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Girl Scout Gold Award project: Melissa Wilson, Castle Rock, “Deaf is never silent”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I taught people who could hear how to interact with the Deaf community. To do this, I created a website/Facebook page, conducted two community presentations, placed flyers and brochures in different locations around the area, and wrote letters to local high schools about my project. My presentations can be seen on YouTube as well!

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

I had people who could hear fill out a survey at the beginning and end of my presentations, asking participants if they knew/learned anything about the Deaf culture. From there, I had a volunteer compile the results, and show that 85% of people in attendance learned something about being deaf. I also was able to track where in the world the Facebook page had been seen.

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

My project will be sustainable beyond my involvement because those who attended the seminars/visited my website will retain the information and are be able to pass it on to others. In addition, my website will be updated by my project advisor’s 7th grade class next year (She teaches English and American Sign Language). After I asked her, she replied with “Yes, I can have my 7th graders keep your website going!! That will be fun for them!!” They will continue the upkeep of the website.

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

The national and global link for my project is my website, Facebook page, and YouTube posts. People in other countries who want to study sign language cultures in other countries can use the website to learn about the Deaf culture here. The Facebook page was seen by over 1,000 people in eight other states and nine other countries. Letters have also been sent to local high schools with the information about the project and how to access the web elements so they will have the tools to continue sharing the information.

What did you learn about yourself?

By doing this project, I learned I can take the lead in a project and delegate tasks to others. I can not complete an entire project of this scale alone. When I did ask for help, the pieces fell into place and I became less stressed. In addition, I learned that event planning is something that was not difficult for me and I could easily/happily do it again for others.

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

My Gold Award will impact me in the future because employers will see that I have the tools to not only be a successful as part of a team, but also move up in managerial status and lead others with little guidance on how to lead/delegate. In addition, the Gold Award process gave me more confidence in public speaking, which will ultimately help me when I give presentations to an office full of business women and men.

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

Since I was a Brownie, I have been talking about earning my Gold Award. Once I became a Senior in Girl Scouting, I quickly began coming up with ideas for my project. However, I had to put it on the back-burner in high school because of sports and my troop being very active in planning events for the unit. Once that all settled and I was able to start my project and at the end of senior year I focused all of my attention on it and completed it with only a few minor glitches. My Gold Award was like my senior capstone credit; it took all the leadership and event planning skills I have gained over the last eight years and amplified it three times. Without this experience my Girl Scout career would have ended with a hole.

How did earning your Gold Award help you become a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader)? 

Earning my Gold Award helped me to become a G.I.R.L. because….

G- I was a go-getter because I reached out to the community without any help from my parents or friends. I completed my project by picking my goal and reaching for it!

I- I was an innovator because I saw an issue that not many other people could see, and used social media and the community to help solve it.

R- I was a risk-taker because I talked to my community about an issue that was not important or known to them. Instead of thinking that no one would care about my project, I continued to share it and by showing people that I cared they began to care too.

L- I was a leader because I had to take initiative in the project and delegated tasks to others.

**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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