How did you come up with your idea?
- The spring of my junior year I was hired to tutor a third grade
boy. As I worked with him, I recognized that he wasn't dumb or slow, he just
needed one person to sit down and work individually with him. As the semester
went on, and as getting to know him better, it became easier to recognize what
helped him and what tricks helped him learn better. I recognized that there are
a lot of other children who will go without that help and will continue to
struggle, so I decided to do something about it.
Were you intimidated by the scale of the project?
- Of course! In other service projects or clubs you have a role or
a job. In the Gold Award Process, you are the secretary, treasurer, president,
and volunteer all wrapped in one. Instead of just being able to focus on just
one part, you have to focus on every possible aspect of the project you are
How did you keep up the momentum for the
- Stay positive and remember why you are doing this. My motto was "It's for
the kids." Also, make sure you schedule in work and play. If you try to do all
the hard parts first, it becomes discouraging. Make sure you participate in the
fun parts as well.
Were you ever discouraged? If so, what did you do to overcome that?
- At first, when I was originally discussing the idea with the
principals of both the high school and elementary school, they were skeptical.
Not because they didn't believe my idea was good, but they have to be the
practical ones and ask the hard questions. I just reminded myself that I had
answers for their questions, and I kept emphasizing the impact the project
Can you tell us a little story about some part of your project that was
special to you? Something funny, or touching, or that went terribly wrong and
how you fixed it?
The funniest child
I worked with throughout the year's name was Jaden. He looked at me and asked
me during the end of a tutoring session if we would be back next week. I
replied that we would and Jaden said that that was "tight", meaning that he was
excited and was enjoying the program. I replied, "your right, it is Tight". He
looked at me very seriously and replied, "Don't say that. You have to be cool
when you say something is 'tight'." So for the rest of the semester, each week
I received my own tutoring lessons on how to speak "cool".
How will people benefit from this?
- The elementary age students will become better in their math and
English skills as well as develop a bond with a student tutor. The tutor will
get accountable service hours and the chance to be a mentor and a help to
someone who looks up to them.
How did you feel after you finished?
- Calm. Relieved. Positive. I am calm and relieved because my hard work
payed off. Those kids are happy, so I'm happy. Positive because everyone wants
to leave some sort of legacy behind. When I leave for college, I may not be remembered
by peers or teachers, but the kids I partnered with will always know that I
What advice would you give to other girls considering a Gold Award)?
- There will be times when you ask yourself...Is it worth the award? Couldn't
I just do the project and not get the silly little pin? You could, but I say it
will lose some of its significance. Not every Girl Scout stays in long enough
to reach for their Gold. The Gold Award is more for you to look at yourself and
say, "I did it." I spent 10 or more years working toward this and look at the
young woman I have become!
Your Gold Project made a change for the better in your community.
Did it change you? If so, how? Did you learn new skills, or
change your outlook on an issue? What will you take away from this
- I learned a lot of organization skills. I talked with people through
countless emails and phone calls and remembering who said what could get