Friday, January 11, 2019

Gold Award Spotlight: Thoughts of You- Memory Boxes

Girl Scout Nicole has earned her Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement a girl a can earn in Girl Scouts.

For her project, “Thoughts of You – Memory Boxes,” Nicole was inspired by her grandfather, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, a progressive and irreversible brain disorder. When Nicole went to visit her grandfather at the nursing home, her first impression was that his room was an empty space.

“There was nothing to remind him of his vibrant life as a carpenter/mason, husband, father, and grandfather,” she explained. “I know he would have enjoyed seeing pictures of all the houses he bricked and built, and seeing pictures of his children and grandchildren. This is why my Girl Scout Gold Award project is so important to me.”

Nicole’s project addressed the importance of sensory stimulation for treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, which affects the brain function. Sensory stimulation enables recollection of cherished memories, spurs conversation, and can even calm patients. Nicole collaborated with Providence Place of DePaul to create memory boxes to inspire caregivers, friends, family members, and others to use memory boxes to stimulate and awaken emotions and memories in patients who have lost their ability to connect with the world.

With the help of her Gold Award, Nicole was able to improve her public speaking skills and self-confidence.