What did you do for your Gold Award project?
My Gold Award is about home fire safety and smoke alarm awareness. My main point is to educate the public that smoke alarms expire and may not work even with working batteries inside. This is true for hard-wired smoke detectors too. I made “Smoke Detector 101” (both in Spanish and English) pamphlets and hosted informational booths at multiple community events. My pamphlets have been part of the October 2018 Fire Prevention Month displays at two local Home Depot stores. I also made magnets that users can write their smoke alarm expiration dates on and when to change their smoke alarm batteries. I want to make a change in my community and my Gold Award enables me to do that.
How did you measure the impact your Gold Award project made on your target audience?
I feel like I’ve made an impact on my community. I was present at four community events like the HRCA Home Improvement Show, HRCA Classic Car Show, The Fire Muster, and HRCA Farmers Market. The more people that I spoke to, the larger the impact. Towards the end of my project, I went to my local Home Depot and talked with the Manager, Mike, and Assistant Manager, Melissa, about their number of smoke alarm sales from this year (2018) compared to last year (2017). Due to corporate policy, I was not able to be given the exact numbers. However, they said there was an almost 5% increase in total sales that numbered in the “thousands!” I think homeowners in my community benefited a lot. I was able to talk to hundreds of parents and I was also able to inform the younger kids that came up to my booth as well. I loved talking to the people in my community.
How is your project sustainable? How will your project continue to impact after your involvement?
Knowledge about any new information is sustainable. I have put my pamphlet information (both English and Spanish) on to flash drives that I have given to my local fire stations and community fire educators. I have created a website and Instagram blog that anyone on the web can have access to, as well. Finally, I’ve made magnets that help remind people when to change their smoke alarm batteries or replace their devices. This is sustainable because if the user places the magnet on their refrigerator or wall, hopefully the magnets will serve as a constant reminder to be safe in one’s own home.
What is your project’s global and/or national connection?
I decided to make a Spanish pamphlet! In Colorado, approximately 1 in 8 families lives in a Spanish speaking household. I’m in my fifth year of Spanish instruction and I wanted to incorporate that aspect into my project. Anybody on the web can find my Spanish pamphlet and I’ve attached it to my website and blog. Regardless the language someone speaks, everyone should have access to home safety information. I have also shared my Spanish and English pamphlets to Mexico.
What did you learn about yourself?
Before my Gold Award, I never really tried new things. I knew what I liked and what I thought I disliked. However, the Gold Award has helped me grow as a leader because it has taught me to get out of my comfort zone. I disliked doing phone calls. I would always prefer texting or emailing. However, phone calls give you a way faster response than any email or text message. It’s critical to directly hear the other person’s tone and opinion. Now, I like calling other people and hearing their ideas. Once you learn a skill and get used to it, it becomes a valuable asset.
I also learned the value of meeting face to face. I brought my pamphlet information to Office Depot and worked with one of their “techies.” He helped me put it on the right format and I think I got a really good deal for printing my pamphlets!
How will earning your Gold Award impact you in the future?
Girl Scouts and my Gold Award have molded me into the confident and strong young woman that I am today. I believe the Gold Award has given me a huge future edge compared to my peers. From this project, I’ve learned about leadership, teamwork, and managing change. The Gold Award has given me a strong base and the confidence to make even more change in my community. I’ve gained valuable contacts and an insightful experience. Girl Scouts and my Gold Award project have helped to reinforce and grow my strengths, challenged me to overcome my weaknesses, and opened up a creative side.
Why do you feel the Gold Award was an important part of your Girl Scout experience?
I have been a Girl Scout since kindergarten! I am passionate about Girl Scouts because it has given me so many amazing opportunities that no other youth organization could give to a girl. From being on TV six times to be selected to attend the Triennial National Convention, my Girl Scout memories will always stay in my heart. The Gold Award is the highest honor in Girl Scouts, and I have known ever since elementary school that I wanted to incorporate it into my Girl Scout experience. I am truly honored to be a part of this elite group of women and I plan to be a lifetime Girl Scout member.
How did earning your Gold Award help you become a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader)?
Everyday, I try to be the best person that I can be. If I say I will do something, I plan on finishing it. I feel empowered when I set a hard goal and eventually achieve it. I’ve learned how to be a leader and a risk-taker. Whenever I am in a group setting, I try to do what it is best for the team and for myself. By utilizing values like respect and responsibility, I am able to be a strong individual and a strong team member. Most people just follow by example; it’s the leader of the team that helps create the team’s attitude. In both an individual or a group environment, a leader has to be brave enough to take on new challenges. If we keep on doing the same thing day after day, how can anybody make a change in our community? A risk-taker can’t be afraid to do something different. If we never accept a difficult situation, we will never improve as individuals.
**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.