Tag Archives: Pikes Peak

Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Cailin Foster, Monument, “Re-Imagining Legos: Robotics for Kids”

Foster_Cailin

 

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award, I went to various schools and started Lego Robotics Teams. I wanted to help mentor and expose kids to engineering and robotics at a younger age, so I targeted Elementary and Middle Schools. I would teach the students basic programming and building with Lego Mindstorm Kits as well as teamwork skills. I also tried to get more girls involved in Robotics and STEM by creating an informational pamphlet for girls which were distributed to various local school districts. These pamphlets encouraged girls to get more involved in STEM and included various programs to do so.

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

I measured my impact by having the kids take surveys about their experience afterwards. All the surveys came out positive and all the kids now want to pursue STEM fields! Also, pamphlets were taken very quickly at each of the schools.

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

My project is sustainable because the Robotics Teams can last year after year. It has become an established club at all the schools. To really ensure that the teams continue, I partnered the elementary/ middle school teams up with high school teams so high school students can come back every year and mentor the Lego Team students. This way, both the middle/elementary school and high school students both learn from each other as they grow as STEM workers! Both teams have a lotto learn from each other, and the high school students provide as great role models for the younger kids.

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

The global connection of my project is the pamphlet as well as my “how-to guide” for starting robotics teams. The pamphlet is designed to spark interest in girls all over the world, and the guide is to help people around the world start their own teams. Also, the robotics teams have sister teams in countries across the globe, so they get to share world-wide experiences and ideas! They get to see how robotics affects people from all over!

What did you learn about yourself?

From my project, I learned that I really love engineering. I love collaborating with people and guiding others. It taught me that STEM has endless possibilities. But, my favorite thing learned was seeing how positively kids react to STEM and robotics when it is put in a fun, creative, and competitive environment. They don’t realize they are learning while having fun!

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

My Gold Award taught me a lot about kids and engineering. Kids love to be creative and don’t mind learning when it is given a fun twist! My Gold Award will impact my future because I plan to continue to find ways to get kids involved in STEM. I think introducing kids to the ever growing and prevalent STEM field at a younger age will be critical to the progress of our society. Just imagine what kids can invent when they know all the basic skills at a younger, more creative age?! The possibilities are endless!

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

I feel like my Gold Award was the culmination of everything Girl Scouts taught me. It took initiative, cooperation, and kindness. It put all my skills gained by Girl Scouts to the test. It felt like a big wrap up to everything in my life Girl Scouts, and my Gold Award felt like everything I learned was worth it. I don’t think my Girl Scout experience would have been complete if I didn’t achieve my 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 Award Project: Maniyah Hart, Colorado Springs, “Autism and Art Therapy”

Maniyah Hart

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award project, I decided to address kids with autism and the effects of art. In my project, I hoped to share something with the kids and young adults that will allow them to open up to their expressive side. In order to do that, I decided to make a manual for autism centers to use to teach their kids the wonder of art through making ceramic candle holders and they can do this through the Manitou Art Center. After I taught a group of kids with Zach’s Place (a local autism center), I planned with Manitou Art Center to have kids come in during the National Autism month in April to come in and make their art.

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

To fully understand the impact my project left on these kids, I simply had to look at their faces. The expression of joy and smiles is all it really took to show me that they enjoyed making a ceramic candle holder. Not only did they smile but I could see a sense of pride inside them for making something of their own unique design.

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

Every year during the National Autism month, which is April, Manitou Art Center will host a day where they invite kids or young adults with autism to come in and make a ceramic candle holder, which will be made with the help of my instructional manual provided for the autism centers. It will continue to impact after my involvement because it is something that the children will enjoy doing.

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

The global connection associated with my project is to raise more awareness on children with autism. This project shows that they have an artistic and expressive side just like everyone else. It allows them to express themselves at times when they don’t feel like talking.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that I can be capable of anything that I set my mind to. I was really afraid at the beginning of my project because of all the hard work I would have to put in. But in the end it is worth it so you can help the world be a better place.

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

Earning my Gold Award will help me become a more independent adult. After putting so much time and effort into this project, it showed me that this is how you become successful in life. I plan to continue on this path of success by putting hard work into everything I do.

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

The Gold Award really caps off the whole Girl Scout experience. This is what the whole Girl Scout journey is about; make the world a better place. You learned throughout the years to make change but to also be the change as one individual among many, who knows how to make the world its best.

**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: Alessandra Smith, Colorado Springs, “Project Generation Connection”

Smith_Alessandra

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I founded Project Generation Connection (“PGC”), to provide the elderly in nursing homes the opportunity to connect with their families in town, or even miles away, through the use of video conferencing with iPad technology and assistance from volunteers.  PGC provides the plan, training, and volunteers to nursing homes.  As the need arises, PGC also provides iPads for the elderly to borrow through their facility.  Sunrise Senior Living at University Park (Sunrise) is successfully piloting the program.

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

Project Generation Connection is currently reaching out to 78 residents at Sunrise and their families.  And the target audience for the program is growing in numbers and distance as the interest from other senior living facilities has increased from the media coverage I received.  The value of this project was made much more prominent recently when I learned that a gentleman that I helped reach out to his family had passed away only a few weeks after we spent time together. As sad as it was to lose him, I remember the opportunity he had beforehand to reach out. It was especially fun to see that one of his children was out shopping when she took the video call! Family members were grateful that he had this opportunity to reach out.

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

My project, PGC, has been well received by Sunrise at University Park.  Sarah Rubin, the Activities Director at Sunrise, has expressed great interest in seeing PGC continue at her facility. Through the training materials that I have provided, she will be able to educate new volunteers on how the program functions.  Mark Pimentel, an Apple Products Consultant, has also expressed an interest in seeing this program grow.  Due to the nature of PGC, I am able to continue to maintain and improve the program over time and wherever I reside.

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

We live in a global society that is connected to each other via the internet.  Through the Facebook page for “The Catalyst Conference” sponsored by Girls In Tech, I received positive feedback from women in South Korea and Australia.  As a result of my interview with Fox 21 News, in Colorado Springs, I received communication from a senior living facility representative in Arizona who is interested in seeing this program established in facilities she represents through Arizona and Chicago.  In addition, I have been informed that Sarah Rubin, at Sunrise at University Park, intends to share this program with other Sunrise facilities throughout the nation and in Canada and Great Britain.

What did you learn about yourself?

Project Generation Connection has taught me how to face challenges.  I learned to be more of a go-getter and get back up again after being knocked down. Spending time with the elderly helped me realize a new-found deep respect and a genuine interest in making sure they experience a good quality of life.

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

Earning my Gold Award is validation that I can do whatever I put my mind to. If I’m ever feeling less than optimistic about my abilities, I will remember the challenges I faced and the determination I experienced towards completing my Gold Award.

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

The prospect of earning my Gold Award is what kept me in Girl Scouts. I had earned my Bronze and Silver and decided that I had to reach for Gold. Going for the highest award in Girl Scouts has given me invaluable experience in dealing with “real world” issues, which I will never forget.  In addition, serving the elderly of my community and their families is a culmination of all my volunteer experiences through the years in Girl Scouts. The Gold Award truly made my years of Girl Scouts worth it.

**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

Monument Troop honors its Hometown Heroes

Submitted by Heidi Hayes

Monument

Pikes Peak

The Hometown Hero for our Monument Troop 1625 is the Ronald McDonald House in Colorado Springs. Some of our members were available to deliver them cookies yesterday.  Our troop leader, Christine, does a great job keeping our girls in touch with the local community!

This story was submitted using the Share Your Stories form. You can share your Girl Scout moments too.

Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Alyssa Scaduto, Colorado Springs, “Bristol’s Used Book Fair”

 Scaduto_Alyssa

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award project I created a used book fair and instructed Bristol Elementary School staff and volunteers on the basics of producing a successful and sustainable used book fair for their students and community. To support Bristol’s used book fair, I created a relationship where the Scott Elementary School community could provide used books for the Bristol Elementary School used book fair. This relationship originated with my successful completion of Scott Elementary School’s first-ever book drive.

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

As a result of my Gold Award project, 5,000 books are now in the hands of children associated with Bristol Elementary School and its community. In addition, the success of my instruction in producing their used book fair allowed Bristol Elementary School to raise $600 towards the purchase of new books for their library. I measured the impact made on the community by the 5,000 books that children now have, the $600 made towards getting new books in the library, and all of the smiles of appreciation from the kids, their families, and the staff.

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

I set up an annual book drive at Scott Elementary School to provide books to Bristol for their continuation of the fair. The librarian at Bristol Elementary School has also agreed to run it in future years.  I also created and produced a manual that outlines the process that I made to establish a book drive and instruct school staff and volunteers on how to run a used book fair.

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

I believe that around the world a large number of children don’t have books or can’t afford any of their own. I hope that other schools in our community will refer to my manual to run a used book fair and the word will just continue to spread as teachers and families move throughout the country and world. I expect the success of this project will spread through the positive media attention already received as well as word of mouth from the many people who benefited from this program.

What did you learn about yourself?

I have developed many leadership and social skills as a result of my project.  I learned how to express my ideas, develop a plan, and then use that as a starting point to create a very successful event.  During the course of the project I had to make changes to and expand on my original plan as more challenging issues came up. I also became more comfortable working with adults and presenting my ideas to groups of people.

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

Earning my Gold Award will allow me to use the leadership, organizational, and public speaking skills I learned to help other people. It also showed me the importance of community service.

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

The Gold Award was a very important part of my Girl Scout experience because it allowed me to use all of the skills I had learned during my nine years of Girl Scouts to create my own community service project. It has created lifelong experiences and memories.

**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: Tierra Carter, Castle Rock, “Music Therapy”

Tierra Carter

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award project, I volunteered at Children’s Hospital Central in music therapy. This involved playing songs for the patients as well as, in some cases, teaching them how to play a few simple songs on the keyboard. My goal for this project was to make patients not feel hopeless, and to make sure that they knew that they were not alone. I understand this feeling because of my experience with being in the hospital a lot.

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

I measured the impact my Gold Award made on my target audience by getting positive feedback from the patients, the parents/families of the patients, and from the staff as well. I really hoped to make such a big impact on the community because Music Therapy is a creative and relaxing outlet for people to use when going through medical issues.

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

My project will be sustained because the materials that I used (the keyboard, and the sheet music, online music, and my music therapy guide) will still be remaining at the hospital so that other volunteers can use this when seeing patients. I am currently working on getting my project to other hospitals as well, for patients and volunteers to use. I created the guide, and the volunteer services coordinator is going to have it available. It is important to me that my guide is going to be available for other volunteers, patients, and staff to use. Lastly, I plan to give my guide to my piano teacher to encourage others to volunteer.

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

My patient’s global and/or national connection is getting my Music Therapy Guide to other hospitals, so that I can spread my message of Music Therapy and how it helps patients and people to cope with their medical issues. I will try to get my guide to the campus in Denver. I will also be creating another page for nursing homes.

What did you learn about yourself?

While working on my Gold Award project I developed better people skills, as well as self-confidence and self-esteem, and I learned how to be more intelligent in the things that I do. Although I do have medical issues, I learned that other people may have it worse than I do. I learned not to take anything for granted, and not to complain about my life.

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

I think that earning my Gold Award will positively impact me in the future. I think that earning my Gold Award will open many doors for me. I think that I will have some special opportunities when I grow up. I am extremely grateful and proud to have gone so far in Girl Scouts, and to have achieved the highest award. I feel like I can do anything that I want to do, to better myself and my family.

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

I believe that earning my Gold Award was an important part of my experience because it teaches you so many things in life. By helping out with the community. Helping out with the community teaches you responsibility, and you learn things about yourself that you never knew. I think that it is also important because by earning this Gold Award, it shows that you are growing into an adult, and that you are capable of doing anything that you set your mind to.

**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: Ashley Marttila, Colorado Springs, “Spreading Sonrise”

Marttila_Ashley

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award project, I organized a children’s choir at Sunrise United Methodist Church.  The choir was for all children three-years through ten-years-old.  The choir was teen-led and we were able to provide children with older teens to talk to.  We also sang during the services and that allowed the entire church to see how many children were involved at Sunrise.  The weekends that we sing are the most attended weekends.

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

I measured the impact of my Gold Award project by seeing how many children enjoyed the choir, how many volunteers wanted to help with the choir, how many parents came to practice to listen, and how many people enjoyed the children’s choir performances.

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

First, I assembled a group of teens to continue the children’s choir at our church after I leave for college.  Second, I sent information to other churches on how to start their own youth led choir.  These other churches now have the tools to start a low cost project that motivates children.

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

My hope is that other children are inspired to lead.  The kids in my choir really enjoyed seeing that other teens could be leaders.  Hopefully, these kids will inspire themselves and others to lead in the future.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that I can be a leader.  I am really good with kids and enjoy helping them and being a role model in their life.  I also learned that I have a lot of patience and that sometimes flexibility and the willingness to listen to others –all others- can make a good project a great project.

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

My Gold Award will help with my college scholarship and application processes.  Earning my Gold Award helped me to go out of my comfort zone and enjoy leading.

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

For one, not many people go all the way through with the Gold Award. I am very proud of myself for sticking with it and putting in many hours of service and preparation  to secure my award.  I actually have continued helping with the choir-I really loved my project and the people that have come into my life as a result of earning this 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 Award Project: Ashlin Gray, Monument, “Laughing & Learning”

Gray_Ashlin

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

My Gold Award project was a three-ponged project. I designed and created a children’s center at the Marian House Life Support Services Center; redesigned, reorganized, and stocked the book and stuffed animal pantry in the Family Dining Area of Marian House; and supported the art, developmental play, and literacy initiatives at Marian House’s pilot program Family Day Center.

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

The eating area design has been followed and provided many stuffed animals and books to children. The Family Day Center has provided a place for families to gather, so they are not on the streets. The children’s area has given children a safe place to play and learn, and the space is used on a daily basis.

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

The learning activities set up in the children’s area will last well past the next 5 years, and will be available to children to continue to grow and learn. I supported the new initiatives at the new Family Day Center, which is a pilot program that will now grow into an influential program. The children’s area that I created can be built upon. I set up a system in the Eating Area that can be continued to ensure the most effective distribution of stuffed animals and books. Also, there are new volunteer opportunities through the children’s area that can be set up to keep children engaged and learning.

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

Homelessness is a global issue that can be best addressed on the community level. I spread awareness for childhood homelessness outside of Colorado Springs by presenting to my psychology class, a local missions organization, and National Honors Society. Also, I put together an Implementation Plan about how to set up a successful project and distributed to the PRHS Chapter of National Honor Society, the Deerfield Hills Community Center, the Hillside Community Center, and the Meadows Park Community Center. This portion of my project serves a diverse group of people across many different communities and I hope the plans will inspire others to make a difference.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned to be assertive and reach out to organizations within in the community to offer them my project and partner with them. This has made me a more confident leader and better listener. I began my project with an idea in mind, but it didn’t necessarily address the specific need of the population. By listening to the people at Marian House, I molded my project into something that could best address the need.

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

Earning my Gold Award has given me confidence to tackle community and global issues in the future. I have grown in my leadership skills and gained valuable experience with planning and executing community service projects. I have learned so much throughout my project and I am humbled by all of the people who serve selflessly within the homeless community and within all communities.

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

Ever since I was a Brownie Girl Scout, I have looked up to the older girls and Gold Award recipients. This has always been a goal of mine. Actually taking on and completing the Gold Award project instilled in me confidence in myself and my ability to make a difference in important issues. I have grown as a leader and as a part of my community, and I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything.

**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: Helen Landwehr, Colorado Springs, “Success Through and Enriching Environment”

Landwehr_Helen

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my project I refurbished and redecorated the Severe Special Needs (SSN) room at Air Academy High School (AAHS) to make it a safe, more welcoming and more effective learning environment. SSN students face more challenges every day than most high school students face their entire life. The SSN students at AAHS not only had to struggle with their disabilities, but they also had to cope with the disorganized and dysfunctional SSN classroom. Now, the room is better than ever for staff and students alike.

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

By talking with staff members, who work in the SSN room, I was able to see the full impact of my project. Staff love to share stories about how well the room is working and how all of the improvements have really changed the effectiveness of the classroom.

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

I set up a donation system that will provide supplies to go to the SSN room every year. Many of the changes I made to the room will last for a long time and help many classes of SSN students. The teacher, the principal, and the facilities agree to all help keep up the room beyond my involvement. I will also distribute portfolios to multiple volunteer organizations and have them help other to tackle similar projects.

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

As a part of my project, I have created a pamphlet and  power point that the SSN teacher will distribute to other SSN teachers at conferences. This pamphlet and power point explain my project and what changes I made to the room to make it more friendly, welcoming, and safe. This will spread the idea of updating SSN rooms around the community and around the nation. I am also going to have an article written about the room in the Jetstream Journal, a school news source. I will distribute the pamphlet and power point to another school district in my area.

What did you learn about yourself?

Throughout this project I have become a much better leader. I have learned that I don’t have to do everything by myself and part of being a leader is being able to direct others to help me accomplish my goals. It is extremely helpful to call on others to do some of the work on my project. I have also learned that I need to always keep the big picture in sight. If I spend too much time focusing on and worrying about small details, I won’t be able to accomplish the bigger, more important goals of my project.

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

In the future I will definitely be less afraid to jump in and tackle big projects that I see. I will also be able to be a more effective leader on big projects. After completing this project, I understand how important it is to have a schedule and very specific plan for what my team and I need to get done each day. I will apply my new found knowledge about how to plan for a very large project during future projects that I am a part of. In the future, I know that I will enjoy applying my leadership skills to service project and giving back to my community.

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

The Gold Award allowed me to bring together many of the skills I learned throughout many years of Girl Scouts and do something positive that I am passionate about. I was able to learn more about myself and contribute in a meaningful way to the lives of those around me.

**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