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Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Helen Landwehr, Colorado Springs, “Success Through and Enrichin


What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my project I refurbished and redecorated the Severe Special Needs (SSN) room at Air Academy High School (AAHS) to make it a safe, more welcoming and more effective learning environment. SSN students face more challenges every day than most high school students face their entire life. The SSN students at AAHS not only had to struggle with their disabilities, but they also had to cope with the disorganized and dysfunctional SSN classroom. Now, the room is better than ever for staff and students alike.

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

By talking with staff members, who work in the SSN room, I was able to see the full impact of my project. Staff love to share stories about how well the room is working and how all of the improvements have really changed the effectiveness of the classroom.

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

I set up a donation system that will provide supplies to go to the SSN room every year. Many of the changes I made to the room will last for a long time and help many classes of SSN students. The teacher, the principal, and the facilities agree to all help keep up the room beyond my involvement. I will also distribute portfolios to multiple volunteer organizations and have them help other to tackle similar projects.

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

As a part of my project, I have created a pamphlet and  power point that the SSN teacher will distribute to other SSN teachers at conferences. This pamphlet and power point explain my project and what changes I made to the room to make it more friendly, welcoming, and safe. This will spread the idea of updating SSN rooms around the community and around the nation. I am also going to have an article written about the room in the Jetstream Journal, a school news source. I will distribute the pamphlet and power point to another school district in my area.

What did you learn about yourself?

Throughout this project I have become a much better leader. I have learned that I don’t have to do everything by myself and part of being a leader is being able to direct others to help me accomplish my goals. It is extremely helpful to call on others to do some of the work on my project. I have also learned that I need to always keep the big picture in sight. If I spend too much time focusing on and worrying about small details, I won’t be able to accomplish the bigger, more important goals of my project.

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

In the future I will definitely be less afraid to jump in and tackle big projects that I see. I will also be able to be a more effective leader on big projects. After completing this project, I understand how important it is to have a schedule and very specific plan for what my team and I need to get done each day. I will apply my new found knowledge about how to plan for a very large project during future projects that I am a part of. In the future, I know that I will enjoy applying my leadership skills to service project and giving back to my community.

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

The Gold Award allowed me to bring together many of the skills I learned throughout many years of Girl Scouts and do something positive that I am passionate about. I was able to learn more about myself and contribute in a meaningful way to the lives of those around me.

**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



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