Girl Scouts of Western New York is proud to announce Alyssa James of Pittsford, NY, as a 2022 Gold Award Girl Scout. Alyssa is a member of Troop 60295.
What Alyssa said about Girl Scouts
Girl Scouts has always been a huge part of my life. Not only was it a group of friends, but also a community of people who loved and supported each other. No matter how hard times were, I knew I always had a group to lean on. It has made a lasting impact on my life, not only through experience, but also through connections with people I will never forget. It also taught me a lot of different skills that will be useful in my life. It taught me about responsibility, leadership, and communication with others throughout all the awards and journeys I completed. I also learned more about hard work and time management when working on my own, but also with groups, when getting things done.
Project: Special Needs Game Boxes
I started my Gold Award project to help kids with special needs from kindergarten to fifth grade at Park Road Elementary School. I wanted to create a fun, interactive way for the students to be able to learn different shapes and colors through game boards that allow them to work on sorting and math. Many students with special needs require visual and hands-on equipment to learn and process information. I wanted to create a fun, interactive way to help make kids’ learning easier and fun.
I received a lot of help when it came to coming up with ideas of what to incorporate from the teacher, Mrs. Saralin Mangialino-Rivera, who works with these students everyday. I also gave the boxes to her at the end of the project. Talking to Mrs. Mangialino-Rivera, I learned about all the different skills her students were having trouble learning and based my game boards off what she was saying to create a fun, interactive game to help the students learn. For my project, I made wood shapes and painted them different colors, then created worksheets with different activities, such as sorting by shape or color, using shapes to create pictures, or using shapes for simple math.
My overall goal was to help kids in my community learn and grow with a new tool that will not only help them in school, but show them how fun learning can be.
About the Girl Scout Gold Award
The Gold Award project is the culmination of all the work a girl puts into “going for the Gold.” A Girl Scout’s project should be something that a girl can be passionate about—in thought, deed, and action that encompasses organizational, leadership, and networking skills. The project should also fulfill a need within a girl’s community (whether local or global) and create change that has the potential to be on-going or sustainable. Approximately 80 hours of community service are involved in the project. Completion of the Gold Award also qualifies the Girl Scout for special scholarship opportunities and she can enlist in the military at a higher starting pay grade.
The Girl Scout Gold Award, the most prestigious award in the world for girls, acknowledges the power behind each recipient’s dedication to not only empowering and bettering herself, but also to making the world a better place for others. These young women are courageous leaders and visionary change makers.
The Gold Award requires a Girl Scout to identify an issue and investigate it to understand what can be done to address the problem. The girl then forms a team to act as a support system, including a project advisor close to the issue who is not a troop leader or family member, while she leads the project. The Girl Scout creates a plan to ensure they know what steps they must tackle while working on the project. The Girl Scout submits a proposal for her project to her local Girl Scout council. After acceptance, the girl begins to work through the steps of their plan utilizing the assistance of her support team where necessary. Lastly, the project is used to educate and inspire others about the cause they are addressing.
For more information on the Gold Award, click here.