Friday, August 18, 2017

More Summer, More Service: Spotlight on Kaitlyn

Girl Scouts is all about helping every G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ empower herself to take action and make the world a better place. That’s why Girl Scouts of the USA and Disney have collaborated to bring girls the Elena of Avalor Scepter of Light Award, which is rightfully modeled after Elena of Avalor’s characteristics of leadership, compassion, critical thinking, collaboration, and courage—just like a Girl Scout.

Last month, we highlighted 17-year-old Gold Award Girl Scout Ashley, who’s making a huge difference in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and healthcare fields. But Ashley certainly isn’t the only Girl Scout making waves. This month, we’re proud to recognize Gold Award Girl Scout Kaitlyn as the second winner of the Elena of Avalor Scepter of Light Award for her commitment to helping others with anxiety.

Inspired by her own experiences with anxiety, Kaitlyn realized the processing room, a safe space for kids to talk to a counselor or journal about their feelings, available in her school wasn’t helpful for her (and likely others), so she set out to find a better option. Through her research, Kaitlyn found that sensory rooms (quiet, calming spaces where people can take a moment to refocus) are a better solution for anxiety. Taking action, she spoke to her principal, got the school board’s approval, and received a grant from them to get started on the room. It’s been a little over a year since the room was finished, and it’s now a well-used resource for students. In fact, thanks to Kaitlyn’s leadership, almost a quarter of the student body has used it!

Kaitlyn’s experience goes to show that with confidence and the qualities of a G.I.R.L., girls can unleash their greatest potential and make a big difference in others’ lives. Not sure how to get started? Check out Disney’s Summer of Service page through September 30. Whether your idea is big or small, it can still make an impact on people. Don’t forget to share your #SummerofService experience on social media!