Callie: Changing Diabetes Management | Girl Scouts

Callie: This Gold Award Girl Scout Uses STEM to Simplify the Lives of Those Living with Diabetes

Callie smiles

When my younger brother Jack was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, my entire family felt helpless. There were so many problems that we just couldn’t solve. But I’m a Girl Scout, which means I’m a problem solver. So I dedicated my Girl Scout Gold Award to helping people with diabetes.

One thing we’d found was that figuring out the units of insulin my brother needed at different times of the day was incredibly challenging. But I love STEM—a passion I discovered through Girl Scouts—and am good with math, so I worked up some formulas and created a simple insulin calculator to help diabetics know exactly how much insulin they need at any given time. Once I validated the calculations with medical experts and knew they worked, I wanted to make it into an app that people anywhere could easily access. Unfortunately, it turns out I’m just not a coder! I tried several different coding languages and it was not working out for me.

That’s when I knew I’d have to ask for help—something that hasn’t always been easy for me. In fact when I was younger, I was the girl who used to look down at my shoes when I talked to people. I was shy about sharing my ideas, shy about asking questions, and shy about using my voice. Thanks to my years in Girl Scouts though, I learned to believe in myself and have confidence when speaking with others.

That confidence helped me explain my project to a local tech company, show them my data, and see how they could help. Because I had the courage to reach out and team up with others, the scope of my project was widened beyond my wildest dreams. The company not only agreed to help—they offered to develop the app for free because they believe in me. My app will be available soon and it’s going to help people with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Of course being a National Gold Award Girl Scout is an amazing feeling—it means I’ve achieved the highest honor in Girl Scouting—but it means so much more than that.

Today I’m a freshman at the Colorado School of Mines, where I’m studying mechanical engineering. To be honest, I’m not sure what I want to do professionally. I just know that I love STEM, I love building things and finding out how things work, and I love that there are so many cool careers you can go into with mechanical engineering skills. No matter what, being a National Gold Award Girl Scout and creating this app has shown me that I’m dedicated, diligent, persistent, and a leader. It’s proven that I can do almost anything I put my mind to—I can do a lot! And that makes me sure I can achieve my dreams.