0813 Hoover grads
Creating teen driving awareness
Elizabeth Nichols, a Hoover High School graduate who will attend Auburn University this fall, recently earned the Girl Scout Gold Award for her work with teen driving safety awareness.
Nichols’ project focused on educating teens at Hoover High School about Alabama’s graduated drivers’ license laws and how the laws are designed to keep teens safe.
Young drivers and their parents attended a presentation where Nichols talked about the laws, local professionals gave advice on safe driving and a mother talked about losing her child to unsafe driving.
She also created a curriculum for drivers’ education teachers at Hoover High School. Teachers who received the curriculum will continue to use it in their classrooms and will update it as laws change.
“I think that the most successful aspect of my project was relaying to teenagers that they are not invincible and that driving is a serious task,” Nichols said.
Olivia Rawlins Butler, a Hoover High School graduate who will attend Rhodes College this fall, recently earned the Girl Scout Gold Award for her project South Haven Nursing Home Independence Day Celebration.
Her project focused on recognizing the military service of veterans in South Haven. She put into place a Veteran’s Appreciation Program, which included an Independence Day celebration. For the program, she made decorations for all the residents’ doors and indicated which residents were veterans with special signs and decorations.
Butler also organized a program where Hoover High School Chamber Choir members sang the national anthem, and the Hoover High School featured twirler performed. Veterans were recognized as songs for each branch of the military were played.
She, other Girl Scouts and friends visited with residents as they enjoyed a huge red, white and blue cake.
Butler’s brother-in-law, who was deployed but able to come home for Christmas, also visited with residents and thanked them for their service. He also helped Butler deliver blankets she and her friends made for the residents.
“I learned that taking an interest in people goes a long way in making them feel valuable and contributing to their overall wellness. When talking to the veterans, asking about their lives and making an effort to make their day better, I saw the joy that was brought by such a simple act,” Butler said.
The staff at the nursing home plans to continue the program as an annual tradition, and it is already on the calendar for 2013.
Cheering up children with cancer
Ashley N. Scharf, a Hoover High School graduate who will attend The University of Alabama this fall, recently earned the Girl Scout Gold Award for her project Tera’s Treasures.
Her project focused on providing the patients of Children’s of Alabama with an escape from their illnesses. She organized a tie-dying party and a cookie/snow cone party for children, and she recruited several students and groups to help with her project, including the Hoover Juniorettes, Hoover High School Ambassadors, Hoover High School Chamber Choir and other Girl Scouts.
They put together 175 toiletry kits for patients and provided 100 pillowcases and T-shirts to tie-dye.
“You could tell how much [the children] needed time away from all their tests and sickness,” Scharf said. “If just for a little while, they had fun, and there were lots of smiles and laughter, even in the midst of bandages, wheelchairs and IV poles.”
The Hoover Juniorettes will sustain the project in the future. Scharf gave those who helped with her project information about childhood cancer and the Children’s cancer unit.
Her project encouraged her to pursue a career in this area; she even got to shadow a child life specialist in the cancer unit one afternoon.
-Submitted by Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama