ALPHARETTA, Ga. — There’s more to Girl Scouting than selling cookies.
The mission of the international organization is “Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place.”
A large part of all of this, particularly for middle and high school Girl Scouts, is performing community service projects.
Two local Girl Scouts from the same troop embody these characteristics and are working on projects that everyone in the community will be able to enjoy.
Sabrina Yvellez and Brooke Whiting, both members of Roswell’s Troop 24301 and seventh-graders at Taylor Road and Webb Bridge middle schools, respectively, have taken on ambitious projects for their Silver Award, the highest award middle school Girl Scouts can earn. At least 50 hours of service to the community is required to receive it.
When deciding on a project, Yvellez said Girl Scouts are encouraged “to explore your community [and] look for a personal connection.”
Whiting, who plans to be a veterinarian, has been job shadowing Loving Hands Animal Hospital in Alpharetta for a year and a half. Her project is to raise funds for and build a pet memorial garden at the animal hospital.
As a volunteer, Whiting has already watched surgeries and participated in animal CPR classes, as well as many other tasks. Her project will bring awareness to those experiencing the loss of a pet and give them a quiet place to reflect. The space will include a tree, bench, birdfeeder, seasonal flowers and pavers that pet owners can purchase in memory of a pet. Whiting has been selling fleece pet blankets to help raise $500 for the project that she hopes to finish this summer.
“[I’m] making the community a better place,” said Whiting.
Yvellez, who has several family members who are U.S. military veterans, was approached by the Johns Creek Veterans Association to take on a project at the Veterans Memorial Walk, a 4-acre tract at Newtown Park. Yvellez decided to help raise money for the Women in Service memorial.
“I think women in the military exemplify the characteristics [of] Girl Scouts,” Yvellez explained.
She is working to raise $13,000 by Veterans Day in November 2014 for a memorial marker, landscaping, a bench and pavers. She’ll also work to raise awareness for her project by hosting a Veterans Day program this year. She’s looking for U.S. military veterans who were Girl Scouts to speak at the event.
Both Yvellez and Whiting say they’re learning skills now that they’ll continue to use going forward. Whiting says she works better with a team now, has the courage to talk to people about her project and will keep working until it’s finished. Yvellez has improved her time management and presentation skills.
“Brooke and I are not the kind of people who sit back and wait for something to happen,” explained Yvellez.
She said, “We’re helping others, making a difference.”