Tag Archives: Lakewood High School

Gold Award Girl Scout: Abby Kennedy, Lakewood, “Band Buddies Music Mentorship”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my project, I created a program where Lakewood High School students go to local elementary schools once a week to work with the elementary school band students on their instruments. In these after school mentoring sessions, the high schoolers work with elementary schoolers who play instruments in the same family (brass, woodwinds, etc.). The aim of this was to help the elementary schoolers improve more rapidly to show them the benefits of music and how rewarding it is to play an instrument, to ultimately increase the likelihood that the would continue with music into middle school and high school. In order to make this project long lasting and to spread it, I created a basic curriculum, as well as a website to both share my project and provide a framework for future students in my school to continue the project.

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

The main component of my measurability was a survey for the elementary school students asking if they planned on continuing with band into middle school taken at the beginning and end of the tutoring program last year. In the initial survey, only half the kids were sure that they would continue, while by the final survey all of them were sure they would continue, which was a great success. I also made qualitative observations about the student’s general attitude towards the program and music, as well as their skills throughout the year, and they all ended more excited about music and better at their instruments.

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

At the level of my school, I am working with students who are currently tutors and underclassmen so that they can take over when I graduate at the end of this year. I am providing my school with instructions on how to run the program, to make sure the core ideals and basic method of running the program don’t get lost over time. My advisor, the band director of the elementary schools in my area, has also stated that he is dedicated to keeping the program running as well. He will be a key component in sustaining the program at my school for years to come, being a constant as kids come into and graduate from high school. On a larger scale, my program will live on through my website and the instructional resource I created to help guide others to start and run programs in their own areas, which I am sharing with other students who are passionate about music.

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

My project is based on a topic that people is applicable to anywhere in the world in addressing music and music education. This is dealt with on all sorts of levels depending on the country and area you consider. Some countries in Europe have subsidized arts programs, while this varies a lot throughout the United States., and then some underdeveloped countries rely on outside organizations to bring in any music education at all. With this, I helped to address music education as it was most applicable to my area. In order to expand my project to a global scale, I reached out to Tri-M Music Honor Society, an organization with more than 6,000 chapters of dedicated music students globally, about publishing a link to my website and curriculum on their website as a potential service project idea. This would apply my project to students all over the globe, and I am eager to keep working on establishing this connection.

What did you learn about yourself?

I am a reserved and shy person, and I have never been super comfortable putting myself out there, public speaking, and working with new people. Going into this project, this made me very unsure of my ability to be a leader and a teacher. Throughout this process, I have found myself facing and conquering these obstacles, showing myself that I am capable of both leading and teaching, as well as overcoming my fears.

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

As I go into college next year, the skills I acquired in terms of leadership, communication, and working with new people will be incredibly important. From becoming practiced at reaching out to new people who could potentially help my cause, to figuring out how to lead a team, these are all skills I can use for the rest of my life. I am certain that I would have not gained these skills had I not completed this project, and I am grateful to have these skills to help me succeed in the future.

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

Having been a Girl Scout since kindergarten, the Gold Award has been a valuable experience in wrapping up my time as an active member of Girl Scouts, as I graduate from high school this year. The project combined many things I had learned through Girl Scouts throughout the years, and with this I think the Gold Award was a remarkable opportunity to enact everything my Girl Scout experience gave me. Overall, the Gold Award has in many ways been the culmination of the Girl Scout career, solidifying and amplifying everything I have learned since I began 13 years ago.

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

Completing my Gold Award has definitely helped me become more of a go-getter. Having faced many obstacles, tried many solutions, and accepted a few instances of failure with my project, I am much more open to trying new things and tackling a situation head-on. I am less afraid of facing obstacles and can focus on working towards solving an issue, instead of focusing on how an idea could fail even if it has great potential for success. This has made me much more willing to go for something even if I have inhibitions, hence more of a “go-getter.”

**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: Zoi Johns, Golden, “Project waterwise”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

In rural Namasale, Uganda, water was scarce. There was no form of clean water in the near distance forcing over 150 children to risk their lives in search of a water source. Girls would travel dangerous lengths in the dark at the risk of rape, just trying to provide their family with the necessity that was not accessible to anyone. My project addressed this issue at the root. In addition to the one tank that was provided to the Global Leaders Primary School (GLPS), I provided them with three more 10,000 liter tanks to be placed at every corner of the school to ensure the ease of having clean water while at school and to take home to their family. I hoped to give these children not only clean water, but a sense of inspiration.

I didn’t want to stop at the tanks. The lack of education was also an issue to be addressed, which is why I designed posters for every classroom making certain the children know the importance of clean water and the right ways to use and conserve it. The students, staff, and their families have all benefited from the addition of three water filtration tanks and an addition to their curriculum adding more depth and complexity to these children’s education.

Here in my own community, I designed a curriculum that emphasized the importance and awareness that students here need to recognize in regards to clean water. Curriculum binders that were placed at high schools in Lakewood and Golden, Manning Middle School, and libraries in Golden and Lakewood included information about my project and activities that helped children reflect on their own water use. This was a great way to connect the dots from 3,000 miles away.

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

Because records are not kept as efficiently as they are in the United States and the Global Leaders Primary school is only one year old, the measurability was forced away from the numbers and into smiles. I measured the impact of my Gold Award through personal accounts, pictures, videos, and the joy that was given to the children along with my tanks. I believe this is more powerful than statistics or analytical data that live on a piece of paper. I find comfort in knowing that my project reached beyond the paper and into these children’s lives. Maybe one day when the government of Uganda is more established and the school has been there for a longer amount of time, I will find the statistical impact of my project, but a smile goes way further than numbers.

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

These 10,000 liter tanks are designed to last more than 50 years, which is sustainable in itself. In addition, the educational resources placed in every classroom at GLPS will also be sustained by not only the children, but the teachers will also learn the true importance of the water tanks. These posters will be referred to and taught for years to come. This, in addition to the curriculum, will add a great component and feature to the primary school as a whole and add another reason to increase enrollment and attendance. In my own community, the curriculum binders that I have designed and placed in local libraries and schools in my community along with an electronic version, will be placed and used by future generations with the desire to learn about the connections of clean water to third world countries and the important features of clean water locally as well.

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

My whole project went beyond the local boundaries of my community. Designed to target students of GLPS, my boundaries were outstretched all the way across the world to Namasale, Uganda. I had to work with many liaisons working in Namasale, which added another global layer to my project. On the other hand, the national link to my project came to fruition in my educational component in my own community. In the educational binders was information that discussed states here in the United States that were struggling to maintain clean water. This link brought my project full circle in a way that brought the importance of helping locations with a limited access to clean water closer to home because the purpose of my project was to instill my passion for this project into other people in hopes that it will spark a project within their minds to create.

What did you learn about yourself?

Coming into this project I took pride in being a strong leader, but this project took that term to a whole new meaning. I lost the stigma that I previously had against delegation, which helped along the way throughout my project. Most notably featured in my delegation to Far Away Friends to deliver the tanks and all of the materials that I created to GLPS. This was also seen in my delegation to my team members to deliver the curriculum to the neighboring libraries and schools to further the education of my project. In addition, my communication skills were improved in the sense that I had to hone in my patience awaiting responses that were coming from halfway across the world. This was extremely difficult as I wanted to maintain an efficient timeline and always be hands-on throughout my project. I did a project bigger than myself and bigger than I ever could’ve imagined and from that, I learned that I was a lot stronger than I was. To put the amount of work a yearlong project needed proved to myself that my leadership goes farther than I could see. With being such a busy student, this determination and efficiency improved my leadership skills immensely.

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

This project allows me to draw conclusions from the lessons I learned along the way. I took away so many valuable aspects of how to create a sustainable goal and how to carry this out effectively that will be even more viable to my future. As I desire to go into the leadership field of study, I plan to take everything I’ve learned through my Gold Award and apply it into my future profession as they both parallel with the importance of leadership and hard work.

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

This Gold Award is the culmination of all the cold hours outside selling cookies, all the ropes courses, service outings, Silver Award, etc. This project is everything that I have worked hard to be able to do. The toolkit that Girl Scouts has provided me through countless leadership strengthening activities to individual self introspection, all have been utilized in my Gold Award. This was a way to utilize everything that I’ve learned in the past 12 years of my Girl Scout career.

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

To be honest, I was always a G.I.R.L. What I’ve come to learn about myself is now, I am a W.O.M.A.N.

Wiser- Doing a project with so much room for perspective, I took this opportunity to improve my empathy. To find small ways to humble my life in retrospection of the lives these children were given.

Optimistic- Trying to find the light in a project like this was easy, just because of the impact I was making. It was hard to put that into context of the multitude of other villages that I couldn’t help. This initial thought was hard to process, but by the end of my project, it just proved as motivation for the next one.

Motivator- One of the many goals of this project was to radiate my passion in hopes of someone else finding that same motivation to help people in need. That if one person out of the many that heard a speech of mine or read a curriculum binder left and said, “I could do something like that.”

Adaptive- By doing a project from halfway across the world, I needed to learn how to roll with the punches. Because there is such a cultural difference between us, I needed to adapt to their customs and empathize with the ways in which they lived.

Natural- I was born a leader. With tenacity and determination, I have always tried to find activities that catered to these aspirations which in turn, strengthened my leadership. By the time of this Gold Award, I discovered that all of these activities I chose to surround myself with, created a sense of security whether I was on stage giving a speech, creating posters, or campaigning my project, I felt right at home. I was in my natural habitat and comfort zone. I feel very real, honest and natural.

**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.