This is the first in a four-part series interviewing this year’s Girl Scout Gold Award recipients from Castle Rock.
Four Castle Rock Girl Scouts recently received their Gold Award, the highest honor in the organization. The Girl Scout Gold Award is a seven-step project in which girls strive to solve a community problem.
Girl Scouts of Colorado Highest Awards Manager Aimee Bianca said the process has a lasting effect on the Girl Scouts.
“They learn so many things, but they really learn how to manage a project efficiently and communicate with adults,” Bianca said. “For the girls, it means that they have the power to create change in their community in a meaningful way and that they have the power to pull together a team of people who support the things they are about.”
One of this year’s Gold Award recipients, Melissa Wilson, is a Castle View High School graduate and student at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, where she is majoring in English with minors in business administration and writing. She answered questions about her Gold Award project and about its impact on her and her community.
Why did you join the Girl Scouts?
I initially participated in Girl Scouts as a young girl because it looked like fun. I decided to stick with Girl Scouts because of the sisterhood.
What was your Girl Scout Gold Award project and what were its goals?
My Gold Award project was raising awareness for the deaf community in Castle Rock, and the world. I created a website, held community presentations, created a Facebook page, brochures and YouTube videos in the hopes to educate the hearing population on how to interact with the deaf community and teach basic American Sign Language (ASL).
Looking back, what do you think you were able to accomplish through this project?
I was able to come out of my shell a little, seeing as I needed to talk to people in the community that I had not yet previously spoken to.
How do you think this project has impacted your local community of Castle Rock and the nearby areas? Were you able to learn more about your own community by doing it?
Castle Rock actually has a decent size deaf population. Several teachers as Castle View are deaf, some of whom are also married to deaf people. While I cannot see my impact on the deaf population directly, I can see that I educated hearing people in Castle Rock who are able to use that knowledge when they come across a deaf person in the community. I learned that the community around me is so supportive of young adults and wanted to help me in every way possible.
How did this project influence you and what did you personally learn from it?
This project influenced me by opening my eyes to new issues that need to be dealt with. I feel like I am a more active citizen because of it. Personally, I feel as though I learned business skills and public speaking skills that I will be able to use going forward in my education career.
For more information on the Gold Award and this year’s recipients, visit the Girls Scouts of Colorado blog at gscoblog.org.
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