Cherokee Trail High School
The Great Escape
What did you do for your Gold Award project?
I created a library for the education center at Urban Peak, a homeless teens shelter.
Why did you pursue this Gold Award project?
Ever since I was little I have loved to read. I knew from the beginning that I wanted my Gold Award to deal with books. My original goal was to create a library for a hospital but found that there were a lot of obstacles regarding the sanitation of books. So I called different non-profit organizations all over Denver. When I found Urban Peak, I then began to form the specifics of the project around their needs.
How did your Gold Award project make a difference?
A library isn’t just a collection of books. It can be a common meeting place and a resource for growth. The education center provides GED classes for youth using Urban Peak’s facilities, and I wanted to inspire those youth to pick up something besides a textbook and to discover all the places that reading can take you. Hence why I named my project “The Great Escape.”
What skills did you gain through earning your Gold Award?
I learned a lot about communication. Not just communication with people but also my community.
As a leader I learned that often it is better to contact volunteers in person. That way they know that their support is important to you and are less likely to bail last minute on a project.
Leaders are in charge of organizing everything and answering questions. I found that by not putting myself to work in one specific group on the day of I was of more use to all the people who were helping me. This allowed me to bounce between the people sorting existing books, the people putting reading levels on my donated books, and communicating with the Urban Peak employee who donated his time on a Sunday to open the Education Center up for me and my project
What will you most remember about your Gold Award project?
I will most remember the Saturday that we went into Urban Peak to put everything together. I was slowly seeing my dream come together right in front of my eyes with shelves stuffed to the brim with books.
How will earning your Gold Award help you in your future?
I will continue to grow in the future due to this project because of the experience I now have. Earning my Gold Award put me in a select group of young women who have successfully earned this honor. Earning the Gold Award requires a high level of responsibility as well as an extremely large amount of time and organization. I feel I am more prepare to take on responsibilities by myself in the professional world. I have Girl Scout friends who are considering earning their Gold Award as well as younger Girl Scouts who are just considering earning their Gold and Silver Awards, and because of my experience I can give encouragement and wisdom on things that went well and went poorly. I know how many volunteers are needed to carry out a Gold Award, so as opportunities arise to help others in the future I will take action to help them through volunteer work and spreading information about their cause and Gold Award.
On a more personal side I will always remember the great feeling of pride that comes when you take an idea and turn it into something that will benefit the community and people around you.
Why do you feel the Gold Award is an important part of your Girl Scout experience?
Although the Gold Award can be very time consuming and frustrating at times, seeing the finished project taught me that when you finish what you start the rewards are unlimited.
My whole Girl Scouts experience was leading up to this project. The relationships I formed and the skills I developed over the years were preparing me for the real-world experience of leadership, creativity and passion that is the Gold Award.