Tag Archives: Highest Awards Program

GIRL SCOUT GOLD AWARD PROJECT: Delaney Fitzsimmons, Highlands Ranch, “Rank Your Read”

 

Delaney Fitzsimmons

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award project, I created a list of books surveyed based on criteria including relationship intensity, language selection, reference to drugs and alcohol, types of social and mental issues, and presence of violence. The book list is intended for 5th to 8th grade readers with the purpose of providing a resource for students to find engaging books they will enjoy reading and want to finish. My book list is available online via my website, at Mountain Ridge Middle School, Bear Canyon Elementary School, Starry Sky Girl Scout Service Unit website and in the Arapahoe County Libraries.

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

I measured the impact of my project based on the number of students I was potentially affecting by introducing my book list to certain schools and libraries. My book list is available to over 16,000 5th to 8th grade students due to its incorporation at Arapahoe County Libraries, Mountain Ridge Middle School, Bear Canyon Elementary School and the Starry Sky Girl Scout Service Unit website. I also measured the impact by determining who accessed my website using statistics collected through Google Analytics. I found that people were accessing my book list all over the world. 400 people have viewed my project online in the last four months.

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

My project will be sustained with an online website that is regularly updated with new book lists every few months. Karen Sprafke’s 7th grade English class at Mountain Ridge will be continuing to add book entries. Their goal is to survey 100 books per semester. It will continue to impact students by being an available resource at Arapahoe County Public Libraries, Mountain Ridge Middle School, Bear Canyon Elementary, and Starry Sky Girl Scout Service Unit website for all current and future students and Girl Scouts in my Service Unit.

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

Rank Your Read is connected globally because my website is available to anyone on the internet. Over 400 people have viewed my project online in the last four months. Most views have come from Colorado, California, Texas and New York. There have also been over 100 views internationally with top views from Japan, the United Kingdom, China and Germany.

What did you learn about yourself?

In the process of achieving my Gold Award I learned that I get stressed easily without a plan to break down bigger goals. I learned how to manage my time and take even as little as an hour per week to make progress. I learned how to communicate with my peers, advisors and authorities. I learned that public speaking is a challenge for me but with practice, gets easier and makes me more confident and prepared.

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

Earning my Gold Award will give me the confidence to tackle big projects in my future. I know where to begin, and I know I can complete any project because I completed my Gold Award. The confidence and lessons I learned about communication allow me to better communicate with my professors and peers.

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

The Gold Award was a crucial part of my Girl Scout experience because it taught me the benefit of perseverance. Achieving my Gold Award was a goal I set for myself more than five years ago. It was a big commitment and at times seemed impossible to achieve. By finishing, I proved to myself that I could achieve even the most intimidating projects. My Gold Award gave me the opportunity to use the skills I had learned throughout my twelve years of scouting. I saw the benefit of working with a team as I worked with my advisor, teachers, parents and students. I used my resources at the Girl Scout office to help me distribute information about Rank Your Read. Most importantly, the Gold Award allowed me to make an impact on my community. By completing my project, I know I was able to help kids in my town, within my Girl Scout Service Unit, in Arapahoe County and on a national level. Without the Gold Award, I never would have pursued a project like this, and it is therefore, the culmination of my Girl Scout experience.

**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: Angel Potter, Canon City, “Operation Literacy”

Angel Potter

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I addressed the issue of underdeveloped reading skills in the community involving children from low-resource families. I had hoped that by donating, working with a children’s center, and giving them books to read and keep that they would become more excited to read. In turn, the Loaves and Fishes Ministries of Fremont County benefited greatly by gaining a newly renovated lobby, including an area for children to play while their parents are in meetings or filling out paperwork.

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

During the project my team and I came across many thanks and encouragement, which I feel made me even more motivated. I received many compliments from the staff, people using the facility, and the community. People who read the story and those who I personally came in contact with would spread the word about my project, and I would hear stories about people donating just to be able to see my work.

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

My project is being continued in a partnership between Loaves and Fishes Ministries of Fremont County and the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) of Canon City High School. The students of that group, who are being led by Mrs. Deb Crockett, will hold drives throughout the school to donate newer books, toys, or stuffed animals to the shelter, so the children may always have those items to enjoy.

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

My main connection is through Loaves and Fishes’ newsletter that is sent out every quarter to people in the community and further. The newsletter contains before and after photos of my project, and information about what I accomplished. I have sent information about my project to various other shelters in the state encouraging them to do something similar to what I have accomplished. My hope is that shelters and businesses will create an area in their building similar to mine and help more people.

What did you learn about yourself?

I am not quite as shy, I am independent, and I can do whatever I desire! My project brought me out of my comfort zone and helped me learn new things I may have never learned otherwise! I know that sounds cheesy or cliché, but it’s true!

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

On a serious note, it has helped me develop a work ethic, positive attitude, critical thinking process, and many other things that will help me get through college now, and through jobs and life later down the road. It could also lead to scholarships, job opportunities, and many other things!

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

I feel that it was important because I got to see a different side of Girl Scouts. Of course, I love going to camp, the activities like World Thinking Day, or Bridging ceremonies, but the Gold Award was different. It encourages girls to follow through to the end of scouting and to do an amazing project in their community, which is needed even though many people won’t ever know who filled that need. Girls can learn so many things from doing a project on this scale, and I really appreciate the opportunities is has given me.

**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: Kelsey McKenna, Colorado Springs, “Junior Golf Mentorship”

Kelsey McKenna

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

In order to spread publicity for nonprofit junior golf organizations, promote the game of golf, and allow for anyone to pursue golf, I organized a junior golf scramble where older high school golfers came as mentors for younger girls to inspire and exemplify leadership to the younger golfers. Also, I raised enough money for the LPGA/USGA Girls Golf association to afford permanent golf clubs and bags, so that girls who cannot afford clubs can still pursue the game of golf. Last of all, I created a junior golf brochure highlighting the best junior golf organizations in the region as well as the tournaments to promote the game of golf.

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

I measured the impact my Gold Award made on my target audience by witnessing the enjoyment and admiration the younger girls had for their mentors on the tournament day. Also, through the grateful parents that eagerly took my brochures and were made aware of various junior golf organizations they previously didn’t know existed. Not only this, but my impact was clear when the LPGA/USGA Girls Golf Association used their new junior set of golf clubs for the first time at the scramble where a family otherwise wouldn’t have been able to let their children play.

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

My project is sustainable in the golf clubs that can be used by the LPGA/USGA Girls Golf Association season after season for girls who cannot afford clubs. Additionally, I made a “How to Run a Junior Golf Scramble” guide in order for my tournament to easily be run long after I am out of the picture. Last of all, the organization has my Junior Golf Brochure that promotes the major local organizations and can be passed out to promote the game year after year.

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

The global link is the fact that in my project I promoted a lifelong game and encouraged these girls to network, make new friends, meet older girls successful at this game pursuing collegiate college golf, and learn about the game while ensuring that every girl has the ability to partake in it regardless of their family income. Also, the LPGA/USGA Girls Golf Association is a national organization as well as the First Tee and several other organizations that I promoted through the brochure ensuring that no matter where these junior golfers are taken they will always be able to play the game of golf.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned so much about networking and organization from this project. I learned that most people want to see you succeed and will help you out and large organizations, like golf courses, are just made up of people who want to set you up for success. I learned that places like Cherokee Ridge and organizations like the LPGA/USGA Girls Golf Association will help you out and all you needed to do was ask. I developed the ability to make lists of everything that needs to be done for a major project with lots of moving pieces and successfully bring them all together. Also, I learned to trust in the work that I’d done and not stress out the night before because I had planned it well enough to not worry too much. I learned there is nothing more on the planet that I love to do more than help others out and do something for the benefit of others.

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

Earning my Gold Award helps give me the confidence that I can tackle larger tasks and that seemingly impossible projects are doable especially if broken down into smaller steps. This experience will benefit me in the future, because of the lifelong skills I have learned and all the obstacles I was able to overcome to complete this project. Mainly, I know that in the future I will not shy away from a challenge, but am much more able to take on the task and accomplish the goal.

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

The Gold Award was not only an important part of my Girl Scout experience, but an essential part of it, because it encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone and make an impact. It taught me so much and I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to positively impact the world. As a minor, there aren’t many times in your life that you feel you have made an enormous impact on the world, but the Girl Scout Gold Award experience has molded me into the leader I am today and truly helped me make an impact.

**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: Stephanie Huisingh, Colorado Springs, “Adaptive Party Planning Guide”

Stephanie Huisingh

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

Unfortunately, many teens with special needs are not invited to as many social events as their peers. I decided to write a detailed guide that laid out the specific steps for how to throw a high school party and include students with special needs. I used the methods in my book to throw a summer barbecue for the students, both special needs and able-bodied, at my high school. After writing this book, I distributed it to several schools in two school districts and some local teenagers as well.

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

The impact was pretty obvious from the start. I was able to see how happy it made the children when they were invited to a party. I also spoke with the parents of some of the children with special needs and they also expressed that they saw a difference as well. Some other students at my high school were able to become closer and more connected with the special needs population there. Everyone showed a more positive attitude and higher level of acceptance following my project.

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

I wrote a book for my project, so it can be easily reproduced and sent across the country. I have distributed the book to two Colorado school districts and friends and family across the nation. It is also being implemented at my high school in their Peer Partner program. The lasting impacts on all of the students will last a lifetime.

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

I hope to see an increase in overall acceptance amongst the special needs and able-bodied populations. I feel that by inviting children to high school parties offers them the opportunity to make new friends and lasting memories. Over time, I hope to see a general trend of acceptance and I believe my book is a great tool to inspire this change. I was ale to distribute the book to schools both within and outside of my personal school district. I distributed to manual to a Washington school district as well. The schools are looking into using the manual to inspire inclusion amongst teens.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that I can make something happen even if the odds are against me. My project had an extremely limited timeline, only about two months. Many girls spend upwards of a year on their projects and I had to achieve the same level of execution. In two months, I was able to write and distribute a book. I also learned that it is ok to ask for help from time to time, but I also have to rely on myself. My Girl Scout troop was extremely helpful when it came to coming up with ideas and execution of the project. I was able to organize and accomplish my Gold Award in two months and now other projects seem a lot less daunting.

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

Immediately, my Gold Award will help me in college. There are so many scholarships that are applicable to Gold Award recipients. Long term, having “Gold Award Recipient” on my resume can only benefit me. This achievement shows that I am a leader, organized, thoughtful, persistent, and hardworking. Those qualities can help present me in the best possible light to potential employers.

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

I have been in Girl Scouts for 14 years. Ever since I was a Daisy in Fort Monroe, Virginia, to when I was an Ambassador in Colorado Springs, Colorado, I knew that I wanted to go all the way and achieve my Gold Award. Having achieved the highest award in Girl Scouts means that I have distinguished myself amongst my peers. I have and will receive countless benefits from achieving 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

Christina Bear named Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy

Christina Bear 4x5

Congratulations to Christina Bear, 2015 Gold Award recipient from Golden! On August 28, 2015, she was named Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy by the Association of Fundraising Professionals. The award comes with a $2,500 prize to be used for education expenses. It is presented to an individual youth volunteer (18 and under) who has demonstrated outstanding commitment to the promotion of philanthropy and volunteerism through his/her work in the community. This commitment and impact is demonstrated specifically through sustained activity over a period of time. The individual acts as a role model for other youth in the community and generates interest in volunteerism in other groups.

In April 2015, Christina was awarded the inaugural Stephanie A. Foote Leadership Prize for Gold Award Excellence. Christina earned her Gold Award for organizing 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.

Christina was not only recognized for her project to earn her Gold Award, but also for a project she completed with her younger brother, Eric, in 2010. Their Radon Awareness Project (RAP) was locally- and nationally-recognized as a program to educate the community on the dangers of radon. With input and support from the Colorado Dept. of Public Health and Environment, EPA, American Lung Association, Jefferson County Health Department, Habitat for Humanity, Girl Scouts, 4-H, and CanSAR (Cancer Survivors against Radon), Christina and Eric created a targeted campaign to educate the community about radon and testing. Since inception, RAP has reached over 500,000 people via newspapers, TV, social media and rallies and more than 500 schools are contacted annually to participate in a Colorado radon poster contest. In 2012, Christina and Eric were invited to speak at the White House Summit on Environmental Education and at the Children’s Environmental Health Network (CEHN) where they discussed how youth can collaborate with public health officials to make a difference in environmental health, In addition, RAP has championed a Radon Resistant New Construction building code that has been adopted by 20 Colorado cities and contributed to writing HB 12-1165 which would require radon testing whenever a home is sold.

“Christina exemplifies courage, confidence and character. Her continued pursuit of excellence in all aspects of her life inspires her peers and community members to listen and follow, taking action to make their world a better place,” wrote Girl Scouts of Colorado CEO Stephanie A. Foote, who nominated Christina for this prestigious award.

Christina will officially accept her award at the annual National Philanthropy Day Luncheon on November 13, 2015 at Seawell Grand Ballroom, Denver Center for the Performing Arts.

2015 NPD winner release ALL

GIRL SCOUT GOLD AWARD PROJECT: Meagan Prewitt, Colorado Springs, “Shining the Light on Special Needs”

Meagan Prewitt

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

My project addressed the issue of inadequate accommodations  for children with special needs who attend Sunrise United Methodist Church.  My goal was to provide tools and/or a therapeutic area for these children.  While the scope of my project was scaled back from an entire room to a mobile chest, I feel children with special needs will benefit  greatly from the tools I put together for them.

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

I know that I made a difference because the children with special needs at SUMC are already using the tools I have provided to help them in their classes. The parents also feel more comfortable leaving their children now that they know they have ways to help with their disabilities.  My church community is now more aware, as are other churches, of the need for the appropriate area and tools for special needs programs. There are many people now willing to be volunteers to help continue to build on the project in the future and spread the word about it in the community. The children with special needs and their families are very happy that a program like this has started and the hope is that that will help them continue to attend church.

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

I created a Special Needs Project Report booklet that outlines the life-cycle of the project.  It details what equipment is needed, how to make some of the projects, suggestions on how to expand the program and a list of resources (books) that can be used for study. My project will continue to make an impact because there are people at Sunrise who will continue to work on growing this project and letting the community know that they have a safe place for children with special needs.

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

I presented my booklet to three other churches  (First United Methodist Church, First Presbyterian Church and Wilson United Methodist Church).  It is my hope that this booklet will aid these churches in starting their own programs and become a growing force in the community so that even more people can be educated on the importance of a comfortable and safe environment for the special needs community.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that being in a leadership role is a big responsibility that requires good communication skills, but that I am capable of managing a project this size. I now have a better understanding of how to manage and coordinate a project start-to-finish  and have attained better skills in gathering requirements for a project. I also learned that I have the skills to present a project like this to a person or group of people.

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

I am now more aware of those with special needs and working on this project has inspired me to want to do more for not only children with special needs, but anyone who is under-privileged.  I will strive in the future to make an impact in their lives.

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

Through my project, I have discovered ways to find challenges and overcome them. I have also gained practical life skills of communication through setting up meetings with various members of my church community. I found a way to promote cooperation and team building, as many members of my church came together to assist me on my project. I have many new relationships with these people and feel more connected to my community. I was able to identify a major community issue and can now identify more that I may be able to take action to resolve in the future. I know that I will be able to resolve more issues because I have gained a lot of confidence through this project, learned how to problem solve, discovered how to advocate for myself and those who can’t do it for themselves, and been able to inspire others to act and help me in my goals.

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

Troop 3955 earns Bronze Award

Submitted by Jennifer Brown

Wheat Ridge

Denver Metro

Girl Scout Troop 3955 earned their Bronze Award by planting trees on the Wheat Ridge Greenbelt. They also pulled evasive weeds, planted wildflowers, and came back throughout the summer to care for and water the trees. They will continue to be tree stewards for years to come! See the full video. Girl Scout interviews are between minute 6 and 8.

This story was submitted using the Share Your Stories form. You can share your Girl Scout moments too.

GIRL SCOUT GOLD AWARD PROJECT: Allison Caperton, Littleton, “Adaptive Gymnastics”

Allison Caperton

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I coordinated a special needs gymnastics camp at JetKids Gymnastics. I hoped to make an impact in the lives of families and children with a variety of special needs. I wanted to give these kids a chance to be involved in such an incredible sport.

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

I measured my impact by watching the kids grow throughout the weeks, and making sure each kid was gaining something.

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

The model I created (a four-week adaptive gymnastics camp for children of all ages with special needs) is currently being sustained at JetKids Gymnastics in Littleton, Colorado. An early-summer session was held, and the gym is making plans for more.

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

JetKids Gymnastics has a working relationship with many other gyms across the country. By presenting my project to these other gyms and offering my advice and services to help them launch their programs, I am linking the success of my project to a national and global community.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned I am smart, strong, able to organize and direct others, sensitive to the needs of my community, able to adapt to challenges, and perfectly capable of making the world a better place. I am proud to represent the Girl Scouts of Colorado with my enduring, global project.

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

I am proud of the lasting legacy I will leave in my community when I go off to college. I feel like I have served not only children with special needs and their families, but also the sport of gymnastics, which has meant so much to me.

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

If I had not camped with my Daisy troop (when we were just in kindergarten), I might not have learned the strength and tenacity it takes to survive challenges. If I had not found the courage to sell cookies to strangers, I might not have learned confidence. If I had not organized and put into action several Rendezvous weekends for younger girls, I might not have learned the organizational and leadership skills it took to create and implement my project.

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

50 Colorado Girl Scouts earn Gold Award

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This spring 50 Colorado Girl Scouts will receive the Gold Award, the highest award in Girl Scouts. These young women have demonstrated exceptional commitment to taking action to make the world a better place through their community service. The accomplishments of Gold Award recipients reflect extraordinary leadership and citizenship skills that mark them as valuable contributors to their communities and world.

This year’s Colorado Gold Award projects benefited communities across the world. Topics varied from helping animals and people in need to raising self-esteem and helping younger children develop an interest in STEM. Christina Bear from Golden 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. Colorado Springs Girl Scout Madeline McWhorter created a cookbook for Tri-Lakes Cares Food Bank, using ingredients that are primarily donated to food banks. In Fort Collins, Girl Scouts (and sisters) Rachel and Lauren Schneider each designed projects to help both children and adults feel more comfortable in the hospital. Kelsey Quick is the first Girl Scout from Salida to earn her Gold Award since at least 2000. She created a website where young victims of cyberbullying can share stories and connect. On the Western Slope, Mikayla TerLouw encouraged family literacy and increased the number of parents who participate in reading-related activities with their children. Sarah Santilli from Erie was inspired by her volunteer work at a local hospital to organize a blood drive, which saved 72 lives, and put together a list of potential future donors for Bonfils Blood Center.  To read more about these Girl Scouts, their incredible projects, or other Girl Scouts who have earned their Gold Award this year, please see the comprehensive list below.

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. The Gold Award has been part of the Girl Scout program since 1916. 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.

“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.”

The following Colorado Girl Scouts are among the 50 statewide who will be receiving the prestigious Gold Award for the 2014-15 Girl Scout year:

Elizabeth Acker from Monument, Palmer Ridge High School, built a six station “Fitness Course” around the perimeter of her high school. She wanted to create an energizing space where anyone could go and exercise for free.

Jordan Arnell from Centennial, ThunderRidge High School, organized, supplied, and decorated a library for children at St. Elizabeth’s School in Denver, a low resource private school.

Nina Asher from Greenwood Village, Cherry Creek High School, took children from the Boys and Girls Club in Denver on a hike near Boulder, Colo. They learned about weather, forest fires, animals, habitat and safety.

Linda Baker from Fort Collins, Rocky Mountain High School, encouraged girls to get excited about STEM subjects. She created Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and Twitter pages for the Colorado FIRST Lego League website.

Christina Bear from Golden, Colorado Academy, hosted a week-long summer camp to increase interest in STEM, especially among Hispanic students.

Alexandria Bellas from Colorado Springs, Pine Creek High School, organized a science event for girls in grades 6-8 that brought together exhibitors from across Colorado.

Kit Bernal from Falcon, Falcon High School, created supplementary art education and a curriculum for a local homeschool association.

Kayla Bernstein from Colorado Springs, Liberty High School, planted a garden for all the residents of the Medallion Retirement Community.

Kirsten Brandes from Parker, Chaparral High School, designed the curriculum for a series of workshops that fostered self-worth and self-esteem in teenage girls. She presented the workshops to groups around the state.

Jonnae Byas from Colorado Springs, William J. Palmer High School, refurbished the garden at the Medallion Retirement Community.

Rebecca Clark from Colorado Springs, Rampart Range High School, organized a clinic to teach the basics of color guard to middle school students.

Emma Coffey from Thornton, Mountain Range High School, designed a video series, shown during the school’s weekly video announcements, to get kids thinking about topics like budgeting and savings.

Isabella Colosimo from Golden, Ralston Valley High School, assembled kits for children who, because they have Cystic Fibrosis, have to spend a lot of time in the hospital.

Mackenzie Crawley from Colorado Springs, Doherty High School, leveraged her love of learning and reading, and her experience volunteering at her local library to bring a sustainable tutoring service and a mini lending library to her church.

Madison Daniel from Highlands Ranch, ThunderRidge High School, captured and preserved the stories of what’s become known as the “Greatest Generation.”

Chiara Degenhardt from Ouray, Ouray High School, channeled her love for science and the outdoors into a project to benefit Ridgway State Park.

Bree Denbow from Arvada, Ralston Valley High School, used an old suitcase to start a book exchange at a local park.

Catherine R. Donohue from Broomfield, Broomfield High School, built a chicken coop to help people better understand chickens and their needs. She also helped improve the quality of life for these animals, an outcome that was evidenced when her chickens moved in and immediately started laying eggs.

Nelly Grantham from Thornton, Horizon High School, created a sustainable program for supplying personal hygiene items to homeless families and those in crisis.

Madison Haneke from Castle Rock, Castle View High School, made more than 100 blankets for babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at three local hospitals.

Jessica Hild from Colorado Springs rebuilt benches at Camp Alexander. She also organized volunteers to help build five new benches.

Rachel Jeffries from Lone Tree, Valor Christian High School, carried out a food drive with an inspirational twist. After collecting food, she enlisted the help of volunteers to add stickers with a positive quote or saying to each item.

Mikayla Jewell from Colorado Springs, Vista Ridge High School, helped make a softball field safer not only for her team, but other athletes as well. She also taught younger athletes how to stay safe on the field.

Madison Keith from Highlands Ranch, ThunderRidge High School, created a sustainable food pantry for pets.

Katherine Ketcham from Gunnison, Gunnison High School, hosted a STEM Day at an elementary school. Students learned about biology, chemistry, and physics.

Megan King from Centennial, Grandview High School, organized a recycling program at Jackson Lake State Park. Her efforts resulted in the collection of 1,800 pounds of materials in the first year.

Sarah Kriner from Peyton, Falcon High School, matched her passion for reading with her love of nature. She designed a bird center at her local library. Her project draws birds, which adds to the appeal for children to go to the library.

Mattie McGarey from Louisville, Fairview High School, started a blog to help young girls (especially dancers like herself) recovering from eating disorders.

Madeline McWhorter from Colorado Springs, Pine Creek High School, created a cookbook for Tri-Lakes Cares Food Bank, using ingredients that are primarily donated to food banks.

Elise Melhado from Colorado Springs, Cheyenne Mountain High School, created a reading-friendly environment in the Partners in Housing Colorado House. She redesigned a room to better suit the space for a children’s reading space, in addition to initiating a regular reading days with the children. 

Kelsey Quick from Salida, Salida High School, is the first Girl Scout from Salida to earn the Gold Award since at least 2000. For her project, she created a website and other materials to help children who have been cyberbullied.

Lyndsay Ruane from Colorado Springs, Liberty High School, wanted members of her community to be better prepared when disasters strike, so she organized an emergency preparedness fair.

Dana Ruby from Lone Tree, Highlands Ranch High School, organized and ran a large clothing event at Warren Village, a transitional housing organization in Denver. At this event, the child residents could use tickets to “buy” clothing while in a store atmosphere.

Sarah Santilli from Erie, Erie High School, was inspired by her volunteer work ata local hospital to organize a blood drive, which saved 72 lives, and put together a list of potential future donors for Bonfils Blood Center.

Lauren Schneider from Fort Collins, Fossil Ridge High School, designed the Medbug, a small, stuffed creature perfect for snuggling. She directed teams of volunteers, who helped create and distribute 450 Medbugs to pediatric patients at local hospitals.

Rachel Schneider from Fort Collins, Fossil Ridge High School, provided area hospitals with 600 soft and comfortable pillowcases to make patients feel a little more at home.

Lesleigh Stabo from Highlands Ranch, Highlands Ranch High School, created a program to help students transferring to a new high school feel more comfortable and get information they need.

Brianna Talbot from Larkspur, Castle View High School, helped teach children in her community about poverty.

Mikayla TerLouw from Grand Junction, Palisade High School, worked to encourage family literacy and increase the number of parents who participate in reading-related activities with their children.

Vani Topkar from Lafayette, Fairview High School, taught people about Bharatanatyam, an Indian form of classical dance.

Madeline Walden from Larkspur, Castle View High School, built a vertical garden for the Douglas County Outdoor Education Facility.

Lydia Waterman from Littleton, Heritage High School, made kits to help patients at Littleton Adventist Hospital feel more at home.

Kelly Winn from Sedalia, Castle View High School, built a miniature library at the Sedalia Museum and Gardens for community members and visitors to exchange books, articles and magazines.

Girl Scouts of Colorado plans to honor this year’s Gold Award recipients as well as recipients of Girl Scouts other two Highest Awards, the Silver and Bronze, at several upcoming ceremonies around the state. These events include:

 

  • April 24th at 5:30 p.m. at The Ranch- McKee Building 5280 Arena Circle Loveland

 

  • April 26th at 2 p.m. at Mountain View Methodist Church, 355 Ponca Pl., Boulder

 

  • April 28th at 7 p.m. Faith Bible Chapel, Atrium 6250 Wright St., Arvada

 

  • May 1st at 6:30 p.m. at the Roper Ballroom 136 N. 5th Street, Grand Junction

 

  • May 15 at 6:30 p.m. at the Penrose House Garden Pavilion 1661 Mesa Ave., Colorado Springs

GIRL SCOUT GOLD AWARD PROJECT: Jacqueline Pierce, Aurora, “Patriotism 163”

Jacqueline Pierce pic

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I taught patriotism classes to ages two through six over Thanksgiving and summer break in order to instill the idea of supporting our country into the youngest generation. I also collaborated with several different organizations, including the Wyoming Army National Guard to ensure the soldiers knew they had support from their home country.

Why did you pursue this Gold Award project?

I have family-friends in the military, who brought up the issue of the lack of support. I looked in to the issue and discovered the lack of support originated from a lack of patriotism and knowledge about the U.S. and soldiers.

How did your Gold Award project make a difference?

It not only instilled patriotism within the younger generation and supported soldiers, but created a cycle of appreciation and support for the functioning members of society.

What skills did you gain through earning your Gold Award?

I am now more confident in my abilities to direct projects, which originated from my own ideas. I have obtained leadership skills through having adults follow my lead on this project.

How did you make your project sustainable?

The children whom I taught in the patriotism classes will carry the idea of supporting soldiers and their country with them into their adulthood.

What was your connection to the national or global community?

I taught the patriotism classes in Denver, which directly supported the National Guard based in Wyoming. The soldiers were on the east coast and then in Bahrain over the course of the project, with other companies in Afghanistan.

What will you most remember about your Gold Award project?

I managed to unite several different organizations that people would have never seen as a possible. I connected WYARNG with the HEA schoolboard in the name of GSCO.

How will earning your Gold Award help you in your future?

It thoroughly demonstrates my leadership capabilities, which will carry me through college and my career as an adult.

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

It is the highest award and therefore the highest achievement in Girl Scouts. It marked the height of my Girl Scout career.

***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