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A Girl Scout with a mission

Brianna Westbarn and her mother, Heather, outside the Colorado state capitol. Bri was awarded the Gold Award Girl Scout, the highest and most prestigious achievement in Girl Scouts.


Brianna “Bri” Westbarn, who turns 19 this month, has earned the distinction of Gold Award Girl Scout, the highest and most prestigious achievement in Girl Scouts. Her project, “Colorado Cold Cases,” was launched to shed light on unsolved criminal cases involving people who are missing or have died but have not been identified.

“I found a passion for true crime through the podcast Crime Junkie,” said Bri. “Looking through Colorado’s cold cases database, I realized how many cases are just in Colorado which is what sparked the interest for my project.”

During her senior year of high school, Bri estimates spending about 200 hours on researching cases, developing a website and producing podcasts.

Bri is one of 29 Girl Scouts in Colorado who earned the Gold Award for 2023 – 2024. The group was honored at the state capitol on April 26 and at an awards celebration on May 21 at Colorado School of Mines. “We’ve made such an impact that all 29 of us were recognized on a state level because of how intellectual our projects were,” commented Bri.

Bri recently finished her freshman year of college at Fort Lewis College in Durango. She is majoring in elementary education with minors in criminology and theater. She spent last semester at her family’s home recovering from foot surgery and is excited to go back to in-person learning for her sophomore year. Before she goes back to college in August, Bri will spend the summer as a counselor at Sky High Ranch Girl Scout camp in Woodland Park. She will be allowed to come home on the weekends to spend time with her family and her boyfriend, Alex Rodgers. The couple enjoys the outdoors, hiking and camping.

Bri is so passionate about Colorado Cold Cases, she plans to record new podcasts every month and add more information to her website in hopes that these cold cases will one day be solved.

To learn more about Bri’s Gold Award project and her podcast, visit her website at


The Westbarn Family, left to right: Jason, Dave, Brianna, Milo, Heather and Hailey.


Brianna Westbarn and her boyfriend, Alex Rogers, at her high school graduation.


Article by Mindy Stone; photos courtesy of Brianna Westbarn



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