Last summer I completed a service project to satisfy requirements for the Gold Award, which is the highest honor a Girl Scout can achieve. A Gold Award must benefit the community, have a lasting effect, and require skills of leadership and independence. I have been a Girl Scout for seven years, and the Gold Award is the top goal of scouting.
My project was to start a program that gets kids more involved in reading while introducing them to the basic concepts of art. To achieve this I taught an arts and literacy class at La Ballona Elementary School over the course of one month, which helped get kids reading more over summer by creating art based on books read in class. This program provided a free environment to express creativity and exemplify reading as an enjoyable activity, not as a burden. I began this program for two reasons very personal to me; my love of interacting with children as well as my passion for the arts. Combining these two elements of myself created a positive environment for me as well as all of the people I’ve worked with.
I wanted to influence children to begin art at a young age so they could use this valuable information and skills throughout their lives. While working with these kids I learned many physical and work-related skills, but I also learned a lot about myself. I discovered I truly want to work with children in the future, I could be this passionate about a project, and that Girl Scouts wasn’t just what it had been to me for the past seven years; selling cookies and being a good citizen. Sure, both of those are included in the package, but doing this time consuming, difficult, and at times stressful journey not only pushed my limits but changed my personal ethic. I became more responsible, I learned how to effectively write emails, and I discovered that I can do anything I want to do.
It’s cheesy, but it’s genuinely true. You CAN do anything you want to do, it all depends on your passion, your motivation, and your effort. So, to sum up what I’ve gained from this experience, it’s that the things that are hard are the ones worth pursuing, and also the ones with the greatest benefit.