Gold Award Honoree Sarah Greichen
During the 2016 Girl Scout Week, one of the Girl Scouts we recognized was Gold Award Honoree Sarah Greichen of the Colorado Girl Scouts for her founding of a non-profit, Score-A-Friend Inc., which helps schools create clubs for kids with disabilities. As an update on Sarah, we just found out that she was recently named National Young Woman of Distinction by Girl Scouts of the USA! She is one of 10 young women chosen nationwide to receive this prestigious honor. She will receive $5,000 and be honored at the Girl Scouts of the USA’s national conference of CEOs.Earlier this year, Sarah also received the Stephanie A. Foote Leadership Prize for Gold Award Excellence. Sarah was given this award because of her ongoing impact and leadership skills. Good job Sarah!
Read about how Sarah’s experience with her twin brother’s autism prompted her to create her non-profit, Score A Friend Inc., and what she learned about herself.
Sarah Greichen and Her Gold Award Project:
What did you do for your Gold Award project?
Sarah: My twin brother has Autism Spectrum Disorder, so I immersed myself into the “disability world,” to learn about disabilities, public laws and personal rights, inclusion, community resources, and numerous stories of children and families. I learned that kids with disabilities meet friends through school, sports, and clubs just like all children. I became an activist for school-based Unified Clubs, Unified Sports, and Unified Elective Courses. In 2013, my brother and I were appointed to our state’s Special Olympic Youth Activation Committee, where I learned about Special Olympics Project UNIFY and learned ways to build inclusive schools and Unified Friendships. I established Score A Friend, Inc., as a non-profit organization and I worked with my school district and community to build Unified Clubs and Sports Programs. In 2015, I designed the Score A Friend Club Model and Web-based Score A Friend Program to activate and support youth leaders everywhere to build clubs in schools.
How did you measure the impact your Gold Award project made on your target audience?
Sarah: Kids with disabilities, and their families, learned about their rights to equal access and opportunities in their schools and communities. I encouraged kids to participate with peers in school and school events, as well as Unified Sports. During their interactions, kids made friendships and learned about community resource options to learn new skills. Kids with disabilities gained access to Score A Friends Clubs and Unified Elective Courses at their schools. Parents learned how to connect with other parents, resources, and opportunities for advocacy through Score A Friend programs and website.
How is your project sustainable? How will your project continue to impact after your involvement?
Sarah: My project is sustainable through Score A Friend, Inc. The organization has a board of directors and I serve as the founder/chief executive adviser. When I turn 18, I will become the chief executive officer. The Score a Friend website helps educate the world about the program. Clubs can access all program forms, resources, and online store items from the website. All clubs are posted on the website and can connect and share stories through a Facebook page. School-based Score A Friend Clubs at Front Range Christian School and Louisiana State University, as well as many new school clubs, help establish the program in schools and communities.
What is your project’s global and/or national connection?
Sarah: Nationally, schools support students and parents to start new clubs. The Score A Friend Club Web-based program gives students a quick and easy guide to start a club. Program staff are available to help and support youth leaders to build inclusion in their schools and communities.
Youth leaders around the globe, and the adults who support them, who can access the Internet can also access Score A Friend. In time, I plan to translate Score A Friend materials and make them available to schools worldwide. I plan to work with Special Olympics, UNICEF, the World Health Organization and other global organizations to promote awareness of kids with disabilities.
What did you learn about yourself?
Sarah: Being an effective advocate and activist for kids with disabilities proves I have the passion and skills to make a difference in the world. I persevered when I met obstacles and challenges. I interact and engage well with people with disabilities, my peers, and adults. Being a Girl Scout made a powerful and life-long impact on my life – shaping my overall life goals and career plan. Most importantly, my brother is my best friend and this project reminds me that I am so proud of him!
How will earning your Gold Award impact you in the future?
Sarah: At Front Range Christian School, during the 2016-2017 school year, I will have opportunities to grow my leadership skills. As the soon-to-be program CEO, I have many goals that require effective leadership. Educating and inspiring youth to join the unified generation and change the world may require a different set of leadership skills, so it is helpful that Ive developed a solid foundation.
Why do you feel the Gold Award was an important part of your Girl Scout experience?
Sarah: The Gold Award project brought together all I have learned in my 12 years as a Girl Scout. It allowed me to actively pursue, practice, and achieve all aspects of the Girl Scout Promise and Law. It gave me the opportunity to identify my passion and talent, and to experience real-world applications of community service and my leadership skills. The Gold Award was the most important part of my Girl Scout experience and was an honor to achieve. It will always be my greatest first step toward a future that is focused and committed to leadership, service, and making the world a better place.
Would you like to bring attention to a Girl Scout girl or leader you know who is making a difference? Check out our contest below to be featured in BYOU Magazine!
BYOU Magazine #StandBesiderHer Awareness Contest!
We are excited to announce the BYOU Magazine-Stand Beside Her collaboration to bring attention to remarkable girls and adults within the Girl Scouts organization in honor of the upcoming Girl Scouts Stand Beside Her Week launching October 30, 2016.
From September 19-October 21, the National Stand Beside Her Movement and BYOU Magazine are conducting a contest for a chance to be featured in BYOU Magazine! All Girl Scouts and Girl Scout volunteers are eligible, but must be nominated by someone (you may also nominate yourself!). Do you know a girl or adult who is a positive role model and is making a difference?
Read about other Gold Award Honorees!
- 2016 Gold Award Honoree Emma Hesse
- 2016 Gold Award Honoree Cassidy Klein
- 2016 Gold Award Honoree Amy Nelson
- 2015 Gold Award Honoree Kirsten Brandes
- 2015 Gold Award Honoree Joanna Hua
- 2015 Gold Award Honoree Elizabeth Acker