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5 Evergreen Girl Scouts win highest award this year

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By Greg Romberg

“On my honor, I will try: To serve God and my country; To help people at all times; and to live by the Girl Scout Law.”

Since Juliet Gordon Low started the Girl Scouts in Savannah, Ga., in 1912, girls across the globe have participated in Girl Scouts. They learn life skills, leadership and an appreciation of how important it is to be of service to others.

The highest award in Girl Scouts is the Gold Award. Of all the girls in scouts throughout central and northeastern Colorado, just 49 earned the Gold Award for outstanding service this year. Five award winners are from Evergreen!

Hannah-Grace Coursen, Alexandra Cycyota, Kelly Drumright, Christy Lewis and Devon Swanson received their awards last week at a ceremony at the El Jebel Temple in northwest Denver. Each of the girls designed and completed a comprehensive community service project to qualify for the award.

Hannah-Grace Coursen, who attends Evergreen High School, earned the Gold Award for her “Adoption Testimonials” project. She interviewed a variety of people with experiences about adoption and created a video to help people understand the issues involved in adoption. Lutheran Family Services is now using the video to provide important information to people who want to adopt children and to birth mothers considering giving up children for adoption.

Alexandra Cycyota, a St. Mary’s Academy student, worked with seniors at the Evergreen Senior Center to develop the “Holiday Socials for Seniors” project that won her a Gold Award. She raised funds for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations by collecting donations and having a garage sale. Additionally, she solicited donations from area stores and planned great parties to make sure the three holiday celebrations were memorable and fun for the center’s residents.

Kelly Drumright of Evergreen High School won for her “Una Oportunidad De Oir” project. In conjunction with “A Chance to Hear,” a nonprofit organization, she translated hearing-aid-related documents from English to Spanish and served as an interpreter for audiologists on a trip to the Yucatan. Medical terminology is beyond what is taught in high school classes, so she had to go the extra mile of using Spanish medical books to learn enough to earn her Gold Award.

Evergreen High School’s Christy Lewis coordinated her Gold Award-winning project with Girls Inc. Her “Volleyball Clinic at Girls Inc.” project provided services to 85 girls. The participants ranged from first-graders to teenagers. To provide services to so many different girls of different ages and abilities, she had to design the project, recruit and train other volunteers and work directly with the girls who participated.

Devon Swanson of Lakewood High School earned her Gold Award by turning a trip to Mexico into her “Ingles es facil” project. She spent a week in Mexico teaching 15 local children to speak English and leading a community project to paint the library where her classes were conducted. Before she left home, she prepared all of her lessons and games in Spanish.

When young people in our community do things to help others, we should be both thankful and inspired. Congratulations to Devon, Christy, Kelly, Alexandra and Hannah-Grace and thanks to the Girl Scouts of Colorado for encouraging their good deeds and honoring their terrific achievements!

Greg Romberg is president of Romberg and Associates, a government relations and public affairs firm. He lives in Evergreen with his wife, Laurie, and three daughters.