Monday, September 3, 2018

Girl Scout Ambassador Katherine has earned her Gold Award

Katherine Welch has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement a girl can earn in Girl Scouts. Katherine is a recent graduate of Grassfield High School. 

As a young woman with a love of art and a desire to help others, Katherine created her Gold Award project, “The Artist in You- Art Therapy for Differently-Abled Adults” to do just that. She conducted research that revealed art therapy could help in developing one’s motor skills and confidence; however, Katherine realized that art therapy was not easily accessible and was often too expensive for persons with disabilities. To offer the therapy to people in her community, she created a plan that used recycled and low-cost items for step-by-step projects for the campers at Eggleston. 

Her program did more than allow the adults to be creative and express themselves through art. It also enabled them to improve their fine motor skills. After completing tasks such as cutting and gluing, the adults displayed an increased amount of independence when it came to daily activities like brushing their hair or using utensils. 

After eight weeks, Katherine surveyed the adults who participated in the program. The surveys showed evidence of an increase in confidence and self-esteem after taking part in art classes she created.

“Sometimes individuals are unable to express their thoughts and feelings verbally, but art allows them to express themselves in a nonverbal way,” she said.

Katherine wanted to be sure that the difference she made didn’t end after she had completed her Gold Award project. To ensure that the adults with disabilities would still be able to benefit from her work, Katherine created a handbook of the art projects she made. She distributed the handbook to different locations in the Hampton Roads area that work with persons with disabilities, including Sentara Life Care, the Activity director of Civilian Acres and the Teacher Sponsor for the Beta Club at Oscar Smith HS. 

A Facebook Page named “The Artists in You- Art for Differently-Abled Adults” was also created to share her program with more people. Click here to visit the Facebook page.