TAMPA - Two Girl Scouts from Town 'N Country were among 34 recognized recently for earning the highest award in the organization.
Anne Harwig and Michelle Vereb were recognized at the June 8 ceremony at the Museum of Science & Industry for earning their Gold Awards.
One requirement for the award is a community service project with lasting impact. The Scouts' display board showcased their projects and award recipients were ready to talk to about 400 guests at the awards ceremony.
Vereb's project was The Art of a Helping Hand, where she created an art class with therapeutic value based at Bakas Equestrian Center, which runs the Horses for Handicapped program. She tailored her project around the understanding that art has been proven to help advance fine motor skills, creativity, self-expression and the ability to understand abstract concepts. To help support the program and bring community awareness to the organization and their mission, she developed a brochure, flyer and poster promoting her efforts.
"I saw a lot of value in Girl Scouts," Vereb, who graduated this month from Robinson High School's IB program. "The troop leader told us about the Gold Award and I wanted to earn it."
She said she received a lot of support from her mother, who also was in Girl Scouts.
Harwig was unable to attend the ceremony. With her project, Jeremy's Backpacks for Afghanistan, she advocated for the issue of higher education in Afghanistan.
Through fundraising efforts with her church, Christ the King, she was able to purchase 47 backpacks which she stocked full of school supplies. She found that Marafat High School in Afghanistan was in need of supplies. She arranged to have the backpacks shipped to a nearby base in Kabul and coordinated with the school's president to pick them up.
The Girl Scouts of West Central Florida serves almost 21,000 girls in kindergarten through 12th grade and almost 10,000 adult members in Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Marion, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk and Sumter counties.