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28 Colorado Girl Scouts earn Gold Award, the highest honor in Girl Scouts

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This spring 28 Colorado Girl Scouts will receive the Gold Award, the highest honor in Girl Scouts. These young women have demonstrated exceptional commitment to taking action to make the world a better place through their community service. The accomplishments of Gold Award recipients reflect extraordinary leadership and citizenship skills that mark them as valuable contributors to their communities and world.

This year’s Colorado Gold Award projects benefited communities across the state. Topics varied from addressing the lack of financial literacy among teens to educating the public about the importance of bees. Emma Albertoni from Arvada wrote a financial literacy curriculum that was implemented in her school and considered by the Jefferson County School Board. Kathleen Otto from Fort Collins worked to increase awareness for dyslexia. Angela Smith of Colorado Springs partnered with The Catamount Institute to implement an educational program to teach children about bees and their importance as a cornerstone species. Sydney Marchando from Highlands Ranch organized a 5K run and one-mile walk to raise awareness for Fresh Harvest Food Bank.

The following Colorado Girl Scouts are among the 28 statewide who will be receiving the prestigious Gold Award for the 2016-17 Girl Scout awards year:

  1. Emma Albertoni from Arvada, Ralston Valley High School, took action after noticing that many of her peers lacked financial literacy. She wrote a curriculum that will be implemented in her school and proposed to the Jefferson County School Board to add a required Financial Literacy class.

  2. Megan Beaudoin from Monument, St. Mary’s High School, created a 10-minute video for middle school students to help ease the transition to high school. Topics covered included: academics, social interactions, and self-esteem.

  3. Megan Burnett from Colorado Springs, James Irwin Charter High School,worked with community leaders and businesses to build a softball field at the school. The project would have cost the school $25,000.

  4. Kelsey Collins from Aurora, Grandview High School, created a curriculum to teach preschool and elementary school children about park safety and Colorado history.

  5. Emma Curran from Colorado Springs, The Classical Academy, created “the Girl’s Life of Colorado” online magazine, or e-zine, as a source of positive and encouraging media for middle and high school students.

  6. Taryn Eveland of Longmont, Longmont High School, built a sensory trail on the property of Front Range Hippotherapy, a nonprofit therapy center which uses the movements of a horse to address various social, behavioral, and cognitive disabilities.  The sensory trail includes a winding trail through the upper pasture with three permanent stations, each highlighting a different sense, including a mailbox, textile pole, and chimes.

  7. Victoria Fedorco of Aurora, Eaglecrest High School, manufactured and provided raised pet beds to help senior pets be more comfortable as they await adoption in shelters.

  8. Carissa Flores from Westminster, Broomfield High School, shared her knowledge and passion for Taekwondo by creating, coordinating, and leading self-defense seminars for children, teens, and adults. She also started the Women’s Self Defense Club at her school.

  9. Kelsey Harry from Littleton, Heritage High School, created a new high school club, Operation Eagle, to address the issue of the U.S. military’s need of supplies that give them some comfort while away from home and also address the lack of military knowledge in our community.

  10. Rebecca Hefty from Castle Rock, Castle View High School, improved a local dog park by installing a 10’x 16′ Trex pergola to provide shade and two picnic benches, giving visitors a place to sit.

  11. Baily Holsinger from Larkspur, Castle View High School, worked with volunteers to crochet beanies for newborn babies at Denver Health Medical Center and Baby Haven in Fort Collins. She also held classes to teach volunteers of all ages how to make the beanies and why they are important.

  12. Lindsay Iannone from Castle Rock, Castle View High School, improved the library at Faith Lutheran Church by removing unwanted books and adding new materials, including a computer.

  13. Rebecca Kopacz of Colorado Springs, Palmer Ridge High School, hosted a weekly workshop for six weeks for 5th and 6th grade girls. She worked to prevent low self-esteem and teach girls they can be accepted for who they are.

  14. Sydney Marchando from Highlands Ranch, Rock Canyon High School, planned and hosted the Miles for Meals 5K run and one-mile walk to raise awareness and collect donations for Fresh Harvest Food Bank.

  15. Molly McPherson from Boulder, Fairview High School, promoted the use of reusable water bottles, as well as educated the public about the harmful effects of bottled water.

  16. Julie Monington from Aurora, Grandview High School, created a butterfly garden at a horse sanctuary to educate others on the importance of protecting the Monarch Butterfly population.

  17. Clementine Morisette from Fort Collins, Poudre High School, worked with community members and visitors at FoCo Cafe to create a visual representation about how food and culture connects us.

  18. Kathleen Otto from Fort Collins, Fossil Ridge High School, worked to increase awareness for dyslexia by hosting a viewing of “The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia” and leading a panel discussion afterwards. Additionally, she installed a little free library in her community.

  19. Emma Pond from Morrison, Conifer High School, worked to make hospital visits easier by providing patients and their families care packages with a few comforts from home and activities to help occupy their time at the hospital.

  20. Daniell Plomodon from Erie, Niwot High School, organized several “Disability for a Day” presentations to educate others about living with a disability. Activities included: trying to button a shirt while wearing mittens, playing patty cake while wearing Vaseline covered glasses, and using person first language.

  21. Anastasia Rosen from Fort Collins, Rocky Mountain High School, created a workshop to educate others about human trafficking, tactics recruiters use, and how to prevent it.

  22. Angela Smith from Colorado Springs, William J. Palmer High School, implemented an educational program about bees and installed a new beehive at a local environmental center, The Catamount Institute.

  23. Juliet Spitz from Boulder, Boulder High School, recently switched to a vegan diet and wanted to educate young adults about it. She created a lesson to inform them of the conditions of animals in factory farms, entertainment industries, and testing laboratories.

  24. Allyson Story from Highlands Ranch, Mountain Vista High School, led a team of volunteers to make more than 200 pillowcase dresses for young girls and taught sewing classes for women in Juarez, Mexico.

  25. Jordan Wilson from Colorado Springs, Liberty High School, created a website and print resources to teach senior citizens about technology in a safe, easy, fun, and cost-efficient manner.

  26. Debra Zerr from Arvada addressed the problem of the lack of connection between the military and public. Through a series of events, she educated others about the importance of the military and the men and women who serve.

The 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. Of the skills learned through Girl Scouts’ Highest Awards, leadership, organization, and critical thinking are the fundamentals of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Some universities and colleges offer scholarships unique to Gold Award recipients, and girls who enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces may receive advanced rank in recognition of their achievements.

“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, 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 are making the world a better place.”

Girl Scouts of Colorado will honor this year’s Gold Award recipients as well as recipients of Girl Scouts other two Highest Awards, the Silver (the Highest Award a Girl Scout Cadette can earn) and Bronze (the Highest Award a Girl Scout Junior can earn), at upcoming ceremonies around the state. These events include:

  1. April 21 at 6 p.m. at Center for American Values, 101 S. Main St. #100, Pueblo

  2. April 23 at 2 p.m. Embassy Suites by Hilton, 4705 Clydesdale Pkwy, Loveland

  3. April 30 at 2 p.m. Colorado Mesa University, 1100 North Ave., Grand Junction

  4. May 5 at 6 p.m. at the Penrose House Garden Pavilion 1661 Mesa Ave., Colorado Springs

  5. May 7 at 2 p.m. at the Denver Marriott Tech Center, 4900 S. Syracuse St., Denver

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