Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Chesapeake Girl Scout Earns Silver Award

Krystina with Kristin Osborne, president
of Virginia Food Allergy Advocates
Making a difference and getting her voice heard has always been important to Krystina, a Girl Scout Cadette from Chesapeake. When her little brother was diagnosed with food allergies, she felt it was her duty as his older sister to do the best she could to be an advocate for children with food allergies and educate the public on food bullying, which is a growing problem in schools across the country. In fact, according to Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE), approximately one third of children with food allergies report that they have been bullied in school specifically because of their allergies.

Krystina decided to take action and develop her Girl Scout Silver Award project, the second highest award a girl can earn in Girl Scouting, around food allergies. Krystina went to great lengths to educate people on food allergies and food bullying by creating a website, starting a petition to get people to recognize food bullying as an issue and creating a picture campaign to stop food bullying and share information on food allergies.

Through her project, Krystina said she learned a lot about herself and developed important leadership skills.

“I learned that no matter how little I may look, I have the ability to stand tall and make sure my words get out and make a big difference in the world I live in,” Krystina said. “I set out to do my Silver Award project but in the end it became so much more and become a part of who I am.”

For Halloween, Krystina hosted a food allergy-friendly trick or treating experience for local children with and without food allergies. Close to 60 children attended and learned about how children with food allergies cope each and every day. Krystina also set up an informational booth at the FARE Walk for Food Allergies in Virginia Beach.

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.