BY Darya Daneshmand

I am an eighth-grader and a Girl Scout Cadette in my eighth year of being a Girl Scout.

For my Girl Scout Silver Award Project, I decided to raise awareness in my city about a silent killer, carbon monoxide (CO), and how we must and can protect ourselves against it.

However, my project has taught me more than I thought it would. Of course, I learned a great deal about the topic I chose, but I also learned much I did not expect I would. I came into contact with many individuals whose kindness and generosity in supporting my project have meant a great deal to me. In addition to learning how individuals respond differently to the same topic and approach, I have learned just how much can be done when individuals work together.

My interest was piqued in the topic of my project when I met a business woman from Oregon while traveling who had tragically lost her son’s entire family to CO poisoning while his family stayed at a vacation rental property in Colorado, a state that does have legislation regarding CO monitoring. The newly remodeled home had passed inspection without the required monitors. I realized that even in a state with legal requirements, public awareness remains quite important. Therefore, I decided to do my part to raise awareness on this topic in our city. I know from personal experience, that those, such as my own family, who may have the protection of monitors at home, may not think to take the protection with them on their trips while staying at a vacation rental in the form of a portable device, and neither had the family who passed away while vacationing in Colorado over a Thanksgiving weekend.

I am happy to have learned that our hotels (to the extent of my research) would not need such devices in their guest rooms since they do not burn fossil fuels for heating them. I have tried to get my public safety message to the public through print media, television and radio spots and even a billboard that may be in rotation and available for a free public service message. I am manning booths at a number of expos and health fairs. I will try to distribute flyers in various venues whenever possible.

I would love to see my project continue to have impact even after I have received my Silver Award. Working on my Silver Award has been an enriching experience for me and I hope it has brought more awareness to those around me. Carbon monoxide is called a silent killer, but it does not have to be. It can be given a voice with which to announce its presence to us clearly, protecting us from harm.

While this project has not influenced my career choice since I am still deciding on what direction I want to go, it has made me realize how important it is to have communication skills.

Darya Daneshmand manning the booth at the HCE Family Fair

Girl Scouts of Southern Nevada is the preeminent leadership development organization for all girls in an accepting and nurturing environment to build character and life skills for success in the real world. Girl Scouts of Southern Nevada serves over 10,000 girls and adult members throughout Southern Nevada. Membership is open to all girls 5-17 years-old. To join volunteer, reconnect, or donate to Girl Scouts, call 702.385.3677 or visit girlscoutsnv.org.

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