Nicholle C. of Sturbridge
For my Gold Award project, I choose to impact two issues in my community: the need for a community garden and disability awareness. After seeing an article in my local paper about the need for a community garden, I approached the junior high school principal and got approval to create one on the land behind the school. After hearing inappropriate comments in the school hallway regarding some of the disabled students, I decided to include the students from the Pathways program, a program that serves children with disabilities. I knew this would be a big project so I applied for the Disney Friends for Change grant focusing on the environmental aspect of the program.
To kick off the project I hosted a cookout for the Pathways’ students, their families and my project team. We ensured the Harmony Garden was wheel chair accessible and all of the signs were in English and Braille. I also created posters to hang in the school to raise disability awareness; these posters are a reminder that disabled only means “differently abled.”
One of the most fun parts of my project was working with the Pathways students during the summer. I spent time with them and taught them how to make zucchini bread using the zucchini they had helped to grow. The students had as much fun as I did. I learned so much from my Gold Award project and many of the lessons, such as grant writing, will help me in my career. I learned that it can be difficult working collaboratively on a project that is deeply personal. I also learned that although I love my project and the results, gardening is something that does not strike my interest.
Nicholle has been a Girl Scout for over 8 years. She is a graduate of Tantasqua Regional Senior High School and has completed her freshman year at the University of Tampa.