Gold Award Girl Scout: Giada Rosch, Arvada, “Access 4 All”
What did you do for your Gold Award project?
To earn my Gold Award, I created 50 sensory bags and resources for the Arvada Fire Department, Metropolitan Arts Academy, and Westminster High School. I also created a sensory training program to improve customer service at various venues so that all people can enjoy a variety of activities with a few simple accommodations.
How did you measure the impact your Gold Award project made on your target audience?
I measured the impact by creating a survey to gather feedback from both local community members, my team, and various autism support groups around the state and country. I also had a goal before starting to create 20 sensory bags and ended up getting closer to 50 in the end. Another way I measured impact was how many people participated in the training. At present time, the three organizations have used the training with more than 200 staff members and have submitted letters of support to continue training new people as they arrive on staff. I received more than $500 in donations from local community groups and even some people in Minnesota that wanted to contribute to the success of my program.
How is your project sustainable? How will your project continue to impact after your involvement?
Local venues have committed to both the care and maintenance of the kits over the years, as well as using an ID to check out items during a future performance. The organizations have committed to using the training as new staff are hired. My website will remain open to allow other people to find out more about my project and ask any questions.
What is your project’s global and/or national connection?
When I started my project, I discovered one in 20 people around the world could have an issue with sensory overload in a public space, such as fireworks at a sporting event or loud noises from a theater setting, and the list goes on . As I was reflecting on my project, I discovered that number had shifted to one in six people who are affected by sensory issues (autismspeaks.org). That could be loud noises, bright lights, and many other factors. Providing customer service is something that we all need to remember- from helping someone in a time of crisis to making sure everyone gets to have the opportunity to have fun in a public space. I spent approximately 50 hours gathering input from social media forums such as Facebook and Twitter. I reached out to Girl Scout groups around the nation and autism organizations we have had a chance to explore as a family.
What did you learn about yourself?
Planning is important and as the saying goes if plan A doesn’t work, then there are 25 more letters in the alphabet
When leading a variety of different groups, make sure you have jobs for everyone
How to speak to other people easier and more professionally, delegating tasks and asking for help
How to write emails, make phone calls, and communicate with various people from peers to adults and local community groups
How will earning your Gold Award impact you in the future?
I learned a lot about planning and persistence and have enjoyed the opportunity to use these skills in high school. This will help me when I get to college and eventually enter the workplace as these skills will help me on any project I am working on. Learning the variety of ways that training occurs at venues and with event staff will help me realize what I can do to help others and my family when I see someone who needs assistance.
Why do you feel the Gold Award was an important part of your Girl Scout experience?
Having earned my Bronze Award by making four buddy benches for local schools, and then creating a camp to teach girls they can be superheroes for my Silver Award, it was only a matter of time before I found the next people I could help. Giving back to the community has always been one of my favorite parts of Girl Scouts. I like to think that the impact we make and the kindness someone encounters will lift their spirits forever.
How did earning your Gold Award help you become a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader)?
Go-Getter- My project started before COVID was even a thought. I had originally planned to contact large sports venues and received many rejections and no responses no matter how many times I reached out to different people. As COVID began shutting down ideas and venues left and right, I realized I would have to get creative using ideas and strategies that I had learned from completing the school year remotely and always keeping in mind customer service. I had to adapt many times to meet the needs of the folks I was helping and as I said in my final presentation, “if Plan A doesn’t work, well there are 25 other letters in the alphabet.”
**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 firstname.lastname@example.org.