Tag Archives: Gold Award

the highest award a Girl Scout can earn. It is something that a girl can be passionate about—in thought, deed, and action. The project is something that fulfills a need within a girl’s community (whether local or global), creates change, and hopefully, is something that becomes ongoing.

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.

42 Colorado Girl Scouts earn Gold Award, the highest honor in Girl Scouts

This spring 42 Colorado Girl Scouts will receive the Gold Award, the highest achievement in Girl Scouts. These young women are challenged to change the world – or at least their corner of it. Gold Award Girl Scouts are making the world a better place. They’ve 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 skills that mark them as valuable contributors to their communities and world.

This year’s Colorado Gold Award projects benefited communities around the world. Topics varied from mental health, improving the environment, increasing literacy rates among children, physical health, home safety, boating safety, bullying, access to technology, and more. The following Colorado Girl Scouts are among the 42 statewide who will receive 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 rack card 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.

Colorado Gold Award Girl Scouts are also eligible for the Stephanie A. Foote Leadership Prize and the Debbie Haskins Spirit of Girl Scouting Award. Emily Kretschmer from Colorado Springs received the 2019 Stephanie A. Foote Leadership Prize. This award 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.

The Stephanie A. Foote Leadership Prize selection committee also determined three Gold Award Girl Scouts were deserving of Honorable Mention. They are Madeline Ford from Englewood, Maya Hegde from Englewood, and Keaton Maring from Arvada.

Mykaela Ryan from Broomfield was awarded the 2019 Debbie Haskins Spirit of Girl Scouting Award. 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.

Open only to girls in high school, the Girl Scout Gold Award is the most prestigious award in the world for girls—and the most difficult to earn. The Gold Award project involves seven steps: 1. Identify an issue, 2. Investigate it thoroughly, 3. Get help and build a team, 4. Create a plan, 5. Present the plan and gather feedback, 6. Take action, 7. Educate and inspire. Of the skills learned through Girl Scouts’ Highest Awards, leadership, organization, and critical thinking are the fundamentals of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Universities and colleges offer scholarships unique to Gold Award recipients, and girls who enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces may receive advanced rank in recognition of their achievements.

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

Girl Scouts of Colorado will honor these Gold Award Girl Scouts as well as recipients of Girl Scouts’ other two Highest Awards, the Silver (the Highest Award a Girl Scout Cadette can earn) and Bronze (the Highest Award a Girl Scout Junior can earn), at upcoming ceremonies around the state. These events include:

  • April 26 at 6 p.m. at Center for American Values, 101 S. Main St. #100, Pueblo
  • April 28 at 2 p.m. Embassy Suites by Hilton, 4705 Clydesdale Pkwy, Loveland
  • May 3 at 6 p.m. at the Penrose House Garden Pavilion 1661 Mesa Ave., Colorado Springs
  • May 5 at 2 p.m. at the Denver Marriott Tech Center, 4900 S. Syracuse St., Denver
  • May 9 at 6 p.m. at Silverthorne Pavilion, 400 Blue River Pkwy, Silverthorne
  • May 19 at 2 p.m. Colorado Mesa University, 1100 North Ave., Grand Junction

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: Danise Bachman, Northglenn, “Coping with Grief Around the Holidays Activity Pages”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

The main issue I wanted to address was coping with grief around holidays. Many kids/young adults struggle with grief during the holiday season and my idea was to use art theory as a way to help people cope. Together with a team of artists, we created over sixteen coloring pages that are focused around a variety of holidays. Based on feedback given during my initial presentation, each page is geared towards either kids or teen/young adults. I partnered with an organization called Judi’s House which is in Denver. They help grieving families by providing free group therapy. After hand drawing each page, we scanned them into a PDF document and gave it to Judi’s House on a flash drive for them to use with the kids and teens who they provide services for.

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

I measured the impact of my project via feedback from surveys that were sent to Judi’s House clients as well as anonymous comments from the target audience.

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

Judi’s House has signed a letter of commitment saying that they will continue to use the pages. This means that they will print however many pages as long as they like. Judi’s House requested that we also make some general seasonal pages that they can use in the waiting rooms all year round. This was feedback and a request from Judi’s House that we implemented. I have also given the project to social workers at Colorado Preparatory Academy and Pikes Peak High School to use for the kids they work with.

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

In order to establish a national/global link, I delegated the pages to be translated into Spanish to a team member who is proficient in the language. I then gave the pages that were translated to the organizations previously mentioned. Judi’s House also has a national curriculum and Colorado Preparatory Academy and Pikes Peak High School work with kids from all over nation. (Please note that all students enrolled in these two schools have a residence in Colorado, but many are from different states/countries and there are some students who temporarily live out of state as well.)

What did you learn about yourself?

The main thing I learned about myself is that if I put enough effort in something, I can make a difference. Before, this issue of grief around the holidays seemed to be one I couldn’t help. Now, I know that that is something I can do about this issue and others like it.

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

The Gold Award has not only given me the confidence and leadership skills I will need for the future, but it also will help me be considered for scholarships, colleges, and any jobs I will apply for.

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

After being a Girl Scout for 13 years, I feel as though this is the perfect way to end my time at Girl Scouts. It has brought me closer with my fellow sister Girl Scouts and this project allows me to use many of the skills that Girl Scouts had taught me over the years.

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 helped me become a go-getter and a leader. There were many instances of me having to go out of my comfort zone to go get what I wanted for this project and I leading a team has been an amazing experience that has helped grow my leadership skills.

**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: Alyson Serio, Colorado Springs, “Photo-Shot Club”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I started a middle school-based club focused on learning Photoshop and photography. This club at Challenger Middle School raised middle school students’ interests in STEM– science, technology, engineering, and math. Throughout nine weeks, students gained skills shooting photos and enhancing them. At the end of the club, the students got to print out two photos to be displayed in the school. Though many middle schools do focus on art, they mainly focus on the traditional side. High school does offer more opportunities, but many middle schools lack these. Middle school is a time where students are figuring out what their interests are, socially and academically. My club opened their eyes to the digital arts and using technology creatively.

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

I had the students take a survey at the beginning and end of the club. In the start of the club, many of the students did not know have a main interest in graphic arts or STEM. The end survey depicted that students changed their opinions. Some students even said he or she wanted to follow photography into high school. Others were interested in graphic design and computer math. In the future, I hope to see more students going into the graphic arts, programming, and photography classes in the high school I go to, Pine Creek High School.

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

Next fall, I will be there to help, but will no longer run the club. The new leaders are a group of about five 6th and 7th graders who will work together to create new ideas in Photoshop and teach the new members of the club the program. I did a separate workshop for them that focused on learning how to problem solve the Photoshop program. I also went over how to be an effective leader. I provided my techniques, findings, and tips in a write up and gave it to the leaders to help as well. From now on, I will only provide guidance and oversee from a distance.

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

I wrote up a complete plan of how I implemented and ran my club with reports on expenses and supplies. I emailed my write-up to the Technology Departments in other districts including the Fountain Fort Carson School District, Academy School District 11, and Woodland Park School District. I sent it globally to the National Art Educators Association website coordinator. This website has blogs about teaching and ideas on how to do different projects. With the help of my Girl Scout leader, I also sent it to teachers in California.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that I can lead a class. I freak out or doubt myself about little things like standing in front of a group of middle schoolers. I learned that as a leader if you act confident and friendly people perceive you as such. They do not know that on the inside you may be freaking out. Acting confident makes you feel confident as well. This has been an amazing experience that gave me a lot of confidence in myself. I also learned how to talk to children. I am the youngest child in my family so I have almost no experience with younger kids. Though I am nervous around children, I have become more comfortable around them.

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

In the future, I am more likely to accept leadership positions. I also will be more confident and secure as a leader, knowing that leading others is not as scary as it seems. Mistakes can happen, and many don’t notice, forget, or forgive the mistakes. It helps to know that to be in a leadership position you do not have to know all the answers. A smart leader does not have all the answers, but has the confidence and humility to help people find them. Leading a group of people does not come with perfect confidence and presentation; it comes with wanting to teach and help others.

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

It is the highest award a Girl Scout can achieve. Not many Girl Scouts achieve this award, and it makes me proud to say that I am a Gold Award Girl Scout. I was in Girl Scouts since I was a Daisy. This is the crowning achievement to all the badges and events I have done throughout those years. My Gold Award also made me grow as an individual. Without it, I would not have changed as much through the Girl Scouts program. It is an achievement that takes a lot to earn and rewards the work I have done in the community. Girl Scouts and my Gold Award allowed me the experiences and challenges to grow.

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

It helped me become a risk-taker, leader, and go-getter. I gained a lot of confidence through this club. I learned to stop doubting myself and just take risks. Less stress and more confidence allows me to step outside of my comfort zone. I can be a leader, I can be in the front a group of people, and I can be informative and authoritative. This to me is a really big step in the right direction. I can breathe a little easier now as a leader in group projects, presentations, and collaborations.

**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: Brooke Eshbach, Colorado Springs, “Service Dog Training Aids”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award Project, I researched, designed, and built training aids for service dogs in training with an organization called Paw Pals Assistance Dogs (PPAD). PPAD specializes in training mobility dogs to help people in wheelchairs or with stability issues. There is a lack of advanced trainers in the program, so my training aid will assist puppy raisers in teaching advanced skills, and advanced trainers in focusing on specialized skills for the service dog recipients. My aid incorporates six training skills, is light weight and transportable, and will be used to develop the highest quality service dogs for people in need.

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

I was able to measure the impact of my project the first time I saw it in action! I took the training aids to a PPAD class and got to watch all the dogs and puppies work with the tool. Some were using the shelf and touching the light switches; others were opening the door and retrieving through the hole. It was exciting to listen to the trainers talk about plans for my aids in upcoming training sessions. At that time, I was able to imagine the global impact my training aid will have on service dogs, their trainers, and recipients around the world.

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

The training aids will be passed on to puppy raisers and advanced trainers for many years to come. Currently, there are PPAD advanced trainers in Colorado, California, and Florida. An electronic design/blueprint of the aid is available to be replicated in case of the wearing down of the aids or demand for more.

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

PPAD has the blueprint of the training aid attached to its website. This makes it easy for other trainers within the Paw Pals organization, as well as other service dog training organizations, to find instruction on building an aid of their own. I created a YouTube video that is linked to the blueprint explaining how the training aid is to be used. Because of the widespread scope of the Internet, my training aid is available both nationally and globally.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that I can lead a major project and accomplish it by an established deadline. I was able to build a great team with the skills needed, and to consider and accept others’ ideas and suggestions along the way. I learned I’m able to manage my time, prioritize, and overcome challenges.

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

Through the Gold Award experience, I became aware of how much support I have around me. I’m much more comfortable speaking in front of a group and teaching others. It also showed me how much my time and effort can affect others’ lives. The leadership skills required to lead a team and earn my Gold Award will stay with me for the rest of my life.

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

Earning my Gold Award brought together everything I have been learning in Girl Scouts such as leadership, teamwork, patience, determination, and success. It was a really big factor in continuing my Girl Scout journey throughout high school.

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

Earning my Gold Award made me an innovator. I took an original idea, designed and built it, and used it to make a difference in my community and the nation.

**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: Mia Aguon, Parker, “E-Cigarettes”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

My Gold Award Project was to have businesses of downtown Parker agree to hang up “No Smoking” signs that include e-cigarettes. Public health and safety has been something I feel strongly about preserving. With the growing popularity of e-cigarettes and vaporizers, I quickly became concerned about how it will affect communities, specifically the business community of my hometown of Parker. After seeing people openly use e-cigarettes and vape pens in stores, I knew exactly what my project needed to be. I created my own signs that say “No Smoking Including E-Cigarettes,” made an informative brochure on my project and the harm of e-cigarettes, and designed my own website that includes information, my sign, and brochure. Then, I reached out to several businesses personally and with the help of my team, getting them to hang the sign up, and carry the brochures.

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

There is no perfect way to measure the impact this project. I have so many resources out there and so many ways people can access this project in some way, shape, or form that one can’t quite measure it.

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

There are many sustainable aspects to my project. A huge one is the website I designed. A free domain is being used, therefore no payments will have to be constantly made and it will never disappear. It will always be there as a tool for people to learn about e-cigarettes and more about my project. I have included two PDFs on my website. One is the sign I designed to be hung up, and the other is the brochure I created to be provided at the store. This way my sign and brochure are always available for anybody, all they have to do is download the file and print. I have also partnered up with a wonderful small business owner who agreed to hold multiple signs and brochures at his location for anyone to pick up. This way, anyone interested in supporting my project can go to his location and pick one up. Website: https://e-cigarettegsaguon.weebly.com/

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

For my national and global aspect of my project, I have reached out to the Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) organization. They are a nonprofit organization whose mission is to advocate for innovative legal and policy measures to end the global tobacco epidemic. They have been making efforts against the tobacco industry since 1967, and since 2000 they have been in partnership with the Framework Convention Alliance, a coalition made up of more than 500 organizations in over 100 countries. This means not only does the ASH have global efforts, but they are partnered with tons of organizations that are all over the world. This makes them the perfect organization for me to reach out to in order to broaden the impact of my project. I have emailed the General Inquiries branch explaining what my project is, why I chose to do it, and how they could hopefully help support my project. They would be the perfect outlet for the global expansion of my project.

What did you learn about yourself?

Throughout the process of completing my Gold Award, I learned that if I really want something I will do whatever it takes to get it. No matter how many obstacles I face or how busy I get, I put forward the effort to make it happen. After some self reflection, I was truly impressed with myself for what I had accomplished. I never knew that I had it in me to be so driven and dedicated towards completing such a difficult task.

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

I am currently enlisted in the Air Force and by becoming a Gold Award Girl Scout, I have the privilege of graduating basic training one rank ahead of an average enlistee, meaning I’ll instantly be making a little bit more money. Most will graduate as Airman. I will graduate as an Airman First Class. Not only will earning my Gold Award directly help me in the Air Force, it will help my overall work ethic and everyday life skills. Some important skills that will benefit me would be communication with others, being able to work in a team and even manage a team.

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

I feel like it was important because every skill that I had learned throughout Girl Scouts, I applied to this project. It is like a final test, you show everything you have learned throughout the years, and how you can use your skills and ambitions to make a difference in the world.

How did earning your Gold Award help you become a G.I.R.L.?

My Gold Award taught me how to be an innovator and a risk-taker. My project is focused towards a very newly occurring problem, and when I first had this new innovative idea I was completely ahead of the game. I took a risk by going out and trying to get people to support my project and ideas behind 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: Sarah Dormer, Greenwood Village, “Pollinators, Boxes, and Dog Waste: What do they have in common?”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award, I took 72 former dog waste bag dispensers the city of Greenwood Village was getting rid of and recycled them into birdhouses and bee boxes. I then gave out the boxes for free at the city’s Earth Day Celebration while presenting a few different things everyone could do to protect pollinators. After the ceremony, I wrote an article for the Greenwood Village Newsletter about pollinators and delivered the last of the boxes to residents all over Greenwood Village.

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

I measured my impact of my project by having everyone who attended the Earth Day ceremony sign a banner pledging to protect pollinators. Afterwords, I quantified the results by counting the number of signatures.

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

My project is sustainable for two reasons: for one, all the people who read my article have their knowledge of how to protect pollinators, and all the people who have boxes will have homes for pollinators for years to come. Also, Greenwood Village agreed to rerun and publish the article I wrote, so it would always be accessible.

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

My project’s national connection came when I sent boxes and my article to communities in Idaho, Washington, and Tennessee.

What did you learn about yourself?

This project taught me that I was brave. For me, I learned that I could advocate for myself, especially when talking on the phone or talking to adults. I learned to problem solve, as almost nothing went exactly as planned. If nothing else, I learned what I could do. This project was a huge task, and the fact that I was able to do it will always stick with me.

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

Mostly, my Gold Award taught me to persevere and problem solve when things don’t immediately work out. In addition, it inspired a deep and lasting ability to love the creatures and nature around me.

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

My Gold Award changed my Girl Scout experience in that it was the largest thing I have ever done. Girl Scouts teaches girls to change the world, but I always felt some distance from the concept until I did this project and actually understood what changing the world felt like, even if it was a small change.

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

My project taught me to be an innovator. Because the project was themed around construction, I had to engineer with the materials I had and could recycle to make the boxes perfect.

**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: 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