Ambassador Girl Scout
Coral Gables, FL
Isabella impressively completed not one, but two, Gold Award projects! In this blog, we’ll be focusing on her second project.
What are some of your favorite hobbies?
Photography, hiking, and creating digital content.
What college do you plan to attend? Have you decided on your major?
I am attending the University of Michigan Ross School of Business and majoring in Business Management.
What is the title of your project?
The Other College Prep - Be Aware, Be Smart, Stay Safe.
Tell us more about your project and how you completed it.
For my Gold Award, I created “The Other College Prep Program”, an educational curriculum that teaches about campus safety, Uber safety, drink spiking, safe alcohol consumption, date-rape drugs, and how to stay safe. I implemented it in my community by running two workshops with a self-defense demonstration. I also introduced the program in my school through the college counseling department, and sent a binder and digitized version of the curriculum to seven local high schools and to the high school in Seeley Lake, Montana (where I did my first Gold Award). In addition, I created a downloadable patch program for Girl Scout Senior and Ambassadors, which is available on the Girl Scouts of Tropical Florida website. My school will be hosting another workshop right before the senior class goes off to college. To have this curriculum reach beyond my South Florida community, I created a website (http://TheOtherCollegePrep.com) that provides a free downloadable version of the curriculum and a QR code that was displayed during the Miami-Dade County Youth Fair. Going forward, the Central East Community will be hosting the program and workshop each year. In addition, the College Counseling department at my school has the program printed out and available in the office, and the school will be presenting the workshop each year for graduating seniors.
Why are these projects important to you?
This past summer, I received a call from my best friend, who was visiting New York for an internship. I anticipated hearing about her beautiful experiences only to learn that the night before, while at a restaurant with her mother and a friend, someone had spiked her drink with a date-rape drug. Thankfully, she was able to make it back to the table where her mother was seated just as she passed out. My friend was lucky – she was safe – but what terrified me was that the situation could have ended very differently for her.
Then, just three weeks later, my other friend’s sister had a similar experience. Unfortunately, she was not so lucky. While she was at dinner at a restaurant, a group of young men approached and began speaking to them. The conversation faded quickly, but as soon as they left, my friend’s sister began to fall ill. Feeling nauseous and dizzy, she asked her roommate to take her home. As the girls walked out of the restaurant, the drug kicked in; she passed out at the top of the stairs, fell face-first onto the concrete sidewalk and shattered her jaw in three places.
A few days after this incident, I called my sisters, who were in college, to advise and warn them about the issue of date-rape drugs that had just been introduced into my life. To my unfortunate surprise, they shared several stories of their own and their friends’ negative experiences in college regarding drink-spiking and other personal safety issues. I was shocked at how common the problem of drugging seemed. After some research, I discovered that safety issues like these affect millions of girls yearly. It’s hard to believe, but very few high schools teach girls about these very real dangers. I decided that I wanted to educate high school girls on staying safe as they navigate through new life experiences in going to college. This is what inspired me to reach out to the council to see if I could do a second Gold Award, so I could reach as many girls as possible.
What was the biggest challenge you faced and how did you overcome it?
The main challenge was getting the workshops scheduled. I had confirmed a date, but the instructor was deployed on an emergency assignment so I had to wait for him to return so that I could reschedule. I had to coordinate the date and locations' availability with the schedule of the self-defense instructor and the school, as well as the schedules of the attendees. However, once one of the pieces was confirmed (the date that the instructor was available) everything else fell into place. I also scheduled another workshop with a self-defense video so that I did not need the live instructor.
How does this project contribute to your future goals?
I find myself as someone who has many passions and does not agree with the societal influence of picking a sole career and never deviating from it. This is why, for my second Gold Award, I wanted to focus it more on something that was extremely different from my previous one, yet on a topic I still had an immense amount of passion for – female safety. Through this project, I worked to not only realize my future goals, but the goal of all young women in today's society by creating a curriculum which would create a safer environment for young women. In the future, I hope to mix my passion for business and creating social change to assist in contributing to a safer work and societal atmosphere for women of future generations.
What did you learn about yourself in the process of completing your project?
I discovered a few things about myself in the process of this project. First, in order to create the curriculum, I had to become proficient in Canva, which I had never used before. Once I started creating the graphics for each topic and activity, I learned that I really enjoyed graphic design. I have decided to incorporate graphic design as part of my undergraduate business studies in college. I also discovered that I enjoyed doing the presentations for the workshops. At first I was a little uncomfortable thinking about presenting to a large group of girls, but as I started, I really had fun teaching the workshop and felt very confident as I was presenting. Lastly, being the first Girl Scout to earn two Gold Awards has opened my eyes to endless possibilities. I learned that just because something hasn't been done before, doesn't mean it can't be done!
What did you learn about your community in the process of completing your project?
I discovered that safety issues like these affect millions of girls yearly. It’s hard to believe, but very few high schools teach girls about these very real dangers.
Has your project received previous awards or accolades? If so, please list them below.
My program was recognized by the Central East Community and the Seeley Swan Pathfinder. I was nominated for a Silver Knight Award in the Vocational Technical category and used both of my Gold Awards in my application.