Alexa Stringer Boulder/Lafayette Fairview High School Free to be You
What did you do for your Gold Award project?
For my Gold Award project, I wrote curriculum for and ran a counseling group for middle-school aged girls to raise self-esteem. My group provided peer support and resources to help improve body image and general self-esteem as well as how to rise above the images the social media suggests.
Why did you pursue this Gold Award project?
I pursued this project because insecurity is an issue many young girls experience and struggle with. In my project I wanted to help girls who deal with insecurities about themselves. My goal was that this group of girls will go on to help create a generation of adolescents who do not struggle with issues that hinder their relationships with themselves and others and help create a society where they are celebrated, not beaten down.
How did your Gold Award project make a difference?
The main impact my project made was the education of adolescents and providing the tools and resources necessary to be successful. I believe that after the group’s last session, girls became continually more aware that they were in control of their life. They gained knowledge of how to deal with stressful situations, unhealthy relationships, and how to better themselves and help others. One of the participants wrote on her evaluation that she was so glad she participated in the group and that she was considering taking on a project of her own along the lines of my curriculum. To hear that was so cool for me because that’s when I really knew for sure that I made an impact on these girls and they would be passing it on to their community.
What skills did you gain through earning your Gold Award?
Through my project, I have gained countless useful skills. One of the most important, though, was problem-solving. I feel that I learned how to encounter and overcome obstacles very well during my project. I also drastically improved my communication skills through this group. I had to learn to advocate for myself when I needed something instead of trying to take everything on by myself. The helpful skills I developed in running this group have since come to use in many situations in my daily life.
What will you most remember about your Gold Award project?
I think the thing I’ll remember most will be the girls’ reactions. It was really cool for me to see how much their opinion of themselves really changed throughout the group and how it positively affected their relationships with themselves and their families and friends. When I presented my Gold Award project to my peers, it was really cool for me to see that people were interested in my project and what I did. In addition, seeing how many of my peers reacted positively to my project made me feel like I had more power to make a change.
How will earning your Gold Award help you in your future?
My project really gave me some good experience and a great start in psychology, which is what I plan to get my degree in at Colorado State University this fall. I learned a lot about working with others and how to overcome issues I may come across.
Why do you feel the Gold Award is an important part of your Girl Scout experience?
Not only did it teach me to be organized and manage my time well, my project really showed me what I can do when I set my mind to something. I learned how powerful I can be with my words and leadership and how big of an impact I can make. Since the group has ended, I also feel more connected to my community. I have never really interacted much with anyone too far apart in age than me, but this group helped me connect with some younger girls and see the world through their perspective.