Olivia Prochnow, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, has achieved the Gold Award, the highest award in Girl Scouts, by creating Comfort Care Kits for children experiencing foster care at Four Oaks Family Connections. The kits, which contain a blanket, notebook, puzzle book, stuffed animal, and fidget toy, were assembled so that children transitioning into foster care would have something special and comforting of their own during a challenging time in their lives. Every year, children enter the foster care system because they have been abused, neglected, or abandoned by their guardians. Whether they are in need of a feeling of safety, entertainment, or an outlet to share emotions and frustrations, Olivia’s Comfort Care Kits work to make a child’s time in the foster care system a more positive and comfortable experience. Because of Olivia’s work, the Outreach Committee at Holy Redeemer Lutheran Church will continue providing the kits to children at Four Oaks Family Connections in the future.
“I feel that each kit distributed gave the children transitioning into foster care a more positive experience and immediate comfort. The kits are something given to each child and it is something they can take and can call their own,” says Olivia.
A Girl Scout Gold Award project must tackle a broad spectrum of important issues and a young woman who has earned her Gold Award has become a community leader in the truest sense.
Read what Emma has to say about her project and the value of Girl Scouts!
How long have you been a Girl Scout?
I've been in Girl Scouts for 13 years. I started as a Daisy in
What do you love about Girl Scouting?
Meeting new people, making friends and creating memories will have a
lasting impact on me. I enjoyed the opportunity of spending time in
the community helping people, whether it be volunteering at the local
clothing donation store organizing items for those in need, ringing
the bell for the Salvation Army, Christmas caroling, or helping an
organization on the day of their fun run. And who can forget the
countless hours of selling Girl Scout cookies either at a cookie booth
or selling door-to-door.
What inspired your Gold Award project?
Peer helping at my school for my Junior and Senior years helped me
realize that each student has a different story and that each one has
challenges and what it takes to overcome them. I was inspired to make
the comfort care kits for children going into foster care because I
wanted to create a positive impact on children's lives so that they
feel important and that they know someone cares.
What role has Girl Scouts played in your life?
Girl Scouts has played an important role in my life. Going to meetings and gatherings with other Girl Scouts made me feel empowered, because we are all on the same team and working towards the same goal....to make the world a better place!
What is your next step after earning your Gold Award?
Are you going to college? If so, where and what will you be studying? I am planning to attend Kirkwood Community College and work towards being a phlebotomist.
Girl Scout Gold Award
Since 1916, Girl Scouts have been making meaningful, sustainable change in their communities and around the world. The Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor a Girl Scout can earn, 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. They are our future, and it looks bright!
The steps to becoming a Gold Award Girl Scout are rooted in the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. To achieve this honor, a girl must:
- Choose an issue she cares about.
- Investigate everything she can about the issue.
- Get help by inviting others to support and take action with her.
- Create a plan that achieves sustainable and measurable impact.
- Present her plan and get feedback from the Girl Scout council.
- Take action to carry out her plan.
- Educate and inspire others with what she experienced.
- Complete at least 80 hours working on the project.