What did you do for your Gold Award project?
The issue my project addressed was cancer patients not having any entertainment while receiving their treatments. Typically, the cancer center treats 14 patients per day, and out of those 14, about 1/4 bring something with them. This could be because either cancer patients forget to bring something or they can’t afford anything like an iPad to bring with them. With cancer patients already paying for treatments, they may not be able to afford something like that. They can sit for as short as 30 minutes to as long as 8 hours. In that time, it can be physically and mentally exhausting sitting in a chair while they receive anything from chemotherapy to radiation to infusion therapy. I hoped that cancer patients would finally have something to entertain themselves, so they are distracted from their treatment.
How did you measure the impact your Gold Award project made on your target audience?
I think the reactions from people are the greatest examples that I made a difference. Considering I haven’t seen the impact of my media center yet from the patients, I won’t really know how they feel about it. However, I know the nurses are very happy about the center, so I can only imagine how the patients will react. I was able to donate three DVD players, two CD players, three pairs virtual reality goggles, five pairs headphones, 257 DVDs, and 11 books on tape.
How is your project sustainable? How will your project continue to impact after your involvement?
The Parker Adventist Hospital Foundation will continue my project. That means any further donations that come in will go to the foundation, and they will give it to the cancer and infusion center. Also, the foundation will upkeep the electronics used. This means if a movie player were to break, the foundation will either fix it or replace it. I didn’t just want to stop there, I also reached out to Grandview High School’s Key Club to see if they wanted to be involved. However, Parker Adventist Hospital already has a media center, so I will be reaching out to either Castle Rock Adventist Hospital, Littleton Adventist Hospital, or Rocky Mountain Cancer Center to see if they would like a media center for their patients. If so, Key Club will be creating their own in order to continue my project.
What is your project’s global and/or national connection?
Over the summer, I traveled to Europe with my troop and went to Pax Lodge. During the trip, I met a couple of volunteers there and befriended them. We met Andi, a Girl Guide from Mexico, and Kat, a Girl Guide from Canada. When I first started up my project, I created a Facebook page, so people could be updated on the progress of my Gold Award project. My mom shared it on her Facebook, and from there people were able to pick it up and share the link themselves. Two of those people who picked it up were Andi and Kat which meant my page was shared in Mexico and Canada. In addition, my project and Facebook page was shared on the Parker Adventist Hospital website and employee newsletter which is also shared with Adventist Hospitals nationally as well as in South America and Asia.
What did you learn about yourself?
Something I learned about myself is that I can do a lot more than I give myself credit for. To be frank, I didn’t think my project was going to have such a great turn out with all the donations I received. However, the response was great because of all the hard work I had put in. I drove countless hours to visit stores to see if they would donate and went to local Starbucks and libraries to hang up my flyers. On top of that, I spent extra time at Parker Adventist Hospital informing all the employees about my project. I didn’t expect myself to put in so much effort and work, but once I became really passionate about getting more donations for patients, all I could do is work.
How will earning your Gold Award impact you in the future?
I think earning my Gold Award will help me with opportunities not only in school, but in the workforce as well. Recently, I applied for an internship that has to do with leadership and managing your own team. It was because of my Gold Award that allowed me to be accepted into the internship because of the role I took on with this project. Earning my Gold Award has proven that I can lead a team to success on my own and that I’m actually capable of taking on big, important projects. I think my Gold Award will also impact me to think of more ways I can help the world. After completing a project that benefits my community, I would like to continue helping people possibly beyond. Especially after recent events, such as Vegas, Harvey, Irma, etc., there’s plenty of opportunities to help. I can’t wait to give my time and energy into aiding others that need support the most. And because of my Gold Award project, I know there’s nothing stopping me.
Why do you feel the Gold Award was an important part of your Girl Scout experience?
I think the Gold Award is an important part of my Girl Scout experience because my whole Girl Scout career was leading up to this. Not only do many girls not complete or attempt to earn their Gold Award, but many girls also don’t stay in Girl Scouts this long in order to get to this point. It is a huge honor to earn my Gold Award to be able to join the many inspiring Girl Scouts ahead of me. We are a small part of the majority that actually stayed in Girl Scouts and put in the effort to benefit inside and outside of our communities by OURSELVES. That’s amazing, if you ask me. Not to mention that not many people realize what the Gold Award is and what it can do. I honestly think the Gold Award was the single most important part as my time being a Girl Scout because it required to the most work and was definitely the most rewarding. People don’t realize the benefits of the Gold Award for not only the people affected by it, but the girl herself. I feel I have gained a sense of accomplishment, leadership, and confidence because of my Gold Award. And I can only imagine other recipients feel the same as I do.
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 definitely made me into a go-getter the most out of all the qualities of being a G.I.R.L. If I’m being honest, my Gold Award pushed me way out of my comfort zone. I would definitely describe myself as a shy introvert. When completing my project, I had to talk… a lot. Not only did I have to talk more than I would have liked to, but I had to talk to a great deal to strangers. Whether it was presenting my project or asking for donations, I was forced into situations that I wasn’t necessarily comfortable with. However, I would say my project turned me into a go-getter because I everything I did, everywhere I went, everyone I talked to, it wasn’t for me. My project was for the cancer patients at Parker Adventist Hospital. Acknowledging this, I knew I had to push outside of my comfort zone because I wanted to get my project completed and completed well. I went to stores such as Target, Costco, Best Buy, and Walmart to ask for donations and went to Starbucks and libraries to hang my flyers. It was a lot of driving, hours, and advocating, but I knew what I wanted; I wanted to make a great media center for these cancer patients.
**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 firstname.lastname@example.org.