follow through with this project as an individual, but we are thoroughly supported along the way. I feel that the Gold Award process has helped me grow as an individual and develop important leadership skills that are important to my success as a Girl Scout.

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

With the aftereffects of the unpredictable coronavirus pandemic, I was forced to reevaluate my Gold Award and remain committed to my project. Given that my initial plans of conducting my project in person were no longer viable, I became an innovator and developed a virtual version of my project. I spent hours communicating with my team and developing a model that fit best with the virtual realm. This allowed me to think creatively and work around obstacles in order to successfully conduct my project. Furthermore, earning my Gold Award has helped me develop my skills as a leader. As mentioned before, the coronavirus pandemic led to many changes with my project, especially with regard to communication. I was unable to physically meet with anybody from my team and was forced to communicate solely in a virtual manner. However, I felt that I was able to develop my communication skills through email and other modes in order to adapt to this barrier. I also learned the importance of being flexible in order to accommodate changes beyond my control as well as to support my team throughout the implementation of my project.

**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: Elizabeth Gumper, Colorado Springs, “My Career Connections – Connecting You to Career Possibilities”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”  A question easily answered by a 5-year-old, but more daunting as a high schooler, when truly faced with finding your initial career path. This problem inspired me to create an online resource website, www.mycareerconnections.com, that gives high school students a personal, insightful look at numerous careers available throughout society.  Overall, the project is geared to bridging the gap between the students who want to explore careers and the professionals in the community who wish to educate students about their careers.

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

Students’ usage is measured through the number of views of the videos contained on the website, and the professionals’ positive responses are measured from feedback both verbally and through emails after the numerous presentations I gave to local business clubs.  The repeated requests from new individuals wanting to be interviewed and included on the website also indicate a positive impact among my audience.  Also, included on the website is a “get-in-touch” area where students and professionals can send direct feedback regarding the website.

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

Sustainability exists because my website is linked to my school’s counseling website and my district’s Career & Technical Education website where students can use this resource for many years to come. The director of the CTE department is also planning on linking this website to other schools in the district through their counseling departments as well.

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

National exposure exists through my cousin, a high school teacher in North Carolina, who also presented the website to her students for their usage.  After one Rotary presentation I gave, a gentleman approached me about expanding this worldwide because to quote him, “This is a struggle kids worldwide have.”

Even though I am “done” with my project, I am exploring the possibility of expanding this further with assistance from some of the Rotary members.

What did you learn about yourself?

I have learned more from this project than any class could ever teach me.  Specifically, I have learned: the effective way to communicate with adults through emails and in conversation, that persistence is powerful and sometimes “no” does not mean “no,” but rather “not now,” and a good leader has a good team. I also gained a clearer understanding of what my future career may entail, definitely a career using my presentation skills because I love being in front of an “audience.”

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

Through earning my Gold Award, I bridged the gap between the student and the adult world, and I believe this will only help me as I move forward in college. No longer will I view adults as the only ones with all the answers to questions.  I have learned they have also sometimes struggled to find their answers too. This places me on the same plane as my college professors. It removes the barrier of them being someone above me, but rather someone who is beside me, helping me to realize the future waiting for me.

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

Reflecting on my Girl Scout years, I believe earning the Gold Award brought all of the skills I learned through the various badges earned, the camp-outs enjoyed, and cookie selling successes to one big test. The other girls in my troop have and will continue to be very important people in my life, and we all supported each other towards earning our individual Gold Awards. Now, celebrating our achievements together as we all graduate high school will be the cherry on top of 12 wonderful years together.

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

Without a doubt, this project helped me become a G.I.R.L.

G –Go-getter: By consistently reaching out to numerous professionals for interviews.

I – Innovator: Expanding my tech skills through building a website for the first time ever!

R – Risk-taker: I took a risk that I could complete this project and honor all of the professionals’ time they had given me through their interviews. You have to believe in yourself – even if you think you have “bitten off more than you can chew!”

L – Leader: Finally, through all of the presentations I gave, adults viewed me as a leader among my peers.

My hope remains, that when students visit my website, they will feel inspired and optimistic about the next chapter of their lives, and most importantly, confident in their career aspirations.

**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: Katie Wilson, Longmont, “Katie’s Bookcase”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I created Katie’s Bookcase. The goal was to collect books needed for the foster care visitation rooms at the  visitation center in Boulder County. The reason books are so important is that they are a great way for parents and children to connect, especially when they are in out of home placement.

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

I set an initial goal of collecting 75 new or gently used children’s books. In the end I collected more than 100, I also received monetary donations that enabled me to purchase book storage for each of the four rooms and labels for the books. The visitation supervisors will be able to send books home with children and/or parents, so that they can be used during virtual visits during this pandemic.

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

Katie’s Bookcase provides a direct link to the local Girl Scout community. Boulder County Social Services has been provided contact information so that going forward they can contact the local Girl Scout service unit when they need donations of any kind, or another service project. Girl Scouts are always looking for service projects that benefit the community. Katie’s Bookcase can be that connection for Boulder County going forward.

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

Katie’s Bookcase will be presented to the state and national foster care agencies.

What did you learn about yourself?

Because I started my project prior to the global pandemic, I had to rethink my project in its entirety. I learned that I could be very flexible and innovative. I’m normally fairly shy, but learned that when I believe in something it’s not hard to get out of my comfort zone.

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

Earning my Gold Award allowed me to exercise the leadership skills that I’ve learned in my years of Girl Scouts. It’s amazing how much you learn from all those years of selling cookies! I’m hopeful that my Gold Award will assist me in furthering my education by opening the door to scholarship possibilities.

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

I earned both Bronze (with my troop)  and Silver (independently, but with the support of my troop) Awards and those experiences motivated me to want to earn my Gold. It seemed  like the perfect way to cap off my Girl Scout career. It made it extra special that I could help the foster care community since I was a foster child.

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

Taking risks and innovating came into play when I had to redo my entire project. I had to quickly figure out new ways to work around the pandemic restrictions. I had to take risks with different ways of accomplishing my goals by stepping out of my comfort zone to reach out for assistance in both defining and accomplishing my goals.

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

Gold Award Girl Scout: Katie Ellenberger, Colorado Springs, “Painted Pianos Project”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award project, I wanted to create a space for the students at Timberview Middle School where they could learn how to play the piano or express themselves musically for free without having to join the band, choir, or guitar class. To do this, I, with the help of the art and music teacher at Timberview, created the Painted Pianos Club and a school wide design contest, where the students could come up with the design to paint on the pianos. We then got to work on prepping the pianos for painting, sanding them down, priming, and stenciling in the design. Additionally, I emphasized student learning with video tutorials on YouTube, piano lesson books, and note identifying stickers.

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

I measured the impact of my Gold Award by seeing how enthusiastic the students were about participating in the Painted Pianos Club. Due to COVID, the students are currently unable to access the pianos. However, in the long term, I will be sure to check back at the school to see what the students think of the pianos!

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

My Gold Award will be sustained beyond my involvement by the Painted Pianos Club run by my project advisor that is dedicated to art and music and will inspire other students to get involved as well. This club would help maintain the pianos by ensuring they get tuned once a year, making repairs, choosing new music every so often, and repainting if they choose to. This club will be provided with a sample lesson plan to ensure that if the current leader for it leaves, it can easily be picked back up by another teacher.

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

My national/global connection is a step-by-step packet on how to replicate my project sent to schools across America and international schools via connections that a team member has through other music teachers. Everyone should be granted the chance to learn to play an instrument. This specific project will be made available to music teachers around the world that participate in music based Facebook groups and Colorado Music Educators Association.

What did you learn about yourself?

From this project, I learned that communication is key when collaborating with many people and working with dependable people makes projects run smoother. My leadership skills have grown exponentially throughout this project, and I feel more confident being the executive of this project and maybe even more once I finish. I learned that I am adaptable to my circumstances (since I had to make changes to my project due to COVID) and I am more capable than I think I am at times.

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

Earning my Gold Award has impacted my leadership skills, which will continue to grow as I continue my journey through life. Additionally, it has taught me that helping a community is important to feeling accomplished. I am sure I will try to do other projects like this in the future so that I can continue helping communities.

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 taught me so much about leadership and being in charge of a project. It taught me that there is usually more to completing a project than you originally predict, which will help me more accurately determine how long and what I need to do to finish projects in the future. It was also important for me to connect to a community, the nation, and the world by putting something good out there.

My grandmother, Penelope (O’ Neal) Moeckel , earned what was called the Curved Bar, which was the predecessor of the Gold Award. My mother, Melissa (Moeckel) Ellenberger, earned the Gold Award as well. This is another reason why earning the Gold Award was an important part of my Girl Scout experience, to become a third generation earner of it is an honor.

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 a leader by being in charge of the students in the Painted Pianos Club and having to organize all of the aspects of the project. It also helped me become a go-getter, since this was a very high goal to accomplish! This will encourage me to achieve more and reach higher in the future.

**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: Catherine Pederson, Colorado Springs, Women in STEM Careers “Breaking down the Einstein Model”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award project, I created a website  with multiple STEM resources and biographies of model female scientists with the goal of addressing the local and national issue of a gender gap in STEM. I would like to exhibit to aspiring young female scientists that their desire for science can be filled in a myriad of ways, all of which can greatly impact the community and our world. In society, young girls are often not given enough role models and mentors whom they can look up to and use for guidance in STEM fields. If we only think of a scientist as someone who looks like Einstein, then that is limiting to anyone else interested in science.

My website (https://womeninstemcareers.wixsite.com/femalestemcareers) includes scientists and activities within different areas of study in STEM, such as computer science, physics, and environmental science. I also found it to be significant to add different sections that had activities such as chemistry experiments, books, and other projects that young girls could access from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. I added categories of broad interests such as art, sports, and the outdoors, and I provided many examples of diverse women scientists whose careers fulfill their passions in those areas. Highlighting these women signifies to young girls that if they have a passion for art or sports, they can pursue a STEM career to follow their passions.

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

To measure the impact of my Gold Award, I set goals for the number of interactions on the STEM career website, as well as the interaction of an Instagram page I created. In addition to positive feedback from both platforms, meeting these quantitative goals allowed me to numerically measure the impact on my target audience.

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

My project is being sustained by a local fifth grade science teacher who will introduce her students to the website every year in conjunction with their unit about female scientist Rachel Carson. The STEM Career Website is on a free website platform, and the Instagram page is also free, so no monetary upkeep is needed for the project. The link to this website resource can be accessed by many people for the foreseeable future through the Instagram page, @womeninstemcareers.

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

This issue of a gender gap in STEM is prevalent all over the world in various degrees, and there are many organizations that work to create community and mentorship in STEM fields. I reached out to the National Girls Collaborative Project and Scientista with the goal of further continuing the discussion of exposing young girls to female scientists and scientific resources.

What did you learn about yourself?

This project has been a truly remarkable and eye-opening journey. Throughout this project, I gained leadership skills, communication skills, and strengthened my time management skills. More memorably, I had the opportunity to connect with strong females in STEM across our community and learn about their experiences. I also gained knowledge about women in STEM careers all over the globe. Learning about the importance of mentorship in engaging more girls in STEM was extraordinary, so I made sure to base a large part of my project around showing young girls a variety of diverse women scientists following their passions in STEM, and to emphasize that this diversity is key to success. I will cherish the experiences from my Gold Award for the rest of my life.

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

Through earning my Gold Award, I have learned more about the implications of STEM in the community and in the real world through discussions with my project advisor and outside resources. I learned about organizations that create communities of women in STEM, such as 500 Women Scientists and Scientista. This exposure further encourages me to pursue a STEM career myself and to seek out communities of women who have similar passions in the future. I hope to study biochemistry or biomedical science in college and to use my leadership and experiences in STEM to someday mentor young girls pursuing STEM.

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

I feel as though the Gold Award was a perfect capstone to my time in Girl Scouts because it allowed me to accumulate the leadership and skills I have gained to produce a project that speaks to my experiences for years to come. I have witnessed peers in their Girl Scout pursuits creating incredible projects that continually impact the community, and this inspired me to create a useful and accessible resource that can be enjoyed by many people, especially my target audience.

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

This project helped me become a G.I.R.L. by encouraging me to be an innovator. In this project, I built a website, which is something that I have never done, so this required working toward technological skill building and innovation. Additionally, I had to innovate a way to connect in my community during the COVID-19 pandemic and to ensure that my resources would always be available to students, online or in-person. I also feel that I grew as a go-getter, risk-taker, and leader, but I believe that my growth in innovation was the most significant. I am sincerely grateful for the support I received on creating this platform to inspire other girls to reach toward their goals and passions in STEM, and I look forward to utilizing the skills I learned in this project in the future. It’s a great day to be a G.I.R.L.!

**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: Megan Burns, Colorado Springs, “The Silver Lining Project”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I created a website and social media presence made up of art created, inspired by, or created during the COVID-19 pandemic. I made it as a way for artists to express how they felt during this tumultuous time. I also created sticker designs in order to raise money for the website.

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

I knew my project has made an impact because I have gotten submissions from many different states and communities, all with different perspectives and ideas they wish to express through their art.

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

My website will stay active online after I have stopped receiving submissions. This is why I created my sticker designs. I also created a YouTube video as an advertisement to fully explain my project.

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

I have received submissions from Ukraine and the UK. I have also gotten a blog up on the WAGGGS website to reach the international community further.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned I am more capable of connecting to dozens and dozens of people than I first thought I was. My time management skills were also strengthened as a result of this project.

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

I am planning to pursue a career in graphic design in college. I can point to this project as an example of my web design and organizational skills. It could also potentially help me get a job later down the road.

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

I feel as though this project was a really good, finalizing way to end my time with Girl Scouts. It represents all the things I have learned and all the friends I have made being a part of it. I’m so proud of all I have been able to accomplish.

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

I feel as though my project in itself was a huge risk. Cultivating an online presence is extremely difficult and there were so many times I wondered if this would even work at all. I’m so thankful to say it did. I was lucky enough to have a mentor and support system that helped me find artists willing to submit.

**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.