This spring, we are celebrating the amazing work of four recent Gold Award recipients: Annalynn Randall, Crista Falk, Miranda Reed and Tegan Shipman. All of these girls took on an issue or need they saw in their communities and then planned and carried out some pretty great projects to address them. Here is a brief look at each of their projects:
Annalynn, a recent graduate of Pullman High School, wanted to help local elementary school students navigate friendship. For her project, Annalynn built and placed three “buddy benches” in the playgrounds of Franklin, Sunnyside and Jefferson Elementary. Here’s how the buddy benches work: Students are advised to sit on the bench if they are feeling lonely or want someone to play with and in response, other kids are encouraged to join them on the bench to hang out with them. Annalynn also created a video to teach the students and staff how to use the buddy benches and provided instructions to the teachers so they could continue to teach future students. Annalynn plans to attend Walla Walla Community College in the fall.
Crista recently graduated from Lake City High School in Coeur d’Alene. She focused her project on expanding accessible computer science opportunities for local students of all ages. Crista developed an engineering curriculum and implemented it as a free after-school program at Woodland Middle School. She also helped create and teach an ongoing program called CS Saturdays at Gizmo-CDA Makerspace, a local nonprofit that provides access to tools and technologies for art, design and STEM activities. During CS Saturdays, Crista taught kids about the different areas of technology. In the fall, Crista plans to attend Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Miranda, a recent graduate of Mead High School in Spokane, saw a need for teenagers to be more financially literate. For her project, she created the Financial Planning Foundation, a student-run organization that provides financial literacy and budgeting workshops for local high school students. Miranda recruited 10 students to the youth board of the organization, coordinated with community partners such as Spokane Federal Credit Union, and then ran workshops throughout this past spring for both Mt. Spokane and Mead High School. Although she is graduated now, Miranda doesn’t plan to leave the Financial Planning Foundation behind. She wants to continue to help improve the organization for at least another year and potentially turn it into a nonprofit. Miranda plans to attend Eastern Washington University in the fall.
Tegan recently graduated from On Track Academy in Spokane. With her project, she aimed to address the lack of knowledge in Spokane about bees and their importance in sustaining our ecosystem. Tegan completed a beekeeping apprenticeship as a prerequisite to her project. She then attended several large events to present on the importance of bees, taught several elementary school classes about beekeeping, and even proposed a bill to the Washington State Senate about the taxation of beekeeping supplies. Now that she’s graduated, Tegan plans to serve in the U.S. Air Force.
We are so proud of all the wonderful work these girls have done and are excited to see what they will continue to do!
Photo of Annalynn Randall by Moscow-Pullman Daily News.