What did you do for your Gold Award project?
For my Gold Award Project, the Teen Boutique at the Jeffco Action Center, I worked with the Jeffco Action Center, a local organization that provides various services (including a clothing bank, food pantry and financial services) to Lakewood residents in need. My goal was to help raise the self confidence of teens in need in my school and community by addressing three main issues at the Jeffco Action Center:
The lack of personnel to pursue long term teen clothing donations.
The lack of merchandise items available for teens
3.The disarray in the teen clothing area due to the lack of organizational tools.
I tackled all three of these items by doing a complete remodel of the teen area in their clothing bank to make clothes selection fun, interesting, and inviting; hosted multiple clothing drives at two area high schools (to help with the immediate problem of lack of merchandise); and obtained a commitment from another group interested in sustaining and building upon clothing donations specifically for teens as well as maintaining the teen clothing department.
How did you measure the impact your Gold Award project made on your target audience?
To measure the impact my Gold Award made on teens in my school and community, I took many before and after pictures of the clothing bank as well as counted the number of clothing items that the Jeffco Action Center had before my project and then continue to count the number of clothes that they have each week in the teen clothing area as clothing donations continue to come in from various sources.
How is your project sustainable? How will your project continue to impact after your involvement?
To sustain my project, I worked with the Lakewood High School Key Club for many months to talk about my project and show them the area at the Action Center. They are always looking for more student involvement, so they were very excited to get this opportunity to involve more kids from Lakewood High School in this volunteer opportunity. Every month, Key Club volunteers at the Action Center do a variety of tasks, from working in the food bank to sorting clothes. To involve my project, I showed many of the kids the clothing bank and talked about the importance of the organization of the area and of keeping it well stocked with clothes. The Lakewood High School Key Club has committed to continue to volunteer monthly at the Action Center and focus on working in the clothing bank to keep it well organized for the clients. In addition, they have committed to hosting monthly clothing drives so that there will always be a good amount of clothes for teens to choose from with a wide variety of items.
What is your project’s global and/or national connection?
The national link to The Teen Boutique at the Jeffco Action Center is reaching out to the Christian Action Guild in Golden to educate them about starting a project similar to what I did. I have created an instruction manual and shared and distributed it to the Action Guild so that they can be educated on my project and volunteers will be able to hold a project similar to mine. I met for over an hour with the President of the Christian Action Guild, Joyce Sutton. They were very impressed with what I had accomplished at The Jeffco Action Center and were specifically going to highlight my ideas with the Board of Directors at their February meeting with the goal of using my manual as a template for expanding their clothing area to include teens and pursuing sponsored help with one of Golden High School’s clubs for local donations. After I had presented my instruction manual, Joyce proceeded to take me on a tour of the facility and throughout the tour, she held the manual close to her heart and complimented me several times on my template and for leading a successful campaign. She had recently completed a toy drive a few months prior and said many times that she had wished she would’ve had a copy of my manual because she had to go through the exact same process. She feels very confident that they will have even more success in the future.
Within my manual, I provide step-by-step instructions on how to organize an area in a clothing bank (from purchasing bins to labeling them and placing them in the area) and how to successfully hold a clothing drive. I attached templates of flyers and labels that I used during my project.
What did you learn about yourself?
Before this project, I was not a very strong leader or speaker. But since I have gone through this journey, I have learned that I am very capable of talking to a wide variety of groups and people. I also learned that I am very good at organization and forming a group of people to come together and work on a project.
How will earning your Gold Award impact you in the future?
My Gold Award will continue to impact me in the future by providing me with an experience of taking charge of a long-term project and communicating with others along the way. I now know what it takes to plan and perform a huge project like this and my Gold Award will continue to provide me with these organizational skills in the future. Also, my Gold Award has taught me the importance of communicating on a regular basis with your peers, advisors, teachers, etc. In addition, I know have experience talking in front of many large groups of people by myself, which I had not done before this project. This will now prepare me for future presentations and give me more confidence to stand up and talk in front of different groups of people.
Why do you feel the Gold Award was an important part of your Girl Scout experience?
I feel that the Gold Award allowed me to branch out and become a leader in my community. Before starting my Gold Award project, I was a very reserved person and would always wait for others to take charge and lead the group. However, the Gold Award allowed me to become a leader while doing a project on something that I was very passionate about and something that was very important to me. I also feel that it was a very important part of my Girl Scout experience because I have gained many valuable communication and organization skills through my Gold Award project.
**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 email@example.com