Tag Archives: Gold Award Girl Scouts

Colorado lawmakers honor Gold Award Girl Scouts

On Monday, April 9, 2018, Colorado State Representatives broke from traditional business to honor 40 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. Riley Morgenthaler from Morrison received the Stephanie A. Foote Leadership Prize. She created Creativity Tool Tubs to help close the gap that students living in low-resource areas face when participating in the STEM-based activity, Destination Imagination. 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. “Riley’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.

Riley was honored along with one other Gold Award Girl Scout, whom the selection committee for the Stephanie A. Foote Leadership Prize determined was deserving of Honorable Mention. Marieke van Erven from Brighton partnered with the Adams County Elections Department to create VOTE (Voter Outreach Through Education), which takes education about the elections department into high school government classes.

Elizabeth Hoelscher from Aurora was named the first recipient of the Debbie Haskins Spirit of Girl Scouting Award. She partnered with Avanti House, which houses teenage survivors of sex trafficking, to build a new library for the home and create welcome baskets for the girls. 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 40 statewide who will be receiving the prestigious Gold Award for the 2017-18 Girl Scout awards year:

  • Losing a close family friend to testicular cancer inspired Geneva Ascher from Breckenridge, Summit High School, to teach young people how to properly perform self breast and testicular exams. The lesson plans she created and delivered to her classmates will continue to be used by her school.
  • Meg Bleylefrom Highlands Ranch, Highlands Ranch High School, worked to increase the bee population by teaching children about how people need and depend on bees.
  • Beth Bolonfrom Longmont hosted a workshop for sixth through ninth grade girls to help them improve their communication skills and bolster their confidence when interacting with others.
  • Cheyanne Bridgesfrom Colorado Springs, Liberty High School, partnered with the Pikes Peak Humane Society to support their animal medical fund by providing a sustainable source of donations from her school.
  • Tara Butlerfrom Denver, Overland High School, created a course and curriculum specifically for senior citizens to educate them on how to use their smartphone and better understand the technology.
  • Nicole Choma from Breckenridge, Summit High School, developed a partnership between her own rugby team and a local after school program designed to promote physical activity and healthy eating behaviors in children. Older students taught a rugby lesson at elementary schools around Summit County.
  • Kayleigh Cornellfrom Aurora, Grandview High School, started the Colorado Book Bank and collected more than 1,300 new and gently used books for students in a summer lunch program.
  • Aubree Crockett from Colorado Springs, Vanguard High School, wanted to create understanding and acceptance between people around the world while inspiring people to create positive change on their own. She did this through distributing electronic kits, which included a digital camera and instructions for how people could share their daily life, to people all over the world. Fifty-two participants and 25+ partner organizations have all received a copy of the book and more stories are being collected and added to the project.
  • Peyton Dailey from Centennial, Grandview High School, created a coalition between Spanish Honor Society students at her school and the Independent Learning Communities program, to provide ILC students the opportunity to learn and practice Spanish in a one-on-one setting.
  • Victoria Delatefrom Centennial, Cherry Creek High School, created a four-week self-defense course to give her fellow students the knowledge and skills to protect themselves from sexual assault.
  • Emma Deutschfrom Denver, Rocky Mountain School of Expeditionary Learning, improved the cat rooms at the Denver Animal Shelter. By creating a more welcoming and colorful space, she encouraged more people to adopt cats.
  • Kamaryn Evansfrom Castle Rock, Douglas County High School, worked to raise awareness for victims of domestic violence and for the Crisis Center, which works to end domestic violence through advocacy, education, and prevention.
  • Inspired by her own love of music and struggles with mental health, Madeline Farr from Centennial, Arapahoe High School, worked to install a piece of outdoor musical equipment called a “metallophone” on the playground of a low-resource elementary school. She also provided the school with lesson plans for how to use the instrument and educated her community about the importance of alternate recess activities for anxious young people.
  • Brenna Giblin of Westminster, Jefferson County Open School, worked to increase awareness for Turner Syndrome and help girls who are diagnosed with it. TS is a chromosomal disorder that affects 25-50 out of every 100,000 live baby girl births. Brenna created a video of girls with TS sharing their stories, experiences, and advice for others.
  • Rose Goodmanfrom Boulder, Boulder High School, created a lesson plan, which meets common-core standards, to educate second grade students about the declining bee population and how they can help bees.
  • Elizabeth Hoelscherfrom Aurora, Grandview High School, partnered with Avanti House, which houses teenage survivors of sex trafficking, to build a new library for the home and create welcome baskets for the girls.
  • Ashlin Hultfrom Niwot, Niwot High School, created a series of materials for middle-school girls to encourage healthy body image and increase self-esteem.
  • Zoi Johnsfrom Golden, Lakewood High School, coordinated the installation of three 10,000-liter water filtration tanks in a school in rural Uganda and educated students in Uganda and in Colorado about the importance of clean water.
  • Emma Kerr from Monument, Palmer Ridge High School, built a bookshelf and reading center at a local elementary school. With the help of administrators and teachers, she also started a fun and competitive read-a-thon program in which more than 300 students participated.
  • Emelie Knitz from Colorado Springs, Discovery Canyon Campus High School, created a cookbook for FoCo Café in Fort Collins to educate people about what community cafés are, how they help the public, and where people can find other community cafés.
  • Makayla Kocherfrom Monument, Colorado Springs Christian School, created an art program for nursing home residents.
  • Kayleigh Limbachfrom Niwot, Niwot High School, wrote a guidebook for incoming International Baccalaureate students to help them weigh their options for their academic future.
  • Ty’esha Lockyer from Colorado Springs, Colorado Springs Christian School, worked to encourage more people to volunteer for Special Olympics. She created a brochure and posters that went to more than 100 volunteer and civic organizations across the county.
  • Justine Monsell from Highlands Ranch, Mountain Vista High School, partnered with American Legion Post 82 and the Elizabeth Cemetery to provide emblem markers and flags for the more than 150 veterans who are laid to rest in the cemetery.
  • Alexis Montaguefrom Castle Rock, Castle View High School, hosted a panel discussion so girls could learn more about career opportunities in STEM.
  • Riley Morgenthaler from Morrison, Conifer High School, created Creativity Tool Tubs to help close the gap that students living in low-resource areas face when participating in the STEM-based activity, Destination Imagination.
  • Sarah Nessfrom Centennial, Eaglecrest High School, hosted nearly two dozen after-school art therapy sessions to help kids at her school relieve and manage stress.
  • Gwyneth Ormesfrom Centennial, Cherry Creek High School, organized a series of after-school workshops to teach elementary school girls Processing (a basic programming language), along with the foundational concepts of computer science.
  • Emma Parkhurstfrom Centennial, Littleton High School, revitalized The Lions Cupboard, a local clothing closet, to make the space more accessible for families in need.
  • Jaden Scott from Fort Collins, Fort Collins High School, partnered with BASE Camp, an after school enrichment program, to offer dance classes as an extracurricular activity. Throughout her project, she taught more than 230 children dance at elementary schools throughout the Fort Collins area.
  • Abagail Sickingerfrom Castle Rock, Douglas County High School, developed a curriculum to help high school students get a job. Topics included: resume writing, what to wear, conducting yourself during an interview, and how to answer interview questions.
  • Katrina Stroudfrom Boulder, Niwot High School, created an activity booklet for The Butterfly Pavilion to teach children about Monarch butterflies and bumble bees.
  • Grayson Thomasfrom Lyons, Lyons High School, designed a mural of diverse and significant members of the STEM community for Lyons Middle/Senior High School.
  • Lillian Tobias from Breckenridge, Summit High School, partnered with the Colorado Haiti Project and traveled to Haiti to set up an entrepreneurship program at St. Paul’s school in the rural coastal town of Petit Trou de Nippes.
  • Marieke van Ervenfrom Brighton partnered with the Adams County Elections Department to create VOTE (Voter Outreach Through Education), which takes education about the elections department into high school government classes.
  • Melissa Wilsonfrom Castle Rock, Castle View High School, developed several materials to educate people who can hear about how to interact with those who are deaf.
  • Inspired by her mother’s battle with cancer, Susan Wilsonfrom Aurora, Grandview High School, created a media center for cancer patients undergoing treatment at Parker Adventist Hospital.
  • Mihaela Zaharescu from Broomfield, Prospect Ridge Academy, worked with her school’s National Honor Society chapter to create dental care packets for children in need. She also organized a drive to collect toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, and mouthwash to go into the packets.

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

Gold Award Girl Scout:  Riley Morgenthaler, Morrison, ” Creativity Tool Tubs and Manager Mentors”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award project, I helped lessen the underrepresentation of low-resource children in STEM activities by addressing both the lack of resources and support that they face.  In order to encourage the involvement and enjoyment of STEM activities for students from Title One schools, I supported their involvement in the quality STEM based activity Destination Imagination.  Destination Imagination is a creative problem solving competition in which teams of students develop solutions to science, engineering, and technology challenges, developing team work and project management skills along the way.  To lessen the resource gap that students living in poverty face, I developed Creativity Tool Tubs, which are kits which contain various tools that are useful in the successful completion of a Destination Imagination solution.  In order to address the lack of support that these children often face when attempting to participate in STEM activities, I created a mentorship program entitled “Manager Mentors.”  Through this program adult leaders in underprivileged communities can get help from experienced adult leaders in order to encourage their success and continued involvement.

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

The main way that I have been able to measure the success of my project is through the demand that was created around the Creativity Tool Tubs and Manager Mentor program and the success that I had in meeting that demand.  Although my original goal was to create only five Creativity Tool Tubs, after bringing my idea to the community I discovered an even larger need than I originally anticipated.  This is why I became determined to create enough Tool Tubs as to not leave any kids wanting.  I consider my project a success, as I was able to provide a Tool Tub and mentor to every interested Title One team in Colorado.  Another way that I have measured the impact that my Gold Award project had on the target community is through the feedback I have received. I have gotten many emails and spoken to many adult leaders telling me how important the Tool Tubs and mentorship program have been for their experience this year.

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

Both parts of my project will be sustained beyond my involvement and create a lasting impact on my target community.  The Manager Mentorship program is extremely sustainable due to the “human web” that it has developed in the Destination Imagination community.  I requested letter of intent from the current members of the mentorship program, and have received seven back indicating their intent to participate in the mentorship program next season.  Additionally, the Destination Imagination Training Team has indicated their intent to take over and run the Manager Mentor program for years to come.  I have also made physical resources available on the Destination Imagination Colorado website, so that Title One adult leaders can access them at any time, and anyone interested in implementing a similar program can use the resources I have created.

The Creativity Tool Tub aspect of my project is sustainable beyond my involvement because the Tubs will be collected at the end of every Destination Imagination season, and distributed at the start of the next season.  Destination Imagination Colorado has agreed to house the Tool Tubs during the off season, and facilitate their distribution. The JeffCo Steering Committee, a group of volunteers in Jefferson County which works toward providing STEM opportunities to Title One students and has a particular emphasis on keeping students across the district involved in Destination Imagination, has signed a letter of commitment agreeing to house the funds that I have set aside and replenish the used, lost, or broken items as necessary.  Also, the Destination Imagination Youth Leadership Committee has agreed to inventory the Creativity Tool Tubs at the end of each season.  Through these commitments, I am confident that my project will continue to help underprivileged students access STEM learning for years to come.

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

The national and global link of my project developed through my effort to inform and inspire people throughout the nation and world to implement projects similar to my own.  I developed an informational piece regarding the root causes I addressed, the steps I took and the importance of the issue I identified and contacted Destination Imagination Inc. requesting assistance in spreading the word.  They agreed to publish the piece, along with pictures of the Tool Tubs, to their various internationally followed social media accounts.  Destination Imagination, Inc. also agreed to publish instructions on obtaining the resources and documents that I have created and developed throughout my project so that people interested in implementing a similar project can have access to them.  Through this article, Destination Imagination Inc.’s 29,602 followers were able to read about my project.  The Facebook post about my Gold Award Project received 319 “likes,” 53 “shares,” and 28 comments.  Some of the places comments came in from include Virginia, Michigan, New Hampshire, Illinois, Oklahoma, California, Minnesota, Arkansas, Texas, Ohio, New York, and Massachusetts.  In addition to the comments from various states, my story was shared by two people in Amman, Jordan.  These two people are affiliated with a non-profit program in Jordan called Youth for Development.  This organization is dedicated to creating well informed young people who can take responsibility for global problems like extreme poverty and hunger and actively take part in the solution.   I am proud of the scope and variety of people that my project was able to reach through this avenue.

In addition, after reading my article on Facebook, Michigan Destination Imagination reached out to me to learn more about my project. Through this I was able to provide them with more information about how to start and carry out a program similar to mine, and I received a letter of commitment expressing their interest in starting a program of their own.  As of 2009, 44% of children in Michigan lived in a low income household.  This makes Michigan a perfect place for my project to grow and develop in, as it truly has the possibility of helping a massive number of children.

What did you learn about yourself?

Through my Gold Award project I discovered my power as a leader, not only of people my own age, but of people much older and very different than myself.  Through the course of my project, I mobilized people of all different ages and genders, and learned how to effectively communicate with all of them.  This was an important discovery for me, because I was very nervous about guiding so many other people, and am proud to have overcome this obstacle.

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

Earning my Gold Award will make me a more brave and confident person moving forward.  Throughout the process I was pushed past my comfort zone, and this has prepared me to take more risks and challenge myself in the future.  I truly think that my Gold Award experience has made me better equipped to face the challenges of my future.

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

While Girl Scouts has given me so many amazing experiences, earning my Gold Award is by far the accomplishment I am most proud of.  I was able to use the skills I have learned throughout my 12 years as a Girl Scout and accomplish something truly amazing.  I aspired to earn my Gold Award ever since I was a Brownie, and I am proud to have kept my Girl Scout Promise, and have made the world a better place.

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

Earning my Gold Award undoubtedly helped me become a go-getter.  The process pushed me to accomplish more and more, and taught me the importance of striving to be the best you can be.  I am proud of all of the steps I took to ensure the true quality of my project and guarantee the continued sustainability.  The Gold Award Process continually pushed me to strive for better, and taught me to be a true go-getter.

**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