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Gold Award Girl Scout: Isabella Mendoza, Longmont, “Increasing Bee Habitats”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Girl Scout Gold Award project, I designed a cheap and sustainable habitat for solitary bees to lay eggs in and distributed more than 350 habitats around Colorado and the world. I hosted an event in my community where participants could make their own habitats with their unique designs, and made a how-to video that is posted on YouTube so anyone who is interested in making a habitat can watch it and follow along. I also sent 29 bee boxes to 11 other states in the United States and more than 30 bee boxes to four other countries. Participants in the event and those who watched the video also got knowledge about the importance of solitary bees and other ways they can help pollinators.

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

I measured the impact of my project by counting how many habitats were distributed at events or through shipping. I distributed 305 bee habitats in Colorado, and an additional 62 in other states in the United States and in countries around the world.

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

My project is sustained partly by the design of the habitat itself. Leafcutter bees, a type of solitary bee, will reuse habitats year after year to lay their eggs. Additionally, the bee boxes I distributed are wrapped in duct tape to weather proof them. A teacher at my former high school has also committed to including the bee habitats as an end-of-the-year craft, so high school students will be able to make them year after year.

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

My project’s global and national connections are the 62 bee habitats I sent around the United States and the world. Every livable continent has solitary bees that can use my bee box! Additionally, I posted a how-to video on YouTube that can be viewed from anywhere around the world.

What did you learn about yourself?

One major thing I learned is that I am an organizational person. I enjoyed making spreadsheets and keeping track of information, a skill that has since served me in both my academic and personal lives. I also learned that I am capable of being a leader in general. I was able to motivate others and successfully lead a team through an event, and I was able to distribute hundreds of bee boxes not only in my community but around the world. If I were not a leader, I would not have been able to make the impact that I did.

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

Earning the Gold Award has already impacted my future by giving me more confidence to take action about the things that matter to me. It will further impact my future by showing scholarships and companies that I am a leader, capable of making real change.

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

Earning the Gold Award was an important part of my Girl Scout experience because I have been a part of Girl Scouts since I was in first grade. I grew up learning life skills with Girl Scouts, and it was important to me that I had something tangible to show for it. The Gold Award further strengthened skills I had been practicing, such as communicating with a team and managing a project, which was the perfect closer to my career as a Girl Scout.

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 an innovator and a leader. I designed and prototyped my bee habitat, taking into consideration what would be helpful for a bee and what accessible items were, which made me a better innovator. I practiced many leadership skills as well, especially communication, but also project management, confidence, and problem solving.

**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 highestawards@gscolorado.org.

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