Angelina Syler, 17, a senior at Ursuline Academy of Dallas, has completed her Girl Scout Gold Award by creating a sensory development room for the babies and their mothers at the Hope & Future Home in Antigua, Guatemala. Angelina worked closely with the organization Women for Orphans Worldwide to bring the project to completion. Angelina became passionate about this organization over a year ago when she traveled to Antigua on a Mission Trip. Angelina was immediately drawn to this place the second she walked in because all the girls seemed happy even with their back stories of abuse and neglect.
To complete her Girl Scout Gold Award, Angelina researched how to best help this organization. She raised money through a garage sale. Angelina purchased some of the items locally while other items were bought in Guatemala. She packed 2 large duffle bags with supplies to make the 1,823 mile journey. Angelina led her team as they assembled swings, play houses, craft tables, and a trampoline. They decorated the walls with murals to bring a cheery and stimulating atmosphere.
In Angelina’s words, “this project drove me to help even more then I had originally planned. These young ladies have had to grow up too soon, and I wanted to help. This new, safe and fun place for the babies will give the moms some time back into their schedule to learn new skills and take a few minutes for themselves. They deserve to have these resources.”
Women for Orphans Worldwide (WOW) is an auxiliary of Orphan Outreach. The mission of Orphan Outreach is to improve the lives of orphans and at-risk children by meeting their physical, emotional, educational, and spiritual needs. WOW chapters around the world are committed to supporting Orphan Outreach in making a lasting difference for the precious children they serve in Guatemala, Honduras, India, Kenya, Latvia and Russia. Hope and Future is a children’s home that provides a safe and loving environment for more than 22 teen moms and children rescued from abuse, neglect, and trafficking. The home not only takes care of the teenage moms, but their babies as well.
Angelina has been a member of Girl Scouts since 2nd grade and says the program has taught her valuable life skills. One of the most important was leadership skills along with patience, respect, responsibility, and confidence. In her own words, “I have learned that I can take on big projects and use my resources in an efficient and productive manner.”
The Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can earn, combines leadership development, career exploration and community service. It culminates in an 80 plus hour leadership project that each girl plans and executes according to her own interest and passions. Each girl must discover an issue in the community, connect with experts and community members, and take action to effect positive change.
For more information about Girl Scouts, call Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas at 972-349-2400. Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas is 26,600 girls and 12,500 adult members strong. That's nearly 40,000 girls and adults who believe every girl can change the world! We have girls reaching their fullest potential in 32 northeast Texas counties. Our girls are discovering what’s important to them, connecting with their community, and taking action to make the world a better place!