Friday, February 2, 2018

Girl Scout Shannon helped immigrant families to earn her Gold Award

Girl Scout Shannon from Virginia Beach has earned her Gold Award! Shannon graduated from Kellam High School in 2017 and has been a Girl Scout for 11 years.

For Shannon's Gold Award project, she created a resource website for new immigrant families settling in the Virginia Beach area. The project is called H.I.F.I.V.E.: Helping Immigrant Families Integrate, Venture and Excel.

To create the website, Shannon completed hours of research and dozens of interviews to understand what information would be most helpful to immigrants.

Shannon's website includes a handbook with tips for families, information on free public services, a list of educational opportunities, materials to learn English and much more. The resources are even available in multiple languages—spanish, mandarin and english!

Shannon wanted to help immigrant families because of her own familial experience.

"I know the immigrant experience firsthand," Shannon said. "I moved to the United States from Taiwan when I was seven. I remember the challenges of adjusting to a new culture and living with a language barrier. I am passionate about helping new immigrants."

Shannon also created promotional brochures for her website and made many community connects to ensure that her website reaches the families who need it most.

Shannon hopes that through her online resource, immigrant families will be able to create better community ties and feel more welcome in Virginia Beach.