Tag Archives: Highest Awards

Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards

Gold Award Girl Scout Ashlyn Morrill, Parker, “Protect the Pollinators”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I created a pollinator garden that attracts various pollinators, e.g. hummingbirds, butterflies, bees, etc., with the help of local Girl Scout troops to show how important pollinators are to the community and what they provide, and to inspire them to do their part to help conserve the pollinator populations. I also created a website and presentation for various classes at my high school to encourage others to create their own pollinator garden.

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

My target audience was middle school and high school students because they are the future of the world. They will be the generation that will have to deal with the consequences of climate change, for instance, the decline in pollinators. I measured my project’s impact by creating an Instagram page for people to interact with. I also put free milkweed seed packets in the school library along with a flyer to explain their purpose.

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

The first way I made my project sustainable is the plants themselves are perennials, so they will come back every year. Second, I created the presentation describing the issue and what the purpose of the garden is. The Interact Club at Chaparral High School will be continuing the presentations for various classes. I also created an Instagram account @chap.pollinator.garden, which I have posted various statistics and pictures from planting day. I also created a website, chapgarden.wixsite.com/chap, which explains the purpose of the garden and why this is an important issue that needs to be addressed. There is an email as well, it is chap.pollinator.garden@gmail.com, for anyone to contact if they have any questions at all.

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

The national/global link is that this pollinator decline does not only affect the food supply of Parker, CO, it impacts the whole world. I linked my project to a national organization called Save Our Monarchs by receiving seed packets from them to share with my community. Globally, the Instagram page and the website could reach other countries and inspire others in different areas of the world.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that when plans change, I cannot get stressed out or worried because I will not get anywhere. The only way to overcome failures is to persevere through them and stay focused on the overall goal. Also, plans change all the time, and it is always good to plan ahead and almost expect the plans to change so I am prepared for anything.

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

I learned and improved upon many skills including leadership and communication, which I will need in the future for my career. It is also a good experience to include on resumes and applications because it shows your potential and what you can do as a leader.

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

My Gold Award was an important part of my Girl Scout experience because it gave me an opportunity to apply the skills I have learned and developed throughout my years as a Girl Scout.

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

I would consider myself very innovative after this project. I ran into plenty of challenges including spontaneous snowstorms, rescheduling, and a global pandemic. I had to reschedule a dozen times and not panic because if the leader loses control, then the whole project could fall apart.

**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: Ellie McWhirter, Denver, “The Give-a-Bag-Take-a-Bag Project”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my project, I decreased the amount of plastic bag usage in my community and increased the amount of knowledge on the issue of plastic bag pollution in my community. My initial project plan was to place systems in grocery stores where if a costumer forgot their reusable bag they could get one from the system and use that for their groceries instead of a plastic bag. I had talked to stores and we were already to start the system, but then, COVID. Because of COVID and the fact that my project was super hands-on, I had to switch gears completely. My project became all informational and I beefed up my website with information on the issue and how to help. I also printed off flyers and pamphlets and distributed them in my community through grocery stores, coffee shops, etc.

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

I measured the impact of my project through my website and the Park Hill Food Bank. On my website, I was able to tell how many people visited each page, and how many people signed the petition banning plastic bags that was on my page. Through the food bank, I was able to tell how many people donated reusable bags.

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

My project is sustained beyond my involvement through the help of East High School’s Sustainability Club. I have connected the president of the club with the convention center (for bag donations) and the Park Hill food bank. I also gave her copies of all my flyers.

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

Plastic pollution is a global problem and a problem in my community. By addressing the issue in my community, I had the potential to have my project go global. I contacted Feeding America, Food Bank of the Rockies, and had a global connection to the petition on change.org.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned about my persistence and grit. The project took a lot of time and effort, and the fact that I had some ups and downs with it and was still able to complete it showed my grit.

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

I think earning the Gold Award taught me leadership, communication, accountability, and reasonability skills. These skills are important in life and will help me tremendously in the future.

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

I feel that the Gold Award was extremely important because it was a nice send off into the real world. I had been in Girl Scouts since first or second grade and so just being able to grow in character throughout my life and then have a big finale sendoff was very rewarding. The Gold Award also taught me very valuable life lessons and skills that I can and will continue to use, so I would say that was a very important part of my Girl Scout experience.

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

I think earning my Gold Award helped me become a go-getter because it made me realize that if I put my mind to something and put in the effort, I can do anything I want. It helped me become an innovator because I had to adapt to certain situations and adjust my project to fit the requirements under a circumstance. The Gold Award helped me become a risk-taker because throughout the project, I had to step out of my comfort zone in some instances. For example, contacting big organizations and communicating with adults in the workplace. This got me out of my comfort zone and was somewhat of a risk. It helped me become a leader through leading a team of volunteers and a team in general.

**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.

Meet and Celebrate Julia Trujillo, Colorado’s 2020 National Gold Award Girl Scout

Julia Trujillo of Arvada has been honored with a national award from Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA)! She is one of 10 teen activists to be named National Gold Award Girl Scout. As a senior at Arvada West High School, Julia tackled the lack of accessibility to menstrual products in Colorado public schools and the stigma of periods. She partnered with Colorado State Representative Brianna Titone and led the high school’s Intersectional Feminist Club to create a legislative action committee, which introduced a bill to end period poverty and stigma, and advocated for students in Title One schools. Julia has also been selected to be GSUSA’s girl activist and representative at the United Nation’s Girls Speak Out Girl’s Rights Townhall. She will speak about her advocacy efforts for menstrual equity.

Both GSUSA and Girl Scouts of Colorado (GSCO) have planned a few different ways for girls and volunteers to meet/connect with Julia directly.

Girl Scouts Change the World Event

Saturday, October 10 at 2 p.m.

Join GSUSA for a party to celebrate International Day of the Girl and meet the 2020 National Gold Award Girl Scouts. Learn out how they earned the top award in Girl Scouts. Register here!

Meet an Expert: National Gold Award Girl Scout

Tuesday, October 27 at 5 p.m.

Girl Scouts of all ages are invited to a special webinar to meet Julia  Trujillo, Colorado’s 2020 National Gold Award Girl Scout. Register here!

Intimate NGAGS Interview

Wednesday, October 28

Tune in to the GSCO Facebook page and YouTube channel for an intimate interview with 2020 National Gold Award Girl Scout Julia Trujillo and GSCO CEO Leanna Clark!

We want to hear how your girl is using her Girl Scout skills by taking initiative, caring for the community, and Girl Scouting at home. She can send in her story here.

Colorado Girl Scout Earns National Award for Addressing Lack of Menstrual Product Accessibility

Ahead of International Day of the Girl on October 11, Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) announced Julia Trujillo of Arvada as a 2020 National Gold Award Girl Scout—one of 10 teen activists nationwide who has shown extraordinary leadership and created change with sustainable impact. As a senior at Arvada West High School, Julia earned the Girl Scout Gold Award for tackling the lack of accessibility to menstrual products in Colorado public schools and the stigma of periods. As part of Julia’s research for her project, she found a 2017 BBC report that indicated 49% of 14-to-21-year-olds in the United States have missed an entire day of school because of their period and of them, 59% have made up an alternative excuse. Julia partnered with Colorado State Representative Brianna Titone and led the high school’s Intersectional Feminist Club to create a legislative action committee, which introduced legislation to end period poverty and stigma, and advocated for students in Title One schools. Even though Julia’s bill did not pass due to budget cuts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, her work inspired commitments from Jefferson County and Denver public schools to provide district-wide menstrual products. Julia also continues to advocate for ending period poverty and is currently interning for Rep. Tiptone.

In addition to being honored as a National Gold Award Girl Scout, Julia has been selected to be Girl Scouts of the USA’s girl activist and representative at the United Nation’s Girls Speak Out Girl’s Rights Townhall. She will speak about her advocacy efforts for menstrual equity. This event brings girl activists and policy makers together to discuss the gaps, challenges, and success in the girl’s rights agenda and how we can work together to build a more equitable world for girls.

Each year, thousands of Girl Scouts nationwide earn the Gold Award, the highest achievement a Girl Scout in high school can earn. These Gold Award Girl Scouts tackle an issue that is dear to them and drive lasting change in their communities and beyond. Annually, GSUSA recognizes 10 of these girls as National Gold Award Girl Scouts for completing projects that exemplify strong leadership and sustainable impact. Earning the Gold Award opens doors to scholarships, preferred admission tracks for college, and amazing career opportunities—as well as skills that set girls up for success, like strategic thinking, communication, collaboration, problem solving, and time management.

“We are immensely proud of the 2020 National Gold Award Girl Scouts! They are addressing issues that impact their community and matter to them,” said interim GSUSA CEO Judith Batty. “To earn the Gold Award, Girl Scouts must identify the source of a problem, develop a sustainable solution, and engage their communities in bringing about that solution. These ten remarkable girls are proof that Girl Scouts gives girls the tools to harness their inner power and make a meaningful difference in the world. In this difficult year and always, Girl Scouts are our hope for the future.”

This year, National Gold Award Girl Scout nominations underwent a rigorous multi-round review process, with finalist applications reviewed by a panel of previous National Gold Award Girl Scouts, leaders from a range of professional fields, GSUSA staff, Girl Scouts’ national volunteer partners, and representatives from the Kappa Delta Foundation and Arconic Foundation. The 2020 National Gold Award Girl Scouts will receive a combined $100,000 in college scholarships from Susan Bulkeley Butler, founder of a women’s leadership development organization and a former member of the Girl Scouts of the USA Board of Directors. The Kappa Delta Foundation and Arconic Foundation also each generously contributed $50,000 in college scholarships.

On October 10, girls are invited to attend the Girl Scouts Change the World virtual celebration ahead of International Day of the Girl to meet the 2020 National Gold Award Girl Scouts as they share their projects to inspire a new generation to step up in unique ways and transform the world around them. The event is powered by technology sponsor Microsoft. It is specially designed for Girl Scouts in grades 4-12 but is open to caregivers, volunteers, and girls who want to be inspired.

“Microsoft believes in inspiring girls to become the next generation of innovators and leaders,” said Olga Lymberis, Sr. Director, Community, Small Business, Education and Cloud Marketing, Microsoft. “For the second year, we are sponsoring the National Gold Award Girl Scout celebration because we know that closing the gender gap in fields like STEM requires tapping into girls’ creativity, providing encouragement, and highlighting real-world role models like these Gold Award Girl Scouts. By highlighting girls’ incredible achievements, Microsoft is continuing its efforts to promote diversity, inclusion and gender equality now and in the future.”

Silver Award Girl Scout: The History of Women’s Suffrage

Submitted by Gracelyn

Mountain Communities

Cowdrey

My Silver Award project started when I began the Nineteenth Amendment Girl Scout Ranger Patch. In it was a section encouraging me to teach other girls about the women’s suffrage movement. Because I love history, I was inspired to create a website to teach younger girls about women’s history.

My goal with my Silver Award project was to educate younger girls about their history as women, so as to build a future generation of G.I.R.L.s. In the time of COVID-19, however, it was going to be hard to reach girls. This was where the website came from. With the upcoming election, it’s more important than ever for girls to be informed, and I really hope that those girls who learn about their history and their rights will be inspired to take action in the world around them. The girls of today will be the G.I.R.L.s of tomorrow.

We want to hear how your girl is using her Girl Scout skills by taking initiative, caring for the community, and Girl Scouting at home. She can send in her story here.

Grand Junction Girl Scouts Earn Bronze Award

Submitted by Jenni Grossman

Western Colorado

Grand Junction

Congratulations to McKenzie, Lauren, Abbie, Jolie, and Peyton from Troop 13497 in Grand Junction! They earned the Girl Scout Bronze Award for a project to help seniors in nursing homes who may be feeling lonely due to visiting restrictions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The girls made videos and special crafts, including photos, drawings, and activity sheets, for multiple nursing homes in their area. Two of the nursing homes were chosen because one of the girls has a family member living there.

The Girl Scouts started a different project to earn the Bronze Award in February 2020, but then had to do a 360 in March when COVID-19 hit. They thought the residents of the nursing homes would be so lonely due to visiting restrictions. The girls decided to make videos of their favorite children’s books so the activities directors could play them for the residents. The girls also wanted some activities for the residents. After the girls called multiple places, they learned they had to laminate whatever they picked, so it could be sanitized. They each made five to ten different sheets (drawings, word searches, mazes paintings, colored pictures with uplifting quotes) for the residents. The girls also made copies of their work and laminated each one. Each nursing home received 40 drawing/activity laminated sheets. We also gave the organizations a list of the videos that the girls made so they could access them whenever they wanted.

We want to hear how your girl is using her Girl Scout skills by taking initiative, caring for the community, and Girl Scouting at home. She can send in her story here.

Gold Award Girl Scout: Kayla Fairweather, Parker, “E.N.D. T1D – Educating Non-Diabetics About Type 1 Diabetes”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award project, I created a video curriculum on Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) to supplement the T1D training that teachers currently receive. The video featured the perspectives of diabetic students, their parents, a professional athlete with T1D, an endocrinologist, and a diabetes resource nurse. Together, these perspectives offered a more personal view of the challenges faced by diabetic students and insights on the emotional burden of managing this condition in the school environment. I also made a video specifically for diabetic students and their parents to show them that they’re not alone with their condition, and many of the feelings they experience are completely normal and shared by others. I presented my video at two sessions during Type One Nation, a T1D educational event, and at a statewide diabetes resource nurse meeting.

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

When presenting my video, I provided before and after surveys to every attendee. I received great feedback from parents of diabetic children, many stating that they related to the video’s message. Comments were left including a new understanding that, “everyone associated with diabetes have the same thoughts/concerns” and “T1D does not prevent one from doing anything.” Every diabetic teen who viewed the video responded that they believe teachers and other students need to learn more about T1D, especially how to relate to diabetic students and to not joke about it or confuse it with Type 2 Diabetes. Most responded that they felt more comfortable talking with their teachers about T1D after watching the video and had takeaways such as “you are not alone” and you “have many peers supporting you.”

The impact of my video was especially profound on the diabetes resource nurses. Before watching the video, about 67% responded that the emotional challenge of living with T1D was only a small or medium part of their current curriculum. After watching the video, about 90% responded that the emotional challenge should be a large part of the curriculum. I received comments such as “very well put together video and very helpful having the perspective of the patient/student,” “the importance of including the student perspective,” “how important it is to share with staff the challenges that kids with T1D face and what their thoughts are about needing help in the classroom,” and “I appreciated the statement that every student with diabetes is different.” Diabetes Nurse Educators from both JeffCo Public Schools and Pueblo County District 70 commented that they would love to share the video within their school districts.

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

My project advisor, Kelly Driver, is including my video in the Type 1 Diabetes curriculum for the Douglas County School District. All new teachers and nurse assistants in Douglas County will watch the video along with the standard T1D curriculum they already receive. The video will additionally be shown by nurses in middle school health classes in Douglas County schools. My video is also being shared with diabetes resource nurses from school districts across the state. I have had several of these resource nurses express an interest in continuing to share my video with the nurses, teachers, and coaches within their school districts.

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

Diabetic students across the world are met with a lack of education about Type 1 Diabetes within the school setting. I reached out to several global and national organizations that work to share resources with all diabetics facing these common issues. I have spoken with a media coordinator from Beyond Type 1, an online diabetes education, advocacy, and support organization that works with T1D on a global level. I shared my video with her, and she is trying to have it featured on the Beyond Type 1 website. I also shared my video with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and they featured it on their Rocky Mountain Chapter Facebook page. This social media account has 2,747 followers.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned a great deal about how I work with others and tackle challenges. First, I learned that although I am typically more shy, I felt comfortable talking with my team members and other large groups over the course of my project. Since my project was something I felt passionate about, I wasn’t extremely nervous to share it with others. I also learned that the goals I set in my head are sometimes a little overly ambitious. With my Gold Award, I realized quickly after starting that my project plan was too complex for the time frame I had to work with. Fortunately, I was able to work with my project advisor and Gold Award mentor to revise my plan. Additionally, I learned that I am fairly good at balancing various tasks, whether that was different parts within my project or other school and extracurricular commitments during the course of my Gold Award. Finally, I learned that I am usually open to new perspectives and was able to be flexible with sudden changes and obstacles during my project, especially the shift to virtual presentations with the start of the COVID pandemic.

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

Earning my Gold Award helped me realize that I have the capability and support from others to change my community for the better. My Gold Award experience was the first time that I really set out to address a large issue of personal importance to me. During my upcoming years in college and my future career, I have more confidence to tackle challenges and seek help from others who share in a desire to make a change. I am also much more aware of the extensive planning that goes into large-scale projects. With this, I think I will be better prepared to manage my time and put forth the effort needed to prepare for and complete the task at hand. I have also grown tremendously in my communication skills which will help me in any career.

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

Most of my Girl Scout experience was centered around learning to be a leader in my community. The Gold Award was the culminating experience that allowed me to apply that learning and actually make an impact that was especially meaningful to me. My Gold Award helped me realize how many skills I had acquired over my years as a Girl Scout. It really put into perspective how valuable this whole journey has been in shaping the person I am today.

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

Earning my Gold Award helped me grow as a risk-taker. Before this project, I had very little experience with conducting formal interviews and creating a final video product. My Gold Award really took me out of my comfort zone while learning these new skills. I also took risks in contacting new people over the course of my project and taking the initiative to try to form connections that would last beyond the project itself. I faced numerous obstacles over the course of my project with things not going as planned. From having to rethink my main project focus to rescheduling presentations and sharing my project through virtual platforms, I learned to be flexible and creative with finding solutions to a wide range of problems.

**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.

Meet and Celebrate Colorado’s 2020 National Gold Award Girl Scout

Every year Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) chooses ten girls from the previous year’s class of Gold Award Girl Scouts to represent GSUSA on a national level as a National Gold Award Girl Scout (NGAGS)! Each girl receives a $20,000 scholarship to the college of their choice and the honor of being a National Gold Award Girl Scout. Among the 2020 National Gold Award Girl Scouts is a girl from Colorado!

GSUSA will announce who the National Gold Award Girl Scout from Colorado is on Tuesday, October 6! Both GSUSA and Girl Scouts of Colorado (GSCO) have also planned a few different ways for girls and volunteers to meet/connect with her directly.

Girl Scouts Change the World Event

Saturday, October 10 at 2 p.m.

Join GSUSA for a party to celebrate  International Day of the Girl and meet the 2020 National Gold Award Girl Scouts. Learn out how they earned the top award in Girl Scouts. Register here!

Meet an Expert: National Gold Award Girl Scout

Tuesday, October 27 at 5 p.m.

Girl Scouts of all ages are invited to a special webinar to meet Colorado’s 2020 National Gold Award Girl Scout. Register here!

Intimate NGAGS Interview

Wednesday, October 28

Plan to tune in to the GSCO Facebook page and YouTube channel for an intimate interview  with our National Gold Award Girl Scout and GSCO CEO Leanna Clark!

We want to hear how your girl is using her Girl Scout skills by taking initiative, caring for the community, and Girl Scouting at home. She can send in her story here.

Silver Award Project: The Support Pal Program

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Submitted by Rebecca G.

Metro Denver

Denver

We have all been struggling to adjust to our new normal: wearing masks outside our homes, schools going online, social distancing, and many other challenges. During this difficult time, frontline healthcare workers are dealing with all of these challenges as well as many others due to this deadly new virus with no vaccine or cure.

Elderly patients in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and their own homes experience some of the highest pandemic-related risks, both in susceptibility to the virus and increased severity of the subsequent illness. The most debilitated elderly, those with terminal illnesses, often choose hospice care to enhance their quality of life when that time is limited. Hospice nurses work to make sure these patients are as comfortable as possible. Under normal circumstances, before the pandemic, these nurses worked tirelessly, each leading a whole team of individuals working to ensure that hospice patients receive the best care. Due to the pandemic’s requirements of social distancing and contact precautions, everyone on the hospice team except the hospice nurse is prohibited from seeing the hospice patients in person; therefore, the hospice nurse now bears the full responsibility for in-person support of the isolated hospice patient. This increased responsibility and pressure on the hospice nurses inspired my Silver Award Project.

To start, I asked the nurses what their biggest challenges are at this time. Their responses included protecting themselves from COVID-19, witnessing the heartbreak of loved ones who are not able to visit their family members due to strict “no visitor” rules, talking through their masks, and needing lots of ziplock and paper bags for their PPE. I took these struggles into account and created a plan to help them.

First, I painted boxes for the nurses to keep in their cars to store their PPE and other equipment and I personalized each box for each nurse. I also painted a smaller box to hold their personal items. With these boxes, the nurses can streamline their trunk organization for transporting their supplies.

Next, to make the real difference in the nurses’ lives, I created the Support Pal Program. I invited Girl Scouts from many different troops to participate and assigned each Girl Scout volunteer one hospice nurse to support. Each week, the Girl Scout Support Pal sends her assigned nurse an email with an uplifting message or joke to brighten her nurse’s day. The nurses have reported that they look forward to these emails that make them smile and brighten their week. Please note that this is not a pen pal program requiring the nurses to respond! The Support Pals’ emails help the nurses deal with their stress and make their week better. It is a one way support system for these hero-nurses at this difficult time.

This Silver Award Project is vital at a time when healthcare workers are under so much stress. Hospice nurses always help others so this is our chance to help them. Thank you to all the brave nurses and doctors risking their lives in nursing homes and in hospitals to help their patients. I would also like to thank my troop leader and mother for her help, ideas, and support during this project and for her dedication to her patients everyday. Thank you.

We want to hear how your girl is using her Girl Scout skills by taking initiative, caring for the community, and Girl Scouting at home. She can send in her story here.

Bronze Award Project Continues to Make an Impact

Two years after earning the Girl Scout Bronze Award, Troop 6608’s project continues to make an impact on their community. The Girl Scouts from Centennial rebuilt an outdoor classroom for their school, Willow Creek Elementary. It was completely overgrown, so the girls cleaned it up and built six benches, reusing a couple of dead trees. They also painted rocks.

We want to hear how your girl is using her Girl Scout skills by taking initiative, caring for the community, and Girl Scouting at home. She can send in her story here.