Tag Archives: Gold Awardee

Bronze, Silver, and Gold Award Recipients honored at Highest Awards celebration in Colorado Springs

More than three hundred Girl Scout families and friends gathered at the Penrose House Garden Pavilion in Colorado Springs on May 6, 2016 to honor Colorado Girl Scouts who earned one of Girl Scouts’ Highest Awards, the Bronze, Silver, or Gold Award.

More than a dozen Girl Scouts were presented the Gold Award, the highest honor a Girl Scout can earn. All described their projects and how earning the Gold Award has impacted their lives. The amazing young women who inspired the audience included:

  • Katelyn Abbott from Cañon City, Cañon City High School, renovated the courtyard outside of Progressive Care Center, which offers nursing care, rehabilitation therapies, and Alzheimer’s care.
  • After learning a local school was wasting money on trash disposal and recyclable items were being thrown away, Tristina Altman from Colorado Springs, Colorado Springs Christian School, developed a recycling program for the school.
  • Madison Block from Colorado Springs, Liberty High School, engaged elementary school students in science and other STEM-related topics through a fair attended by more than 300 people.
  • Inspired by her own passion for music, Tierra Carter from Castle Rock, Colorado Springs Early Colleges, brought music to children in the hospital. She visited with more than 300 patients under the age of 8 and offered to teach them simple songs on a keyboard or play for them.
  • Hannah Clair from Colorado Springs, Springs Studio for Academic Excellence, worked to give students at her school a place to discover new friends. She designed and built a weatherproof bench that also stores many toys and games to play while making a new friend.
  • Sarah Depew from Colorado Springs, The George Washington University: Online High School, wrote an almost 80-page booklet that includes original chemistry experiments for homeschool students, along with a parent manual for educators.
  • Maniyah Hart from Colorado Springs, Coronado High School, partnered with Zach’s Place and the Manitou Arts Center to develop an opportunity for children with autism to experience ceramics.
  • Stephanie Huisingh from Colorado Springs, Discovery Canyon Campus High School, wrote a detailed guide that lays out the specific steps for how to throw a high school party and include students with special needs.
  • Helen Landwehr from Colorado Springs, Air Academy High School, refurbished and redecorated the Severe Special Needs room at Air Academy High School to make it a safe, welcoming, and effective learning environment.
  • Ashley Marttila from Colorado Springs, Doherty High School, created a choir at her church to bring children together and give them the confidence to perform in front of a large audience.
  • Kelsey McKenna from Colorado Springs, Air Academy High School, spread publicity for non-profit junior golf organizations by organizing a junior golf scramble where high school golfers came as mentors for younger girls.
  • Lauren Moran from Colorado Springs, Cheyenne Mountain High School, started a music program at a local retirement community, where high school musicians performed monthly and visited with residents.
  • Angel Potter from Cañon City, Cañon City High School, worked with Loaves and Fishes Ministries of Fremont County and other local non-profits to collect books so children from low-resource families could discover the joy of reading.
  • Meagan Prewitt from Colorado Springs, Coronado High School, created a mobile chest of activities for children with special needs who attend Sunrise United Methodist Church.
  • Alyssa Scaduto from Colorado Springs, Doherty High School, brought books to low-resource families by teaching schools how to hold a used book fair, which can be supported by a book drive.
  • Alessandra Smith from Colorado Springs, Liberty High School, created a program that provides residents of care facilities access to iPads and resources to Skype and use other apps to stay in touch with loved ones.

Girl Scouts in grades 9th-12th who earn the Gold Award demonstrate extraordinary leadership through a project that makes a difference in their community. More than two hundred Bronze Award honorees (the highest award a girl in grades 4th-5th can earn) and Silver Award honorees (the highest award a girl in 6th – 8th grade can earn) also were presented their awards.

Girl Scouts of Colorado CEO and President Stephanie Foote said the girls’ spirit and motivation inspires us all to think of the needs of others and take action to make the world a better place.

“You are strong role models for our community and our world,” she said.

2015 Gold Award recipient Kelsey Quick served as the celebration’s emcee. She is also the winner of the inaugural Johanna Farrar Girl Scout Memorial Scholarship. To earn the highest award in Girl Scouts, Kelsey created a website and other materials to help children who have been cyberbullied. You can read more about her project here.

“Through my (Gold Award) project, I learned how to better organize my time, create a budget, and how to create a team of experts to help me successfully complete my project,” she said. “I am proud that my project is being used in several places around the state, throughout school districts and police departments. I hope I can truly make a difference in children’s lives by helping them learn how to deal with cyberbullying.”

This year Girl Scouts across the country are celebrating the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouts’ highest award. The focus of a Gold Award project is to identify and research a community issue she is passionate about, develop a plan to address it in cooperation with her team and community members, establish a global connection with others and provide sustainability for the project. Of the skills learned through Girl Scouts’ Highest Awards, leadership, organization and critical thinking are the fundamentals of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Some 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.

 

Sarah Greichen awarded Stephanie A. Foote Leadership Prize

Sarah Greichen, 2016 Gold Award recipient, is the winner of the Stephanie A. Foote Leadership Prize. Sarah from Centennial, Front Range Christian School, officially accepted her award at the Day at the Capitol Celebration for Girl Scouts of Colorado on Monday, May 2, 2016.  Lawmakers in the House of Representatives broke from traditional business to honor the 48 Girl Scouts from across the state who earned their Gold Awards, the highest award in Girl Scouts, this spring.

Inspired by her twin brother who has an Autism Spectrum Disorder, Sarah started a new non-profit organization, Score A Friend, to encourage more schools to offer and have students participate in unified sports teams and clubs. Sarah was selected as the winner of this $1,000 cash prize by an independent panel. Of Sarah’s project, prize committee members said, “We are delighted at the quality of Gold Award projects we reviewed this year and are thrilled to award the Stephanie A. Foote Leadership Prize to Sarah Greichen whose project exemplifies community impact through leadership.”

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.

“Sarah’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.

In addition to Sarah’s award, the prize committee chose to honor four deserving Gold Award recipients with the title of Honorable Mention. They are: Belle BashawKellyn DasslerCourtney Howell, and Cassidy Klein. Belle from Parker, Douglas County High School, developed a curriculum to teach elementary school students about the importance of bees, which bees they might see, and how they can help the bee population thrive. Kellyn from Parker, Chapparal High School, increased students’ respect for teachers and educators. She also worked to encourage teachers throughout the year and made working conditions better for staff by taking items off their “to-do” lists. Courtney from Niwot, Silver Creek High School, organized a science, math, and engineering exploration day for middle and elementary school students to show them that science can be fun. Cassidy from Highlands Ranch, ThunderRidge High School, collected more than 2,900 children’s books, which she used to create a library for Joshua Station, a transitional housing facility for families.

This year Girl Scouts across the country are celebrating the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouts’ highest award. The Gold Award culminates with a project led by one young woman between 9th and 12th grades who builds a purpose-based team to work with the larger community to meet a need. The focus of a Gold Award project is to identify and research a community issue she is passionate about, develop a plan to address it in cooperation with her team and community members, establish a global connection with others and provide sustainability for the project.  Of the skills learned through Girl Scouts’ Highest Awards, leadership, organization and critical thinking are the fundamentals of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Some 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.

Gold, Silver, and Bronze Award recipients honored at Highest Awards celebration in Denver

More than a thousand Girl Scout families and friends gathered at the Denver Marriott Tech Center on May 1, 2016 to honor Colorado Girl Scouts who earned one of Girl Scouts’ Highest Awards, the Bronze, Silver, or Gold Award.

Nearly 20 Girl Scouts were presented the Gold Award, the highest honor a Girl Scout can earn. All described their projects and how earning the Gold Award has impacted their lives. The amazing young women who inspired the audience included:

  • Belle Bashaw from Parker, Douglas County High School, developed a curriculum to teach elementary school students about the importance of bees, which bees they might see, and how they can help the bee population thrive.
  • To expand homeowners’ knowledge of crevice gardens and reduce outdoor water use, Carrie Bishop from Golden, Ralston Valley High School, added an educational aspect to the Apex Community Heroes Crevice Garden in Arvada.
  • Hadley Bowles from Denver, Saint Mary’s Academy, worked with Metro Caring, one of Denver’s largest food assistance programs, to teach low-resource children where healthy food comes from and about eating healthy.
  • Allison Caperton from Littleton, Dakota Ridge High School, coordinated a gymnastics camp for children with special needs. They will have access to the best gymnastics bars for home. Her camp was four weeks long and open to children of all ages with special needs.
  • Grace Dorgan from Golden, Colorado Academy, designed a free, hands-on natural science curriculum and taught it to low-resource elementary school students in Denver, through a program called Horizons.
  • Katelyn Eaman from Broomfield, Broomfield High School, designed raised garden beds so students at her school could learn about gardening and the impact it can have on communities worldwide.
  • Delaney Fitzsimmons’ sister spoke on her behalf. Delaney from Highlands Ranch, Mountain Vista High School, created a list of books intended for 5th to 8th grade readers with the purpose of providing a resource for students to find engaging books they will enjoy and finish.
  • Martina Gilbert from Castle Pines, Rock Canyon High School, created a more welcoming, aesthetically pleasing, wheelchair-accessible outdoor area for Fisher House, a home for veterans and their families.
  • Meredith Greer from Golden, Lakewood High School, worked to provide personal hygiene items to clients of The Action Center in Jefferson County.
  • Emma Hesse from Golden, Lakewood High School, revitalized the clothing area of The Action Center in Jefferson County, specifically the area for teens. Her work helped raise the self-confidence of teens served by the center.
  • Cassidy Klein from Highlands Ranch, ThunderRidge High School, collected more than 2,900 children’s books, which she used to create a library for Joshua Station, a transitional housing facility for families.
  • Kimberly Levine from Longmont, Niwot High School, created a food drive tutorial, which was geared toward English and Spanish-speaking communities who are interested in making a difference.
  • Lauren McBeth from Aurora, Cherokee Trail High School, built “House of Words,” a little free library, in newly renovated Tierra Park in northern Aurora.
  • Olivia Noakes from Thornton, Thornton High School, developed a multi-media presentation about opportunities in middle and high school music that was geared toward 4th and 5th grade students.
  • Nieca Robinson from Aurora, Eaglecrest High School, worked to make it easier for teenagers, specifically those at her school, to find help and resources specifically for them regarding domestic violence.
  • Emily Walker from Castle Rock, Castle Rock High School, created a project that provides teddy bears and handmade no-sew blankets to first responders in order to comfort people involved in traumatic situations.
  • Catherine Welch from Highlands Ranch, Highlands Ranch High School, helped senior citizens at a local retirement center stay in touch with loved ones by teaching them how to use iPads and other technology.

Girl Scouts in grades 9-12 who earn the Gold Award demonstrate extraordinary leadership through a project that makes a difference in their community. More than one hundred Bronze Award honorees (the highest award a girl in grades 4-5 can earn) and Silver Award honorees (the highest award a girl in 6th – 8th grade can earn) also were presented their awards.

Girl Scouts of Colorado CEO and President Stephanie Foote said the girls’ spirit and motivation inspires us all to think of the needs of others and take action to make the world a better place.

“You are strong role models for our community and our world,” she said.

2015 Gold Award recipient Christina Bear served as the celebration’s emcee. She is also the winner the inaugural Stephanie A. Foote Leadership Prize for Gold Award Excellence. To earn the highest award in Girl Scouts, Christina organized a week-long summer program for Latino students at the 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.

“The Gold Award taught me the value of doing a project that has impact and sustainability. This is the beauty of ‘Going for the Gold.’ It’s not a one-time community service project. Rather, it’s a Take Action project where Girl Scouts can realistically bring about change and sustain it,” she said.

This year Girl Scouts across the country are celebrating the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouts’ highest award. The focus of a Gold Award project is to identify and research a community issue she is passionate about, develop a plan to address it in cooperation with her team and community members, establish a global connection with others and provide sustainability for the project. Of the skills learned through Girl Scouts’ Highest Awards, leadership, organization and critical thinking are the fundamentals of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Some 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.

Colorado House of Representatives honors Gold Award recipients

On Monday, May 2, Colorado’s House of Representatives broke from traditional business to honor 48 Girl Scouts from across the state who received the Gold Award, the highest honor in Girl Scouts.  Approximately half of this year’s honorees from along the Front Range were at this recognition, which will took place shortly after the session opened at 10 a.m.  As Girl Scout Gold Award recipients, these girls’ accomplishments reflect 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 also introduced the 2016 winner of the Stephanie A. Foote Leadership Prize. Inspired by her twin brother who has an Autism Spectrum Disorder, Sarah Greichen from Centennial, Front Range Christian School, started a new non-profit organization to encourage more schools to offer and have students participate in unified sports teams and clubs. 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. “Sarah’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.

Sarah was honored along with four other Gold Award recipients, who the selection committee for the Stephanie A. Foote Leadership Prize determined were deserving of Honorable Mention. They are: Belle BashawKellyn DasslerCourtney Howell, and Cassidy Klein. Belle from Parker, Douglas County High School, developed a curriculum to teach elementary school students about the importance of bees, which bees they might see, and how they can help the bee population thrive. Kellyn from Parker, Chapparal High School, increased students’ respect for teachers and educators. She also worked to encourage teachers throughout the year and made working conditions better for staff by taking items off their “to-do” lists. Courtney from Niwot, Silver Creek High School, organized a science, math, and engineering exploration day for middle and elementary school students to show them that science can be fun. Cassidy from Highlands Ranch, ThunderRidge High School, collected more than 2,900 children’s books, which she used to create a library for Joshua Station, a transitional housing facility for families.

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

This year Girl Scouts across the country are celebrating the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouts’ highest award. The Gold Award culminates with a project led by one young woman between 9th and 12th grades who builds a purpose-based team to work with the larger community to meet a need. The focus of a Gold Award project is identifying and researching a community issue she is passionate about, developing a plan to address it in cooperation with her team and community members, establishing a global connection with others and providing sustainability for the project. Of the skills learned through Girl Scouts’ Highest Awards, leadership, organization and critical thinking are the fundamentals of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Some 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.

Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Madison Block, Colorado Springs, STEM Show

Maddie Block 1

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I created a program aimed to involve and inspire young children to study STEM topics in a fun and engaging way. I ran this program in a carnival-esque layout at Explorer Elementary School. Over 175 kids attended with their families, which lead to over 300 people present. I also coordinated around 70 volunteers.

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

As the children exited the fair, we gave them a science-themed prize. We also took a poll and wrote down general feedback. The poll measured the children’s favorite activities and asked how they felt about the fair. I also collected feedback from the various people involved in this project. Thankfully, I receive all good feedback and the event was a smashing success!

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

Explorer Elementary School will now host this STEM fair annually, hopefully with the aid of Liberty HS’s NHS. If continued, this project will continue to teach, inspire and engage kids for many more years. I also hope that other schools can learn and replicate some of the skills and techniques I used to further their own STM education curriculums.

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

The project I created can be applied in any environment, anywhere, for any elementary aged child. By making it accessible, anyone can use my work as a resource, whether they are on the other side of the globe or next-door to me. I am also contacting local schools to spread the program around the state.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned how to push through a bad day to do necessary work on this project. I often had long days where I did not want to do work, and I learned how to persevere through those moods to accomplish important tasks. This will be a valuable skill that will benefit me for years to come.

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

Not only did the Gold Award increase my leadership abilities, but it also furthered my management skills. I learned how to organize and instruct around 70 volunteers at the same time. Some of these volunteers were older than me too, so I had to learn to work with the “age gap” dynamic. This skills will aid me in my future.

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

The Gold Award is the most prestigious award I have received in my life so far, and I feel as if it is the summit to a lifelong expedition up to a mountain top. Although I will continue to climb metaphorical mountains in my life, this experience brings me to the end of my last year of Girls Scouts. I will graduate high school in May and turn 18 in June, and I could not have asked for a better end to this journey.

**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

Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Cailin Foster, Monument, “Re-Imagining Legos: Robotics for Kids”

Foster_Cailin

 

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award, I went to various schools and started Lego Robotics Teams. I wanted to help mentor and expose kids to engineering and robotics at a younger age, so I targeted Elementary and Middle Schools. I would teach the students basic programming and building with Lego Mindstorm Kits as well as teamwork skills. I also tried to get more girls involved in Robotics and STEM by creating an informational pamphlet for girls which were distributed to various local school districts. These pamphlets encouraged girls to get more involved in STEM and included various programs to do so.

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

I measured my impact by having the kids take surveys about their experience afterwards. All the surveys came out positive and all the kids now want to pursue STEM fields! Also, pamphlets were taken very quickly at each of the schools.

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

My project is sustainable because the Robotics Teams can last year after year. It has become an established club at all the schools. To really ensure that the teams continue, I partnered the elementary/ middle school teams up with high school teams so high school students can come back every year and mentor the Lego Team students. This way, both the middle/elementary school and high school students both learn from each other as they grow as STEM workers! Both teams have a lotto learn from each other, and the high school students provide as great role models for the younger kids.

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

The global connection of my project is the pamphlet as well as my “how-to guide” for starting robotics teams. The pamphlet is designed to spark interest in girls all over the world, and the guide is to help people around the world start their own teams. Also, the robotics teams have sister teams in countries across the globe, so they get to share world-wide experiences and ideas! They get to see how robotics affects people from all over!

What did you learn about yourself?

From my project, I learned that I really love engineering. I love collaborating with people and guiding others. It taught me that STEM has endless possibilities. But, my favorite thing learned was seeing how positively kids react to STEM and robotics when it is put in a fun, creative, and competitive environment. They don’t realize they are learning while having fun!

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

My Gold Award taught me a lot about kids and engineering. Kids love to be creative and don’t mind learning when it is given a fun twist! My Gold Award will impact my future because I plan to continue to find ways to get kids involved in STEM. I think introducing kids to the ever growing and prevalent STEM field at a younger age will be critical to the progress of our society. Just imagine what kids can invent when they know all the basic skills at a younger, more creative age?! The possibilities are endless!

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

I feel like my Gold Award was the culmination of everything Girl Scouts taught me. It took initiative, cooperation, and kindness. It put all my skills gained by Girl Scouts to the test. It felt like a big wrap up to everything in my life Girl Scouts, and my Gold Award felt like everything I learned was worth it. I don’t think my Girl Scout experience would have been complete if I didn’t achieve my Gold Award.

**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

Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Maniyah Hart, Colorado Springs, “Autism and Art Therapy”

Maniyah Hart

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award project, I decided to address kids with autism and the effects of art. In my project, I hoped to share something with the kids and young adults that will allow them to open up to their expressive side. In order to do that, I decided to make a manual for autism centers to use to teach their kids the wonder of art through making ceramic candle holders and they can do this through the Manitou Art Center. After I taught a group of kids with Zach’s Place (a local autism center), I planned with Manitou Art Center to have kids come in during the National Autism month in April to come in and make their art.

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

To fully understand the impact my project left on these kids, I simply had to look at their faces. The expression of joy and smiles is all it really took to show me that they enjoyed making a ceramic candle holder. Not only did they smile but I could see a sense of pride inside them for making something of their own unique design.

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

Every year during the National Autism month, which is April, Manitou Art Center will host a day where they invite kids or young adults with autism to come in and make a ceramic candle holder, which will be made with the help of my instructional manual provided for the autism centers. It will continue to impact after my involvement because it is something that the children will enjoy doing.

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

The global connection associated with my project is to raise more awareness on children with autism. This project shows that they have an artistic and expressive side just like everyone else. It allows them to express themselves at times when they don’t feel like talking.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that I can be capable of anything that I set my mind to. I was really afraid at the beginning of my project because of all the hard work I would have to put in. But in the end it is worth it so you can help the world be a better place.

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

Earning my Gold Award will help me become a more independent adult. After putting so much time and effort into this project, it showed me that this is how you become successful in life. I plan to continue on this path of success by putting hard work into everything I do.

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

The Gold Award really caps off the whole Girl Scout experience. This is what the whole Girl Scout journey is about; make the world a better place. You learned throughout the years to make change but to also be the change as one individual among many, who knows how to make the world its best.

**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

Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Emma Hassman, Erie, “A Children’s Garden for Black Rock”

Hassman_Emma[5]

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award project I, with the help of the students and parents of Black Rock Elementary, created a garden.  This included removing weeds and old dirt from previous attempts to set up this sort of project.  I had to get in contact with the Grounds Lead for the school district to have them remove the weeds and dirt because it was too big of a job for the team I had. I also had to go and get plants and other material donated from stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s to fill the garden.  Finally, I recruited students and parents to come and help with most of the planting.

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

I measured the impact of my garden with how many students and parents I was able to get involved.  I am also measuring in how available the garden is to students.  The garden will be taken care of in part by students, along with a parent group, and will be available for classes to use.

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

My project will be sustained through two groups, one of students who will be part of a class that will be learning about plants and gardening.  The other is the Black Rock PTO, who has agreed to maintain funding for materials.

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

My global/national connection for my project is a website I created which can be reached here: Black Rock Children’s Garden. This will allow people to have access to what I did and advice on creating a garden for schools and communities for themselves.

What did you learn about yourself?

I developed confidence in talking to people and being in a position of authority.  As I went through the process of gathering materials and help I became more confident and it became easier to communicate with people.

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

It will help me to be able to afford a higher education, which will increase opportunity in the future.  This project has also helped me develop skills that will help in the future with jobs and being in leadership jobs.

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

This was an important part of my Girl Scout experience because it was a big commitment that I had to follow through with and allowed me to use the skills previously developed through my Bronze and Silver Awards, skills such as perseverance, communication and dedication.  These will help me to be able to navigate complicated situations as an adult.

**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

Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Brittany Jaros, Boulder, “Mission: Suicide Prevention”

Jaros_Brittany

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I created a presentation about suicide prevention for middle school aged students at two Catholic middle schools, Holy Trinity and St. Louis. Along with the presentation, I had the kids participate in a workshop where they put their sources of strength on a posterboard and we hung them around the school. I also created a website, http: wix.com/hope-strength to help spread my work to others. I also handed out stickers with the Sources of Strength wheel with my website domain on the back. The Sources of Strength wheel included family support, positive friends, mentors, healthy activities, generosity, spirituality, medical access, and mental health. Experts say if you have at least two of these sources of strength you will reduce your risk of experiencing depression and/or suicide.

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

I gave the kids an evaluation sheet asking them specific questions about the project and how I can change it. Most of the responses were positive and indicated the kids learned new things from my project.

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

The posters will continue to hang up around the schools. One of the teachers, Tate Hallahan at Holy Trinity, agreed to integrate an aspect of my project into a daily activity. The kids normally do a Life Balance Program called 4-7-40, Four Aspects of Human Awareness (Physical, Spiritual, Mental, Emotional) 7 – Seven Goals – Specific and Attainable / Pertain to the 4 Aspects. Before my project the activity was 3-7-40. He added the mental aspect after I came to the school. Also, he took the stickers I handed out with my website domain to handout to his students in the future. The kids will also continue to visit my website.

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

I emailed four organizations: Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, National Association of France-Depression, European Depression Organization, and Mental Health of America. Lori Salgado from the Board of Directors with DBSA Colorado responded and encouraged me about my project.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned I have the strength to persevere through any difficulties and I can finish anything I set my mind too. I discovered I am a good leader and I love working with middle school students.

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

Standing up in front of people and discussing a tough topic. I also learned to be brave and stand up for a topic I believe in even when others don’t see it as important . This will help me in the future when I have to give presentations in the business world and I’m comfortable with public speaking. I will also have the confidence to stand up for issues in the community and the world and address them.

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

It was the final project and endpoint of my journey as a younger Girl Scout. It has given me the helpful tools to continue Girl Scouts in the future. It helped me to achieve the final leadership tools I need to succeed in college, the business world, and as a future Girl Scout. Without these final tools I would not be as confident in myself before I enter the world.

**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

Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Alessandra Smith, Colorado Springs, “Project Generation Connection”

Smith_Alessandra

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I founded Project Generation Connection (“PGC”), to provide the elderly in nursing homes the opportunity to connect with their families in town, or even miles away, through the use of video conferencing with iPad technology and assistance from volunteers.  PGC provides the plan, training, and volunteers to nursing homes.  As the need arises, PGC also provides iPads for the elderly to borrow through their facility.  Sunrise Senior Living at University Park (Sunrise) is successfully piloting the program.

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

Project Generation Connection is currently reaching out to 78 residents at Sunrise and their families.  And the target audience for the program is growing in numbers and distance as the interest from other senior living facilities has increased from the media coverage I received.  The value of this project was made much more prominent recently when I learned that a gentleman that I helped reach out to his family had passed away only a few weeks after we spent time together. As sad as it was to lose him, I remember the opportunity he had beforehand to reach out. It was especially fun to see that one of his children was out shopping when she took the video call! Family members were grateful that he had this opportunity to reach out.

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

My project, PGC, has been well received by Sunrise at University Park.  Sarah Rubin, the Activities Director at Sunrise, has expressed great interest in seeing PGC continue at her facility. Through the training materials that I have provided, she will be able to educate new volunteers on how the program functions.  Mark Pimentel, an Apple Products Consultant, has also expressed an interest in seeing this program grow.  Due to the nature of PGC, I am able to continue to maintain and improve the program over time and wherever I reside.

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

We live in a global society that is connected to each other via the internet.  Through the Facebook page for “The Catalyst Conference” sponsored by Girls In Tech, I received positive feedback from women in South Korea and Australia.  As a result of my interview with Fox 21 News, in Colorado Springs, I received communication from a senior living facility representative in Arizona who is interested in seeing this program established in facilities she represents through Arizona and Chicago.  In addition, I have been informed that Sarah Rubin, at Sunrise at University Park, intends to share this program with other Sunrise facilities throughout the nation and in Canada and Great Britain.

What did you learn about yourself?

Project Generation Connection has taught me how to face challenges.  I learned to be more of a go-getter and get back up again after being knocked down. Spending time with the elderly helped me realize a new-found deep respect and a genuine interest in making sure they experience a good quality of life.

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

Earning my Gold Award is validation that I can do whatever I put my mind to. If I’m ever feeling less than optimistic about my abilities, I will remember the challenges I faced and the determination I experienced towards completing my Gold Award.

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

The prospect of earning my Gold Award is what kept me in Girl Scouts. I had earned my Bronze and Silver and decided that I had to reach for Gold. Going for the highest award in Girl Scouts has given me invaluable experience in dealing with “real world” issues, which I will never forget.  In addition, serving the elderly of my community and their families is a culmination of all my volunteer experiences through the years in Girl Scouts. The Gold Award truly made my years of Girl Scouts worth 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