Alyssa Fink, senior at Chandler Preparatory Academy, recently earned the Gold Award- the highest achievement within the Girl Scouts!
Q. What inspired your Gold Award project?
A. I have been fostering kittens for almost two years now, and have had the joy of caring for seven litters. A little over a year ago there was a litter of three – Almond, Golden, and Boba, also known as the Boba Teas – that all passed away very suddenly within a few days of each other. A few weeks later Groot, a single kitten, passed away in my arms after only three days of foster care. Although my more recent litters have all thrived and moved on to their forever homes, those four have lingered in my mind constantly. According to the Humane Society, there was nothing that I could have done differently, but I wanted to ensure that no foster family ever has to deal with such losses again.
Q. Short description of your project?
A. I organized several groups of young people to learn about fostering and make cat toys for foster families, and donated these supplies along with a shelf and newly organized closet to the Arizona Humane Society. I also compiled all of the foster information booklets into a more comprehensible and user-friendly format.
Q. What were the results or impact of your project?
A. My project helped to organize the Arizona Humane Society’s foster program so that foster families are fully prepared, both with information and supplies, to confront any problems that arrive when caring for their kittens.
Q. What important lessons did you learn about yourself
A. I think one of the biggest lessons that I learned from working on my Gold Award is that everyone is willing to help – if their contribution is simple and straightforward. At first it was difficult to find a project or volunteers to help me complete it, but when I performed all of the complicated parts beforehand, people were excited to work with me. For example, I was having difficulty communicating with the Humane Society, but when I outlined exactly what I wanted to do and specifically what I needed done to help me, things got done a lot faster.
Q. What has Girl Scouting meant to you or what impact
A. The biggest impact that Girl Scouting has had on my life is through the CIT program. I have been a counselor-in-training at Willow Springs for the past three summers, and have never failed return home more confident, happy, and carefree. Going to camp has taught me how to love both others and myself, regardless of apparent flaws or differences; I know that I will carry this lesson with me for the rest of my life.
Q. What are your future plans, after high school?
A. I plan to major in Architecture somewhere along the West coast. I hope to participate in Peace Corps or some other service-oriented organization after college before I intern under an experienced
Q. Any other interesting information about yourself?
A. My first foster litter arrived in the middle of an intense shoulder recovery process when I was especially dependent on others, and I wanted a way that others could be able to depend on me. Caring for my kittens gave me a reason to want to wake up each day. Without fostering, I don’t know where I would be today, and I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to give more back to the foster program.