Tag Archives: Niwot

Gold Award Girl Scouts impact Colorado communities and beyond

Twenty-five Girl Scouts from across Colorado have earned the distinction of Gold Award Girl Scout, the highest honor in Girl Scouting, after completing take action projects benefiting their local communities and those around the world.

  • Meg Bleyle from Highlands Ranch, Highlands Ranch High School, worked to increase the bee population by teaching children about how people need and depend on bees.
  • Beth Bolon from Longmont hosted a workshop for sixth grade girls to help them improve their communication skills and bolster their confidence when interacting with others.
  • Cheyanne Bridges from Colorado Springs, Liberty High School, partnered with the Pikes Peak Humane Society to support their animal medical fund by providing a sustainable source of donations from her school.
  • Tara Butler from Denver, Overland High School, created a course and curriculum specifically for senior citizens to educate them on how to use their smartphone and better understand the technology.
  • Kayleigh Cornell from Aurora, Grandview High School, started the Colorado Book Bank and collected more than 1,300 new and gently used books for students in a summer lunch program.
  • Victoria Delate from Centennial, Cherry Creek High School, created a four-week self-defense course to give her fellow students the knowledge and skills to protect themselves from sexual assault.
  • Emma Deutsch from Denver, Rocky Mountain School of Expeditionary Learning, improved the cat rooms at the Denver Animal Shelter. By creating a more welcoming and colorful space, she encouraged more people to adopt cats.
  • Kamaryn Evans from Castle Rock, Douglas County High School, worked to raise awareness for victims of domestic violence and for the Crisis Center, which works to end domestic violence through advocacy, education, and prevention.
  • Rose Goodman from Boulder, Boulder High School, created a lesson plan, which meets common-core standards, to educate second grade students about the declining bee population and how they can help bees.
  • Elizabeth Hoelscher from Aurora, Grandview High School, partnered with Avanti House, which houses teenage victims of sex trafficking, to build a new library for the home and create welcome baskets for the girls.
  • Ashlin Hult from Niwot, Niwot High School, created a series of materials for middle-school girls to encourage healthy body image and increase self-esteem.
  • Zoi Johns from Golden, Lakewood High School, coordinated the installation of three 10,000-liter water filtration tanks in a school in rural Uganda.
  • Makayla Kocher from Monument, Colorado Springs Christian School, created an art program for nursing home residents.
  • Kayleigh Limbach from Niwot, Niwot High School, wrote aguidebook for incoming International Baccalaureate students to help them weigh their options for their academic future.
  • Alexis Montague from Castle Rock, Castle View High School, hosted a panel discussion so girls could learn more about career opportunities in STEM.
  • Sarah Ness from Centennial, Eaglecrest High School, hosted nearly two dozen after-school art therapy sessions to help kids at her school relieve and manage stress.
  • Gwyneth Ormes from Centennial, Cherry Creek High School, organized a series of after-school workshops to teach elementary school girls Processing (a basic programming language), along with the foundational concepts of computer science.
  • Emma Parkhurst from Centennial, Littleton High School, revitalized The Lions Cupboard, a local clothing closet, to make the space more accessible for families in need.
  • Makala Roggenkamp from Arvada, Faith Christian Academy, partnered with Hope House and created book templates for children to develop a love of reading.
  • Abagail Sickinger from Castle Rock, Douglas County High School, developed a curriculum to help high school students get a job. Topics included: resume writing, what to wear, conducting yourself during an interview, and how to answer interview questions.
  • Katrina Stroud from Boulder, Niwot High School, created an activity booklet for The Butterfly Pavilion to teach children about Monarch butterflies and bumble bees.
  • Grayson Thomas from Lyons, Lyons High School, designed a mural of diverse and significant members of the STEM community for Lyons Middle/Senior High School.
  • Marieke van Erven from Brighton partnered with the Adams County Elections Department to create VOTE (Voter Outreach Through Education), which takes education about the elections department into high school government classes.
  • Melissa Wilson from Castle Rock, Castle View High School, developed several materials to educate people who can hear about how to interact with those who are deaf.
  • Inspired by her mother’s battle with cancer, Susan Wilson from Aurora, Grandview High School, created a media center for cancer patients undergoing treatment at Parker Adventist Hospital.

The Girl Scout 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.

“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, President and 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.”

About Girl Scouts of Colorado

Girl Scouts of Colorado is 32,000 strong—more than 22,000 girls and 10,000 adults who believe in the power of every G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ to change the world. Our extraordinary journey began more than 100 years ago with the original G.I.R.L., Juliette Gordon “Daisy” Low. On March 12, 1912, in Savannah, Ga., she organized the very first Girl Scout troop, and every year since, we’ve honored her vision and legacy, building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. We’re the preeminent leadership development organization for girls. To volunteer, reconnect, donate, or join, visit www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org.

Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Ashlin Hult, Niwot, “Positive reflections”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

The issue my project addressed was positive body image for middle-school aged girls. I noticed how positive body image was an under looked issue and I decided to make that the topic of my Gold Award. To address this issue, I created a pamphlet and distributed it to middle school girls with a presentation I also created. The media is also a possible root cause of this issue, so I also formed an Instagram account named GS_Positive_Reflections within my project.  Overall, I hoped to raise awareness and increase self-esteem. I made an impact on anyone who received a pamphlet and I wanted to create a long-lasting impact on whoever this project touched.

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

I may not see the direct results of this project in the next year, but I believe that this pamphlet gives my target audience tools to help deal with body image issues in the future. My presentation gave them and an eye-opening experience that they will be able to remember for a long time.  I will know this project is successful if the organizations I reached out to comment on how it helped the target audience and if they ask for more of my pamphlets. If someone who participated in one of my presentations gains more self-confidence that impacts the rest of their lives, then this project will be a success.

Overall, I contacted 12 different organizations, distributed 150 copies of my pamphlets among five of those organizations, made two presentations directly to girls at a local middle school, and have over 70 followers on my Instagram account

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

I sustained my project by giving the organizations more pamphlets as well as digital copy of my pamphlet. They agreed to print out more pamphlets and distribute them when needed. I continue to post messages on my social media account too.

My goal is that someone or a group of people will see my project and try to make a bigger impact out of it. I hope others might join my project and continue to spread the word.  Ideally, counselors and school teachers will talk more often about positive body image in classroom discussions. Another idea is that girl groups could form that take my topic and create more resources for teenage girls.

I believe that my project will still be relevant in years to come and whoever participated in it will remember what I said. Those who were a part of my project now know where to find resources if they, themselves, or someone else they know struggles with positive body image issues.

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

Low self-esteem due to body image happens in our society throughout the whole world. I have noticed that many people feel passionate about this topic and feel that it is under looked as well. This is not just something that happens to middle-school aged girls, but is seen across all the age groups. I used an array of resources from all over and found that this problem is consistent in all areas.

The media can cause people to feel bad because photos can be photoshopped and show an unrealistic image. Some people have tried to fix how we see the images of celebrities, showing how celebrity photos can be fake.

I also contacted 12 organization across the country, from Colorado to California, to distribute my pamphlet and five of those 12 organizations are currently distributing it.

What did you learn about yourself?

I developed better communication skills through practice and gaining confidence. I practiced use of formal interviewing and honed my skills as a presenter. I can use technology more efficiently to reach out to people; I was able to use e-mail to correspond more fluidly.

I learned to better schedule and plan my time to meet deadlines. I learned that I need to use my time more efficiently and to do tasks in a timely manner.

I am easily distracted and do my best work without interruptions. I must set up my workspace so I can focus.

I discovered what I need to do to work smarter, not harder and be more efficient.

I contacted other family members that would be interested in giving me support during my project and they offered me helpful advice.

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

The skills that have shown the most improvement include time-management, scheduling, and communication. This project gave me the opportunity to grow and flourish over the last two years. With my graduation from high school, I am now looking to the future. I am more confident with life skills that will help me with a job or any other type of work. I plan to go to college and these are essential skills for success. I picked up on lifelong skills throughout this project that I will definitely use in the future.

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

I feel that I have learned a lot through this project. I strived to become a better Girl Scout throughout the process and I now have improved on skills that I can use in the future. This project pushed me to use new skills and go outside my comfort zone.

I have improved as a person with these skills and am now ready for whatever the future throws at me. I will become a more successful adult because of this project. I will always be improving and work hard because this project has shown me how hard I can work to achieve a goal.

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

I challenged myself to be a go-getter by reaching out to interviewers and other people that can be used in my support system. Also, when I reached out to organizations, they seemed excited to use my pamphlet.

I used innovative tactics when developing my pamphlet. A pamphlet is something that I have never made before. When I started my project, I ran into a couple of road bumps before I found the correct program to use to create my pamphlet.

I have become more of a risk-taker through this project. I did things on my own that I have never done before, such as drive to organizations and explain what my project is. I improved my communication skills with practice which allowed me to be more comfortable and confident when making connections with others. I also developed skills building relationships through face-to-face interactions but also with e-mails and phone calls.

I became a leader through my project whenever I presented my pamphlet to a group of people. I felt the most successful aspect of my project was when I got to hand out pamphlets at actual organizations. I got to talk about my project and the adults helped me open up a nice discussion with the girls. Those at the presentation seemed intrigued. I have dropped off my pamphlets at four organizations as of right now.

**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: Kayleigh Limbach, Niwot, ” International Baccalaureate guidebook”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

My Gold Award project was creating a guidebook for incoming International Baccalaureate students to help them weigh their options for their academics at Niwot High School. The International Baccalaureate (IB) Program is a rigorous academic pathway that offers a lot of challenge to students, but sometimes the challenge is underestimated. I designed a questionnaire about the IB program for current students to complete, then used their responses to make a guidebook full of advice and reflections from these students. This information, I think, will be extremely helpful to incoming IB students. I know I would have liked to have it when I was an incoming student. My project can be viewed on my website here: https://sites.google.com/site/ibstudentguidebook

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

Given that my target audience is incoming IB students, I unfortunately won’t be able to see a measurable impact for about two years when they finish their IB courses. However, I did send out my guidebook to incoming IB students this year unofficially, and some responded saying the information was helpful and helped their decision in doing International Baccalaureate or Advanced Placement programs.

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

My project is sustainable because it can be repeated by IB students in the future. Because the student input collected in the book is valuable to teachers, administrators, and especially incoming IB students, the repetition of the survey will help provide an accurate snapshot of the IB program at Niwot High School at the time. It can be repeated for as long as IB is offered at Niwot.

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

The information was used in the IB audit. Every five years, an auditor comes to Niwot High School to evaluate the IB program at the school. The information I collected was made available to this auditor, who may use the information at the summit for the IB program in Switzerland.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned I really am capable of more than I thought. In finishing this project, I proved to myself I can study for school, go to sports practice, have a job, and be able to complete valuable and fulfilling projects like this. It was not required that I get my Gold Award, and there was no consequence in not getting in other than letting myself down. I didn’t let myself down and I followed through.

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

I will remember the communication, organization, and patience skills I developed in my project for several years. In college and in my workplace in the future, I will be able to communicate my ideas clearly, work with others collaboratively, and be more patient with myself and others. Earning my Gold Award definitely helped me mature for the future.

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

It was very important to me that I finish the final rank of Girl Scouts since I have devoted so much of my life to it. I began as a Daisy when I started first grade, and now I finished my Gold Award as I graduate high school. Girl Scouts has been a constant thing In my life, and I felt I would be doing myself a disservice if I didn’t take advantage of the opportunity to complete Girl Scouts to the highest level.

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

I definitely did a lot of go-getting for this project, which strengthened these skills a lot. I realized I am very capable of getting things done if I really want them to get done. Earning my Gold Award helped me become a confident young woman who can accomplish anything I want to accomplish.

**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


Courtney Howell

What did you do for your Gold Award project? 

For my Gold Award project, I held a science, math, and engineering exploration day for middle and elementary school kids in my local area at my high school, to show them that science can be fun! The event consisted of 22 hands-on activities and learning displays that were designed to be fun, interactive, and educational, while encouraging kids to get interested and involved in STEM. Activities ranged from a wide variety of different science and engineering topics, and I had 16 different science and engineering organizations involved in the event, either by running a booth or by donating materials for an activity. The impact I had hoped to make, was to share the “wonder” of science and provide the opportunity for elementary and middle school children, to discover a passion or appreciation for science through hands-on activities.

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

I created a survey and had attendees fill it out rating their experience at the event, as well as specific aspects of the event to quantitatively measure the impact of my project, on my target audience. Comments from the surveys were incredibly positive, with the majority saying that the event was well done and a great opportunity that kids absolutely loved. Even before I tallied and analyzed the data, I could tell by how bustling the event was, how many kids I saw smiling, and deeply engaged in the various activities, that the event was a success.

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

My project will be sustained beyond my involvement by a group of leaders at my high school, who will take over the event by running it again next year. To help them get started, I provided a list of contacts and activities I used in my project. I also compiled this information into a “manual” of where to start in organizing the event, and mailed this manual to different schools around the state to allow other schools to run the event, something similar, or just to use its activities for teaching and spreading the fun of science and engineering.

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

STEM programs are important in furthering national wellbeing and technology, but there are areas of the U.S., and worldwide, that don’t have as many opportunities to expose kids to STEM and getting them interested in science and engineering. Polls done by the National Science Foundation in 2011,  report that nationwide only 34% of 8th grade students performed at or above the proficient level in math, and only 40% of 4th graders nationwide performed at or above the proficient level. Math and science are important for innovation and progress, yet so many students nationwide struggle because they do not have the opportunities to learn and discover STEM in an engaging way.

My event, STEAM Day, can also link nationally because it will be repeated next year and can also be put on by other schools or organizations. From Silver Creek High School, the STEAM Day can spread to other schools in the district, then from one school district to another. It can grow/spread from Longmont to another town in Colorado, and from other towns in Colorado to another state and later another. I have started a chain of potential STEAM Days that I hope will spread far beyond my local community.

What did you learn about yourself?

By completing my Gold Award project, I realized just how capable I am. Going into the project, I had some doubts about whether I could get it done in time or even if I had the motivation to complete the project, but I learned that I am motivated and capable. While the event came together a little last-minute for some things, I was able to put together a successful event with myself as the leader, proving to myself that I am a capable young woman who can achieve anything, even difficult, if I put my mind to it.

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

The practical life skills, such as time management, networking, and project management skills, I gained from doing this project will be invaluable for my future. Both in college and a prospective future career in genetic research, I will have to organize and execute large-scale research projects, which will require many of the same steps and skills as my Gold Award project did. Because of this, my leadership skills will continue to grow and improve as I identify topics of research interest, plan, and execute research, as part of or leading a team, that can hopefully help the greater community.

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

The Gold Award was a great way to use and refine the skills I had begun to develop through my 13 years in Girl Scouts. From selling cookies to going to camp, Girl Scouts introduces important skills, like networking, planning, and fundraising and these skills get put to practical use, as well as become improved, when you do your Gold Award.

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

Girl Scout Gold Awardees make a difference


Broomfield High School Junior Grace Forrey “battled the effects of relational aggression and media hype” for her Girl Scout Gold Award. She designed, organized, and implemented self-esteem workshops to help girls entering 4th-6th grade realize their worth and recognize what factors have us at their mercy. Grace said, “Boys take it out on the sports field, girls take it out on each other.”

Clear Creek High School Junior Nicole Moes “was distressed with gender differences in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields” so she did something to share her love of science for her Gold Award. Two events were held- one for 5th -7th grade girls on the fun side of science and a more career oriented event for high school students.

Are you an organ donor? Niwot High School Senior Katie Rose “set out to educate her peers on the need for organs for transplant” to earn her Gold Award. Katie said, “If tragedy strikes, your organs could go to help someone who would die without a transplant.”

Girl Scouts of Colorado congratulates these girls who recently completed the highest award in Girl Scouts, the Gold Award!