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Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Ashlin Gray, Monument, “Laughing & Learning”

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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

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