The Gold Award represents the highest achievement in Girl Scouting, recognizing girls who demonstrate extraordinary leadership through remarkable “Take Action” projects that have lasting impact in their communities — and beyond. Check our blog daily during Girl Scout Week March 6-12 to read about amazing girls doing amazing things!
We continue our celebration of Girl Scout Week by profiling Gold Award Honoree Cassidy Klein of the Colorado Girl Scouts and her work with homeless families with Joshua Station. Read what her project is about, plus what she has learned about herself in doing this project.
Cassidy Klein’s Gold Award Project:
What did you do for your Gold Award project?
Cassidy: I created a fruitful, up-to-date library for children living at Joshua Station. Joshua Station is a transitional housing community in Denver that helps families transition from homelessness to a stable living environment. Currently, there are about 30 families living at Joshua Station with more than 70 children. Overall, I collected more than 2,900 new and gently-used books from donations!
How did you measure the impact your Gold Award project made on your target audience?
Cassidy: Before I started my project, I took inventory of the books that Joshua Station had and what the library space looked like. They originally had around 500 books that were in poor condition and shelves that needed repair. The books were unorganized, and the kids didn’t really use the space. Now, the library has about 1,800 new books, high-quality shelves, and a clean space in the library room. I also added a reading nook to the front entrance at Joshua Station and now kids hang out down there and read books.
How is your project sustainable? How will your project continue to impact after your involvement?
Cassidy: My project will continue to grow through the addition of brand new books to the library annually. The Idyllwilde Homeowners’ Association in Parker, Colorado, committed to donate a portion of their proceeds each year to new Scholastic books for Joshua Station.
The efforts of my project will also continue through a monthly book club. Katy Hurstein, the ThunderRidge High School feeder area Girl Scout director, found girls (age 12 and up) to sign up to lead book club once a month. These younger girls will carry on the book club and I know that they will make wonderful friendships with the kids at Joshua Station.
What is your project’s global and/or national connection?
Cassidy: “Imagination Station” achieved a national link by expanding beyond the original site. I collected more than 2,900 books, but not all of them fit on the shelves at Joshua Station. I separated the extra books into picture books and chapter books and put them into boxes. I took the boxes to four Seeds of Hope Schools in the Denver area. The libraries in the schools lack quality books, so I was happy to give the extra books to these four schools.
What did you learn about yourself?
Cassidy: What I learned about myself through my project is that I can accomplish tremendous tasks if I just try. I found that if I’m open to possibilities, things will work out wonderfully. This project seemed almost impossible when I first started, and I seriously doubted that I would be able to finish, but I decided to put my fear and uncertainty aside. My project was successful because I put all my energy, devotion, and determination into it. I’ve learned to follow through with what I start and to never pass up opportunities because they seem too difficult. The only reason my Gold Award was a success was through the help and generosity of other people. It’s truly astounding how willing others are to help if you only ask for it.
How will earning your Gold Award impact you in the future?
Cassidy: I’ve found self-confidence through this project because I’ve realized that I am capable of organizing a big project and following through with it. I made beautiful friendships with the kids at Joshua Station, which kept me passionate. In the future, I will carry the determination and ambition that this project required and apply them to other projects. I want to work in journalism, and I think the skills I learned from this project will help me get out of my comfort zone.
Stay tuned to the BYOU Blog this week for more Gold Award honorees and inspiring stories like Cassidy Klein’s. You can also read about other honorees:
- 2016 Gold Award Honoree Sarah Greichen
- 2016 Gold Award Honoree Emma Hesse
- 2016 Gold Award Honoree Amy Nelson
- 2015 Gold Award Honoree Kirsten Brandes
- 2015 Gold Award Honoree Joanna Hua
- 2015 Gold Award Honoree Elizabeth Acker
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