Tag Archives: period poverty

Meet National Gold Award Girl Scout Julia Trujillo

Girl Scouts of Colorado has two special opportunities for you to hear directly from 2020 National Gold Award Girl Scout Julia Trujillo. As a National Gold Award Girl Scout, Julia is one of one of ten teen activists honored by Girl Scouts of the USA. 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 was also selected to be GSUSA’s girl activist and representative at the United Nation’s Girls Speak Out Girl’s Rights Townhall earlier in October.

  • Watch this special interview with Julia and Girl Scouts of Colorado CEO Leanna Clark.
  • Julia also participated in GSCO’s “Meet an Expert” webinar series on October 27, 2020. Girl Scouts of all ages and adults joined from across Colorado to learn about Julia’s journey to the Gold Award, becoming a National Gold Award Girl Scout, and her advice for other girls. Missed it? Listen here.

Girl Scouts who participated in the live session or listen to the recording can purchase their “Meet an Expert” patch online: https://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/about-girl-scouts/gsco-shop.html

Resources from the webinar:

Questions? Email aimee.artzer@gscolorado.org.

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.”

Gold Award Girl Scout: Julia Trujillo, Arvada, “The Period Project: Free and Accessible Menstrual Products for Colorado Schools”

What did you do for your Gold Award project? 

For my Gold Award project, I asked Colorado Representative Brianna Titone to introduce a bill on my behalf. House Bill 1131 creates a grant program to provide funding for free and accessible menstrual products/product dispensers in Title One Colorado schools. I rallied community support and started the conversation about period poverty and period stigma in our state’s government and in my community and beyond.

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

The target audience of my Gold Award is girls/menstruators in schools with 75% or more students in free and reduced price  lunch programs. By creating a program that prioritizes getting products into these low-resource schools, I have been able to ensure that my Gold Award will impact those with the greatest need.

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

The grant program created, if passed, will be sustained through the state. It has currently cleared the House Education committee and still needs to pass through the Senate, but I’m very hopeful and confident in this because of the bill’s success thus far. If the bill does not pass, my work has still inspired significant initiatives such as the commitments from Jefferson County and Denver Public Schools to provide district-wide products.

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

My efforts to eradicate period and poverty started small within my own high school and expanded from there to address the needs of students in my district and finally throughout my state. The attention the bill has gained through various media outlets including a podcast based out of New York will help spread this movement throughout the nation with the help of various organizations and nonprofits I partnered with and secured testimony from such groups as Period.Org, Period Kits Denver, and Free The Period Co. which have all been spreading the word about the bill through social media and blog posts. Period poverty and stigma is rampant worldwide. There is a lot of work to be done to solve this global epidemic. By normalizing periods and providing for menstruating minors in developing  countries, it will become easier for us to view periods as normal aspects of life. Providing products to those in need will become a matter of public health and safety. This will allow our society to begin to prioritize addressing the unmet needs of menstruators all around the world.

What did you learn about yourself?

I have learned that I am 100% capable of advocating for my ideas and beliefs, even in the face of opposition and I can respectfully and intelligently disagree and vocalize my disagreement. My project has shown me that my ideas and solutions are worthwhile and can help the world around me. By spending so much time outside of my comfort zone, I’ve expanded my comfort zone. Countless meetings, proposals, presentations, interviews, etc. have made me feel like I can handle any pressure or task.

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

My Gold Award has entirely changed my idea of what my future will look like. Going into my project, I was fairly uncertain of what exactly I wanted to do. Throughout my Gold Award journey, I’ve discovered the passion and interest I have in policy and the legislative process. I’ve discovered I want to pursue a career in this area.

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

I feel that earning my Gold Award has allowed me to finally put all the leadership skills Girl Scouts armed me with to use. I was able to truly find real life applications to everything I’ve learned over the years about being assertive and creating change when I see a problem.

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

I truly feel that I have become a risk-taker. From speaking about taboo, vulnerable issues in a testimony before a legislative committee, to proposing a resolution to my school board, to lobbying to General Assembly members and senators, my Gold Award has put me in countless situations that would have terrified me a year ago. I have learned to believe in myself and believe that if I put in the work and research, I will be heard, and deserve to be heard. Taking risks throughout my Gold Award project has allowed me to become a braver, stronger, and more confident version of myself.

**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