Monday, October 26, 2015

Seeing the World through Teal-Colored Glasses

By Courtney Herrick, GSCCC communications intern

Hailey, a Girl Scout Cadette from Chesapeake, has earned the Girl Scout Silver Award, the second highest achievement in Girl Scouting.

Hailey has grown up seeing her entire family of five suffer from food allergies. She is the only one in her family without food allergies. Hailey has seen the struggle of having allergies in a world not so accommodating to people with allergies first hand. She has witnessed her mom doing tedious things, such as reading food labels of unfamiliar foods at friendly get-togethers, and has even seen her sister have to turn down birthday party invitations in fear of her allergens being present at the party. For these reasons, Hailey decided to educate the public about food allergies for her Silver Award project. She named her project "Seeing the World through Teal-Colored Glasses" in reference to teal being the color associated with food allergies.

Hailey created a video explaining what food allergies are, as well as a display board and pamphlet to go along with video, which she presented at local Girl Scout events. She placed the video online so that people from around the world can use it as resource to learn more about food allergies. She also handed out goodie bags with allergy-friendly treats at her presentations.

While working on her project, Hailey learned valuable leadership skills as she communicated with both her peers and adults within her community. She was able to find her voice when it mattered most and reach a broad scope of people.

“I had spoken to many adults within my community for event planning meeting, audio recording sessions and donor consultations,” Hailey said. “This helped me find my voice when it came to working in a professional setting.”

The Silver Award requires girls to identify an issue in the community and carry out a Take Action Project to address the matter through leadership work.