Higher Sense of Purpose | Girl Scouts

Higher Sense of Purpose

Her Silver Award was another step toward helping others and seeing her community respond to her efforts, which led to her Gold Award project: creating a mobile library full of books for kids and teens with dyslexia, like herself. “I was amazed that the school I attended was for children primarily with dyslexia, and we had no free reading books. Even though I have dyslexia, I still enjoy reading for fun. I wanted to try and instill my love of reading for pleasure in my classmates.”

Elayna started by hosting a book drive that collected more than 500 middle school and high school-level books for dyslexic readers. She then built a bookcase to house the donations and, because the pandemic restricted in-person visitations, Elayna designed a digital database so readers could browse books without crowding around a bookcase.

She also received words of encouragement to keep going with her Gold Award from someone rather notable. “I wanted to connect with a dyslexic author, so I reached out to Henry Winkler. I was able to have a phone conversation that was truly motivational and special. It was a turning point in my project and in my life,” Elayna recalls.

“The highlight of watching Elayna complete her highest awards were in those moments where she would push herself out of her comfort zone to complete a task,” says Danielle F., her mother. “Yes, she would be nervous prior, but she knew that she had to take certain steps to complete her projects. Whether it was conducting an interview, applying for a park permit, or speaking in front of the township board during a committee meeting, Elayna has pushed herself to her limits and that has been the most amazing part of the projects. In my mind, Elayna has broken the stereotype of what dyslexia is and is not, and I am sure she will continue to do so in the future.”

Elayna’s future is bright, thanks to her experiences in Girl Scouting. “Being a Girl Scout has taught me to believe in myself. If you believe in yourself, you can do anything!”

Girl Scouts really can do anything they put their minds to, including making a positive change in people’s lives—every single day.