h1

Girl Perspectives: Making the World a Better Place (Zara)

August 21, 2017

Girl Scout Zara shares with us her “Going Go” story.

image004

Did you know that forty percent of food produced in America is wasted? When I first discovered this statistic, I was appalled, but then I became inspired to pursue a solution to reduce food waste in my community. With mass amounts of food wasted in elementary schools, I decided to complete my Girl Scout Gold Award project on food waste and finding a sustainable solution to this prevalent issue.

My first step was to conduct research and gather statistics on food waste. I also talked to experts in the field to gain additional insight on the subject. With this information, I developed a detailed plan and timeline for my project.

The basis of my project was to design a color booklet with worksheets, crosswords, and hands-on activities to educate 3rd and 4th graders about food waste. By using the resources I created, and the knowledge I gained through my exploration of the topic, I spent 6 days teaching children at a local elementary school about the impact food waste has on the world and what they can do to help. In an effort to ensure that my program had a measurable impact on children, I developed lesson plans and studied the amount of food that students wasted over the course of a couple of weeks. I collected pictures and portion data on the food wasted per child before and during the implementation of the program which helped me to statistically prove that the program had a significant impact on the children.

Throughout the six days, we saw a large decrease in the amount of food children wasted at lunch. Following the completion of the program, I presented these findings to local teachers, principals and the Child Nutrition Team for Pitt County. With their support, as well as help from the Health Science Academy, the project will be conducted at South Greenville Elementary School for summers to come. Due to my project’s impact, I hope to be able to expand the project to other local elementary schools in my county as well.

Through the completion of my Girl Scout Gold Award, I discovered that I can effectively lead groups of people, even those who are very young, into recognizing a global issue such as food waste and taking action to combat it. I realize that the time I spent on the completion of my project cannot come close to solving food waste in the world. However, I hope that my work has helped spark a conversation and to make a difference in the community where I live. My hope is that these conversations will continue to create awareness and accountability along with transforming actions into real-world impact. My passion to reduce food waste is stronger than ever, and I invite you all to join this conversation so that we can turn the vision of a waste-less world into a reality.

How awesome! Thanks for sharing, Zara! To join in sharing your Girl Scout story, visit our story submissions page!

h1

Girl Perspectives: Making the World a Better Place (Kathryn)

August 14, 2017

Girl Scout Kathryn shares how her Girl Scout Gold Award project is leaving a lasting impact in her local community and the world. 

I have been a Girl Scout since I was a Daisy and I am writing today as someone in whom Girl Scouts has built courage, character and confidence through her involvement. My involvement empowered me to stand-up for what I believe in and equipped me to take a stance on important topics.

For example, through my work on my Girl Scout Gold Award project, I educated my community on the topic of human trafficking. During my freshman year in high school I became aware of the existence of this modern day slavery, after reading a book titled God in a Brothel: An Undercover Journey into Sex Trafficking and Rescue. Human trafficking, which includes both sex and labor trafficking, is an international issue, but it also affects our state and the local county where I reside. Did you know that North Carolina consistently ranks in the top 15 states in the nation with the most human trafficking, and is estimated to currently be ranked 9th.

The majority of people do not know that this is still a problem today, particularly within the United States. My Gold Award project focused on the preventative and awareness aspects of ending human trafficking. With the help of the Salvation Army of Wake County and other experts in the field, I created a presentation geared towards teenagers in my community. I presented to groups in my community, including at my high school, where the presentation was added as a part of the curriculum. The reach of my project surpassed my expectations due to the sensitive nature of the topic, and the help of intentional conversations. Because my project was presented to minors, for every minor that would hear the presentation there had to be at least one parent or guardian to view the presentation, and numerous other authority figures within both Girl Scouts and outside organizations. Each time somebody had to review the content of my presentation, they were becoming educated as well. Each person that was educated is now aware of the existence of human trafficking, as well as the signs so that it may be caught and ended.

Each person that is aware of human trafficking has the ability to say something and look out for their friends and family. They can spread the news of this issue so that more people are aware. After hearing my presentation or reading over the content, I heard numerous times about how people went on to share this information with their family and others they care about. If through my Girl Scout Gold Award project, I was able to help prevent just one person from being trafficked, my project would be a huge success. I will never know the scope of my project, or if it directly prevented human trafficking, but I am confident that I have been impacted by the experience of completing my Gold Award.

As a freshman at NC State, I am a member of the International Justice Mission Chapter at my school. This Christian organization focuses on ending human trafficking through both awareness and direct contact with victims. Within my campus’ chapter of International Justice Mission, I serve as co-treasurer and speak at events on the campus at NC State. My experiences creating the presentation and presenting it have equipped me to confidently share about human trafficking as I did this numerous times for my project.

Completing my Girl Scout Gold Award project allowed me to grow in other areas of my life as well. I experienced communicating with adults I had no former relationship with. I learned to set goals and timelines to meet project deadlines. I persevered through obstacles and roadblocks including being a minor myself when my interest in this topic started, and so much more.

Wow! Thanks for sharing your story, Kathryn! To join in sharing your Girl Scout story, visit our story submissions page!

%d bloggers like this: