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GIRL SCOUT GOLD AWARD PROJECT: Olivia Noakes, Thornton, “Thornton High School Connections with

Olivia Noakes

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award project, I developed a multi-media presentation about opportunities in middle and high school music geared towards 4th and 5th grade students. My video and oral presentation provided information about what types of music classes are available in middle school, high school, and outside of school. In addition to this, I explained the many benefits of being involved in music. I contacted 12 schools and visited five; I presented in front of 20 classes, meaning my message reached more than 300 students. These presentations will become an annual occurrence with the purpose of informing elementary school students about their future choices.

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

At the beginning and end of each presentation, I surveyed the elementary students about their interest in middle school music. In every single class, less than three students raised their hands before I presented. After I finished, the opposite was true. Also, all of the teachers said they would love to host the visit every year. I discussed my project and the students’ reactions with each teacher, and they were just as excited as I was about my cause.

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

After visiting the elementary schools, I created a “Standard Operating Procedure” (SOP) to keep at Thornton High School. The SOP is a manual that includes what my original project was, why I chose it, and step-by-step instructions on how to replicate the visits. Since my supervisor, Mr. Sebastian Adams, is the Instrumental Music Director at Thornton High School, the project will expand to include both orchestra and band (more details are included in the SOP). Secondly, there are several studies discussing the importance of music training and its long term benefits; music education changes an individual for life. Scientific American’s (2010) board of editors asserted, “Studies have shown that assiduous instrument training from an early age can help the brain to process sounds better, making it easier to stay focused when absorbing other subjects, from literature to tensor calculus.”

This is one of many examples of research supporting my message. Lastly, I have made the connection between Thornton High School and local elementary schools, thus opening a line of continued communication between students, teachers, and parents.

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

My entire project is based upon a concept that is universal: the love of music. Two people who do not speak the same language can still communicate and understand each other through playing music. There are also many international opportunities that students can take advantage of because of music. For example, college students can study music abroad or travel to another country for marching band. Music is the universal language.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned a lot throughout this process, but there are two main lessons that stood out. I gained experience relating to adults. When communicating with the teachers and administrators at the elementary schools, I had to balance being professional with being personal. Adults need to see that I am trustworthy and passionate at the same time. Secondly, I learned that I am 100% capable of making a difference in the world. I created this project myself, and it was successful.

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

As I mentioned before, the lessons I learned throughout the Gold Award process will assist me in both the near and distant future. The experiences of communicating personally and professionally will aid me in college, job interviews, and the workplace. Also, I have gained confidence through this project that will propel me through life.

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

The Gold Award was the perfect way to sum up everything I have experienced in Girl Scouts. I have developed commitment (I have been in Girl Scouts since Daises), confidence, courage, professionalism, and compassion. I feel that I am a girl of quality because of the experience Girl Scouts has provided 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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