Tag Archives: Take Action

Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Emma Parkhurst, Centennial, “Serving students and families in need at Littleton High School”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award project, I revitalized a clothing closet in the basement of my high school (The Lions Cupboard) and helped create a space where students from my high school and a local elementary school were able to come in and obtain clothing and other necessary items. I started by cleaning out the cupboard and gathering all items that were not usable. I brought home clothing that had stains or spots and washed it. Then, I met with the social worker at a local elementary school in order to involve their population of students and families that could benefit. A clothing drive was carried out in my neighborhood and I acquired many summer clothing and hygiene items such as shorts, swim suits, sunscreen, and towels. Then, in late May of 2017, I hosted an open house in the cupboard for families to come in and shop for clothing for summer.

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

Throughout this project, approximately eight families used the cupboard on a regular basis. During the open house that I hosted, two families came in and collected clothing items for the summer. I did not feel that I should inventory what each family took out, so that I could remain sensitive to the families coming in and create the most comfortable shopping experience for them.

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

I plan to have The Lions Cupboard become the responsibility of Littleton High School’s NHS program. I have created a brief manual explaining all of the necessary steps in keeping The Lions Cupboard functional. I have spoken with the incoming officers of NHS and they have agreed to uphold this manual and follow all of the steps to keep The Lions Cupboard going and improve it as the years continue.

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

There are communities all over the United States that cannot always provide everything that they need for their families. By publishing my project on the National Honor Society website, middle and high school students from all over the country will be able to read exactly what I did to restore and upkeep The Lions Cupboard at my school in the NHS project database. This could help other students start similar programs at their own schools and create a wider national impact.

What did you learn about yourself?

From this project, I learned that to make a change or a difference in the world, you can start in your own community. You do not have to go on an international mission trip, or try to organize a group to send funds to impoverished individuals in Africa. I started in my own high school, and from there I gathered a larger community that included a local elementary school as well as my own neighborhood. I am optimistic that my project will continue to grow over the years and help many more families.

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

This project allowed me to become more empathetic, to set goals yet remain flexible, be able to take charge of something, communicate well with adults and my peers, realize that I needed help, lead a group of people to accomplish something, and understand the impact of my own actions. All of these qualities have allowed me to grow as a person and leader, and will help me become the best possible version of myself in the future.

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

I feel that earning the Gold Award was a good way to pull together everything that I have learned in Girl Scouts over the past 12 years.

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

My Gold Award helped me become more aware of issues that start in my own community, and allowed me to come up with a plan to help solve them. I was an innovator by involving many National Honor Society and International Baccalaureate students at my high school, and turned my project into an ongoing service at the school.

I also furthered my leadership skills. I was able to really put myself in the shoes of families that would be using The Lions Cupboard. I had to think about their privacy, and what I would want if I were in their place. Empathy is essential for a leader, and helped me grow because leaders have to understand the feelings of those around them, and act for the best of those individuals to create a healthy environment.

Another essential aspect of this project were goals. I knew what I wanted, and set that as a goal for the cupboard. However, things did not go completely as planned and I had to adjust my vision many times. Leaders always need a direction to go in, and something to work towards to accomplish, but flexibility is key because things do not always work out as hoped. A leader also has to be able to take charge when needed, and lead others through the task at hand which is something that I was able to do throughout my project. Being able to get my ideas across is something that I have struggled with at times, but this project allowed me to work on it and better my leadership in that particular aspect. I also had to understand that I needed a lot of help. Mr. Hahn, Mr. Amonson, and all of the wonderful NHS members who volunteered to help me made this project possible. A good leader understands that things do not circulate completely around them, and the help of others is usually essential for success. I also understood the impact of my actions on the families in need, high school, elementary school, NHS, and the future of this project. This project impacted all of those groups, and hopefully set the cupboard up for a long span of success and growth.

All of these things that I learned from completing this project, allowed me to grow as a leader, and will continue to help me develop leadership skills far into my future.

**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: Beth Bolon, Longmont, “Speak above the shoes (empowering through communication)”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

My workshop “Speak above the shoes” took place June 30-July 2 from 10 – 11:30 a.m. Eight girls attended the course: six 9th graders, one 8th grader, and an enthusiastic 6th grader. Six of the girls were Girl Scouts, who heard about it through their troop leaders, and two of them heard about it from the advertising I did with Coffee & Connections, the local cafes, and my flyers. The curriculum of my project was centered around the concept that there are more ways to communicate than the traditional verbal word-of-mouth.

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

The workshop was successful, based on the survey results at the end of the three days, and the comfort and confidence levels of the girls in class while presenting. Each girl found a communication style that suited her; there were even two girls who used a style that was not in my curriculum (and did some modeling). The actual class was quite enjoyable, we all sat on the floor on big comfy pillows with paper, markers, pens, and other art supplies around us. The girls got to be in a close, intimate environment that was calm and let them talk to each other without the pressures of a regular classroom.

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

“Speak above the shoes” will be sustained through the Front Range networking group, “Coffee & Connections,” as a two-year commitment to support and promote the website I have created for the project: https://speakabovetheshoes.wixsite.com/speakabovetheshoes. I will also be working with them during these years to continue the energy of my project since they are already working on encouraging woman in business. I am also in communication with the Longmont Public Library on how to best link my website with their programs all along the Front Range to help educate more young woman.

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

Much of the project was inspired from my own experiences moving from school-to-school and having to learn over and over the various forms of communication throughout the United States. During a Girl Scout service unit event, my troop was invited to an exclusive showing of the movie “Girl Rising,” which further solidified my desire to bring out women’s voices in whatever comfortable, non-threatening, inspiring ways that they can no matter their personal circumstances.

“Speak above the shoes” is already moving into the national and international arena through the generous support and marketing of Coffee & Connections since their membership is global.

My website will be available to many moms and their daughters as small business owners around the world participate in the online promotion of “Speak above the shoes” with Coffee & Connections partnering with me.

What did you learn about yourself?

I found I had a lot of anxiety as my workshop dates came closer and I found and implemented ways to calm myself down through breathing, which came in handy when one of the girls was nervous about sharing something she had made. So, we shared ways we had learned to deal with our own anxiety.

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

Knowing that I have created such a project and did it with a team makes me feel more confident in my own abilities for any future endeavor I take on. Teaching girls how to communicate and use their voices taught me more about myself and how far I’ve come, and that I can continue to improve. I am not a stationary person, I am always growing and will never cease to change.

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

I never liked group projects in school because I always ended up doing all the work, so having a team that was excited and ready to help was eye-opening for me. Girl Scouts is full of people who want you to learn, have fun, and realize you’re not alone. This has all helped me to get over some of my own issues from high school, and makes me feel ready for what lies ahead.

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

The Gold Award is quite a task to accomplish, and I got approval the last semester of high school. I had to be a go-getter because I only had the summer to complete my project and make sure it would be sustained after I had gone on to college (I could not wait around and slowly put things together).

It made me an innovator because I had to rework the project I originally had in Ohio (I moved, so all my plans and connections were gone and had to be adapted to the people I had met in Colorado.)

It made me a risk-taker because I had to go, go, go so being nervous about contacting places to host my workshop, or asking a group to sustain my project after I was done was not something I could hesitate on. So, I jumped and found it all fell into place.

I had to be a leader because I had a team of advertisers, volunteers, and individuals ready to help make items for the workshop needing me to specify exactly what I wanted and when it had to be done.

**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

Silver Award project: Hope Farms

Submitted by Nikki Goethals

Metro Denver

Aurora

For our Silver Award, Troop 2551 decided to help out at a nonprofit organization called Hope Farms in Elizabeth, Colorado. Their mission is to offer an opportunity for people and animals to learn, grow, and heal together in nature.

It was an amazing opportunity to help provide for people and animals at the farm. Hope Farms provides experiences for anyone in the community, regardless of ability, to learn about nature and animals on their farm.

There are a variety of animals on the farm that we learned about. There were horses, ponies, donkeys, cows, pigs, goats, chickens, ducks, alpacas, dogs, cats, and more.

We felt we could help provide some additions to the farm to greater benefit the farm volunteers and attendees. We completed three projects for their sensory trail to donate to Hope Farms. We built and stained two benches for people to sit on at the farm to either take a break or to enjoy the beautiful sights and sounds. We created a sign for their sensory trail and hand painted symbols for each sense. We also spray painted black tires bright colors for the participants to sit or play on outside. The troop used their remaining money to purchase a colorful wind chime for listening to. It was an amazing experience for us.

We learned various skills like woodworking, painting, planning, and most importantly, helping others and improving our community. We had an amazing time and Troop 2551 would like to do more volunteer work for Hope Farms in the future!

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

Girl Scout Gold Award project: Melissa Wilson, Castle Rock, “Deaf is never silent”

 

 

 

 

 

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I taught people who could hear how to interact with the Deaf community. To do this, I created a website/Facebook page, conducted two community presentations, placed flyers and brochures in different locations around the area, and wrote letters to local high schools about my project. My presentations can be seen on YouTube as well!

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

I had people who could hear fill out a survey at the beginning and end of my presentations, asking participants if they knew/learned anything about the Deaf culture. From there, I had a volunteer compile the results, and show that 85% of people in attendance learned something about being deaf. I also was able to track where in the world the Facebook page had been seen.

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

My project will be sustainable beyond my involvement because those who attended the seminars/visited my website will retain the information and are be able to pass it on to others. In addition, my website will be updated by my project advisor’s 7th grade class next year (She teaches English and American Sign Language). After I asked her, she replied with “Yes, I can have my 7th graders keep your website going!! That will be fun for them!!” They will continue the upkeep of the website.

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

The national and global link for my project is my website, Facebook page, and YouTube posts. People in other countries who want to study sign language cultures in other countries can use the website to learn about the Deaf culture here. The Facebook page was seen by over 1,000 people in eight other states and nine other countries. Letters have also been sent to local high schools with the information about the project and how to access the web elements so they will have the tools to continue sharing the information.

What did you learn about yourself?

By doing this project, I learned I can take the lead in a project and delegate tasks to others. I can not complete an entire project of this scale alone. When I did ask for help, the pieces fell into place and I became less stressed. In addition, I learned that event planning is something that was not difficult for me and I could easily/happily do it again for others.

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

My Gold Award will impact me in the future because employers will see that I have the tools to not only be a successful as part of a team, but also move up in managerial status and lead others with little guidance on how to lead/delegate. In addition, the Gold Award process gave me more confidence in public speaking, which will ultimately help me when I give presentations to an office full of business women and men.

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

Since I was a Brownie, I have been talking about earning my Gold Award. Once I became a Senior in Girl Scouting, I quickly began coming up with ideas for my project. However, I had to put it on the back-burner in high school because of sports and my troop being very active in planning events for the unit. Once that all settled and I was able to start my project and at the end of senior year I focused all of my attention on it and completed it with only a few minor glitches. My Gold Award was like my senior capstone credit; it took all the leadership and event planning skills I have gained over the last eight years and amplified it three times. Without this experience my Girl Scout career would have ended with a hole.

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

Earning my Gold Award helped me to become a G.I.R.L. because….

G- I was a go-getter because I reached out to the community without any help from my parents or friends. I completed my project by picking my goal and reaching for it!

I- I was an innovator because I saw an issue that not many other people could see, and used social media and the community to help solve it.

R- I was a risk-taker because I talked to my community about an issue that was not important or known to them. Instead of thinking that no one would care about my project, I continued to share it and by showing people that I cared they began to care too.

L- I was a leader because I had to take initiative in the project and delegated tasks to others.

**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: Makala Roggenkamp, Arvada, “The Need to Read”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award, I worked with Hope House to target lower literacy levels found in teen mothers and their children. I created book templates for each child to bring home so that they feel more comfortable in class and to promote the joy of reading. I also installed a Free Little Library at Hope House’s new location to make books easily accessible.

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

My impact will be noticed as the children become more excited to go to class and the mothers begin to feel more comfortable leaving their kids in the daycare. I also hope to see the children have more of a desire to interact with books and learn to love reading. One night I was at Hope House in the daycare, there was a little boy who was in tears when his mom left, so my volunteer and I showed him the book, some extra paper, and crayons and he was back to normal in seconds. It turned out that he loved coloring and he spent the whole night at the table working on his book.

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 few different people. I had 70 copies of the books printed (50 toddler & 20 infant) and gave them to Hope House so they can start this project with my assistance. Hope House has been given the template for the books with instructions. They have a printer and plan on continuing to print books as needed and work on the books with new children that come to Hope House. My Free Little Library is meant to be self-sustainable, but that is not something that I am going to ask of low income mothers. Instead, I have partnered with the 8th grade girls Bible class at Faith Christian Middle School and their teacher. They do fundraising for Hope House every year and then visit the home to see the campus and learn about their programs. Along with that work, they will be adding a book drive and Library upkeep so that the house will not be left empty or with rundown books. I completed the first book drive this year and it ran for a week. I made postcards to address the mission of the book drive and hand out during my presentation of my Gold Award project to my Bible class. As a result, I collected 206 adult and children’s books for the Little Library. I involved classmates and teachers in the drive and was able to share more about what Hope House does and how they can be involved. The extra books will be given to Hope House to either restock between upkeep visits or to use with their own discretion.

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

To create a national and/or global link for my project, I created a blog. Lauren Hasz helped me to create a blog and make posts. I have discussed my journey with Girl Scouts and Hope House in this project with all the ups and downs, so younger girls reading it may take away something to help them with their future Gold projects. My blog is hopehousegoldproject.wordpress.com and I plan on keeping it updated even after my project is over. I have shared my blog on multiple social media sites and had my friends and family shared it so that I can get more views. I have shared it with my team members, Hope House, my old Girl Scout troop in Maryland, and Step by Step. Hope House also has contacts with organizations like themselves around the country. So far, I have reached out to Step by Step in Seattle and I plan on talking to all of the connections Hope House has shared with me. Hope House has awarded me with “Volunteer of the Month” and they also are setting up a date to interview me for their blog. They have also shared my work on their Facebook page. I decided to purchase a book house with The Free Little Library that will require finishing construction. I made this decision based on the fact that once my library is installed it will be registered on their website. This means that it will be put on their map with a blurb about my location/project once Hope House is ready for instillation. This is a free service that can help me spread the word even further about my works.

What did you learn about yourself?

In this project, I really learned how to communicate. Having to involve so many people in the process at times was a pain, but I learned how to contact people that had skills that I needed, set up a coffee date, and come with an agenda so that I could use our time wisely. Having conversations on the phone has never been something that I have been awesome at, I’ve always opted for emails, but with this project I had to call many people and I had to learn how to become comfortable with that. I learned that I am a personable person and that I can adapt to different situations well. My experience with my first contact at Hope House going on maternity leave reinforced these skills. I’ve also had to learn how to recover from rejection which has opened my eyes to the fact that I am more resilient and stronger than I knew. It was a humbling experience to have your ideas turned down. It taught me to push through and keep my eye on my goals. Having to work with a team was a new challenge since I am usually one that likes to work on things alone. I do think it was definitely beneficial to have them helping me out and teaching me how to do new things.

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

Earning my Gold Award will impact my future because I will always be able to say that I accomplished my goal of completing it. I had so many bumps along the way that taught me how to deal with changes in plans. Knowing that I completed my project has boosted my self confidence in so many ways. It will also help me in the future with my communication skills. I hope to work in a field that involves a lot of vital communication and planning. Having completed this project, I can confidently say that those skills have grown exponentially.

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

I have been in Girl Scouts since I was five. I earned my Bronze and Silver Awards, so it felt natural to finish up strong. That wasn’t the easiest decision, but I have no regrets. It has helped to validate my being in Girl Scouts still. Most girls drop out after fourth grade, and at times I wondered what I was still doing here. But during my Gold process, I realized that my work in Girl Scouts was not finished yet and I still had an impact to be made.

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

Earning my Gold Award helped me to become a go-getter. I have always been a very driven person, but I felt pretty beat down for the first half of my project. I was honestly ready to quit multiple times, but I realized that I needed to finish my work with Girl Scouts for more than just myself. I also had to learn perseverance and how to become a go-getter while working with Hope House. Trying to bring a big team into a small non-profit is impossible, but by working with Girl Scouts and Hope House, we found a way to make it work.

**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

Troop 60696 Silver Award Work

Submitted by Leona Lawless

Metro Denver

Westminster

Troop 60696 took a full year to complete their Silver Award.
They built bridges of kindness, service, and community by 12 random acts. They connected the random acts to the Girl Scout Law. They learned to face their fears. They learned to respect all people regardless of their circumstances or jobs. They made the world a better place and were a sister to every Girl Scout. They created a video entitled Silver Award Video Troop 60696. I am so proud of my girls and their hard work on The Silver Award!

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

Gold Award Training in Rifle

Attention all 8th grade Cadettes, Seniors, Ambassadors, troop leaders, and parents on the Western Slope and Mountain Communities! If you (or your girl) is thinking about going for her Gold Award, don’t miss out on training in Rifle on Wednesday, August 2, 2017 from 6 – 9 p.m. at the Rifle Public Library.

This is a free training. The Girl Scout Gold Award is the highest achievement in Girl Scouts. In this training, girls will learn the requirements, council procedures, and tips for making her Gold Award experience successful and rewarding.

Gold Award training is mandatory for any girl interested in pursuing her Gold Award. Troop leaders, co-leaders, and parents are encouraged to attend. If interested in attending please email highestawards@gscolorado.org by Monday, July 31.

Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Sarah Ness, Centennial, “Destressing Art Sessions”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

My Gold Award project was created to address the high amount of stress seen in the student body at my high school, Eaglecrest High School. I held art sessions after school in the art rooms in order to help kids at my school be able to relieve stress. I worked with the National Art Honor Society and Art Club, along with the teachers that sponsor both of those clubs, in order to hold the art sessions. At the end, I had held 23 sessions.

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

I measured my impact by giving students a survey I had made and asking them if they were feeling stressed and if they thought that the session helped to relieve their stress. In the surveys, 100% of the people surveyed answered that they were feeling stressed, with the reasons why being “family,” “schoolwork,” “work,” “sleep or the lack thereof,” and “expectations for the future.” Along with that, 100% of the survey takers said that the session did help them feel less stressed.

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

My global/national connection is made through the access to free downloads of a manual for the sessions, and some project examples, on the website teacherspayteachers.com. I’ve also created an Instagram account that is dedicated to examples of project ideas and step-by-step instructions for how to do the projects.

What did you learn about yourself?

I’ve learned that I’m a lot more adaptable to situations that I wasn’t expecting and that I’m more capable of being a leader than what I was expecting.

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

I think earning my Gold Award will help show others that I am a hard worker and very dedicated. It has also taught me better ways to deal with stress around me and to help others around me deal with their stress in a healthier way.

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

I think the Gold Award was an important part of my Girl Scout experience because it allowed me to use all of the skills that I have gained through my years of being a Girl Scout, along with helping me gain new ones, to make a lasting difference in the world. It helped me draw on all of my past experiences and really make the most out of everything that Girl Scouts has taught me.

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

My Gold Award helped me become a

-G (Go-getter): by forcing me to do what I needed to do right now and not allowing me time to procrastinate or not try and do something that was needed.

-I (Innovator): by making me come up with ways to describe every step of an artistic process so that even someone who might think he or she isn’t artistic is able to do the same project as everyone else.

-R (Risk Taker): by causing me to step out of my comfort zone with talking to large groups and teachers, even though I knew that there was a chance that no one would want to help me. I also took a risk with doing an art-centered project because many people aren’t interested in the arts or don’t believe that they could do any projects, so I was taking a risk in the possibility that no one would even come to my sessions.

-L (Leader): by making me step into a leadership position and have to become a kind of teacher to the other students in the sessions along with having to come up with all of the projects and getting ready all of the materials that might be needed to do each of the projects.

**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

Zoe’s Silver Award project: Help for the homeless

Submitted by Melissa H.

Pikes Peak

Monument

For Zoe’s Silver Award project, she hand-sewed and filled 60 bags of basic necessities for homeless people in the Colorado Springs/Monument area. Each bag contained a toothbrush, tube of toothpaste, dental floss, deodorant, bar of soap, washcloth, lip balm, granola bar, bottle of water, shampoo, and sunscreen.

Zoe solicited local businesses like cesspool pumping huntington ny, family, and friends for donations of all materials.

After sewing and filling the bags, Zoe and her friends and family kept the bags in their cars to hand out to people in need they see along their way. click to investigate more about their cars.

Everyone associated with this project thought a lot about the many struggles of living out on the streets. There are so many things that we take for granted, but for someone who doesn’t have such basic necessities, they can seem like extravagant luxuries. Even a simple bar of soap can be extremely helpful.

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

Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Kayleigh Cornell, Aurora, “Colorado Book Bank”

What did you do for your Gold Award project? 

In my project, Colorado Book Bank, I collected gently used children’s books from families in a local middle school. The middle school’s chapter of National Honor Society helped collect, sort, count, and box the books I collected.  I received even more books from an elementary school after their used book sale, which NJHS helped sort. After taking the books to the food bank I partnered with to give kids a lunch and a book over the summer, I received 1,360 books.

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

By counting how many books I donated I determined that I could reach 1,360 kids as each kid got their own lunch and book. While I can’t see how my program affected their education level, I can impact kids right now by giving them a book to read.

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

Colorado Book Bank collected books from several different schools. The largest donor was an elementary school who has an existing used book sale that has always searched for a good donor partner to gift their leftover books to each year. I also worked with a local middle school to kick off the project. They are considering the project into another food bank they work with for an existing food drive they already conduct. The elementary school, Peakview, plans to continue donating books to JFS to support the lunchbox program. For the past decade, they have held a spring used book sale with a large number of books left over. The librarian has agreed to donate all leftover children’s book after each book sale to JFS to continue the project. JFS has agreed to pick up the books from the school since that has been the main stumbling block for book donations in the past. Peakview’s librarian also plans to share about the option to donate book sale leftovers to JFS.

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

During my project, the chapter of National Honor Society at my school agreed to help move the books to JFS. They also helped me get in touch with the organization as a whole to get my project open on a wider scale. I connected several parts of my project by working with different National Honor Society (NHS) groups. One of the membership requirements of NHS is to provide community service. In support of this work, NHS has a national website that includes a searchable database of project ideas. Club sponsors and student members use the database to find new projects for their club. My project is being listed on that database with a link to my website so other chapters of NHS can create their own Book Bank in their community. In addition, NHS publishes an e-newsletter and have expressed interest in promoting Colorado Book Bank through that publication. Finally, I have created a website to provide supporting documents for other groups who would like to replicate the project.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned a lot about planning and how while it’s challenging, it has to be done. I also learned that leading a team of other people can be very tricky because you have to pull together the best parts of everyone and make sure all the parts you have work together seamlessly.  I’ve always known I like doing things, but during my project I learned how important it was to delegate tasks to my team to get everything done.  One of the biggest things I learned was that good communication played a key role in my project.  It’s important to ask for help because that is the only way people know you need it and it is important to be clear in written emails and phone calls.

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

In the future, I want to be able to lead my own team of scientists and study the formation of planets. I need to be able to work with multiple teams to do this and pull together many different resources to achieve top-notch results from my team. Because of my project, I know how to contact different organizations and pull together people who wouldn’t have worked together otherwise.

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

I learned so much about myself and how to help others. I wouldn’t have been able to learn the same skills I did if I hadn’t done my Gold Award. I could learn how I could help my community and make a difference beyond what I thought possible.

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

I became a go-getter because I saw a problem in my community that I wanted to solve, so I found a way that I could start solving it.

I was an innovator because I found a new way to try to start lowering rates of poverty while including people in my community.

A risk-taker meant being able to start something and talk to people that could have become a lot less popular than it actually did. But I wanted to try my project and it paid off in the end.

I became a leader because I created a team of people I relied on as they simultaneously relied on me. I took their strongest skills and combined them to form an amazing project and amazing team.

**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