Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Gold Award Spotlight: Teens Care About Cancer

Smithfield Girl Scout Meghan has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement a girl can earn in Girl Scouting.

When Meghan was 11 years old, she was diagnosed with leukemia. While she was going through treatment, she was astonished about how little people knew about leukemia and other types of cancer. For her Gold Award project, Meghan created a club, Teens Care about Cancer, at her high school in inform students and staff about cancer, its symptoms and ways to treat and prevent it.

Under Meghan’s leadership, the members of Teens Care about Cancer made posters about a different type of cancer each month in order to raise awareness in the school. They also built a reflection area at Smithfield High School to honor all of the lives touched by cancer.

“Many teenagers do not know much about cancer and how some decisions that they make can increase their risk of getting cancer,” Meghan said. “By increasing their knowledge, I hoped to decrease some of their high-risk behaviors, such as not wearing sunscreen.”

Before Meghan graduated from Smithfield High School, she arranged for students and a faculty advisor to continue running Teens Care about Cancer so that teens at her school will continue to be educated about preventing cancer.

The Gold Award requires girls to identify an issue in their community and carry out a Take Action project to address the matter through leadership work. Nationwide, less than 6 percent of eligible Girl Scouts earn the Gold Award, which adds Meghan to an elite group of female leaders across the country with the honor.