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You Are Here : Home : FOR DONORS : 2012 Year End Appeal : Lauren: Standing Up for Others, Despite Wheelchair

How Your Gift Helps GirlsBuilding the Next Generation of LeadersDonate OnlineDonor Testimonials Eva Patterson, Civil Rights Pioneer: How Girl Scouts Helped Me

When You Support Girl Scouts, You Support the Next Generation of Leaders. Leaders like ...

Lauren refuses to let her wheelchair keep her from standing up for others.

A Girl Scout from Shasta County, Lauren has experienced a lifetime of discrimination because she was born with multiple disabilities. Lauren is a member of a unique Girl Scout troop where each member has special needs because of conditions like autism, spina bifida, and cerebral palsy.

When Lauren was younger, her mom, Marty, would tell her that people just didn’t know that they were hurting the feelings of a person with disabilities. So it became a passion for Lauren at a very young age to educate the public. When she needed a Gold Award project, her passion and wanting to educate folks became a perfect fit.

“When my mom and I go to In and Out, sometimes we eat in the car,” Lauren explains. “Sometimes, there are birds around begging for food."

"One crow has a growth on its beak and another has no foot, only a leg and walks on one foot and a peg. The other birds chase away the two crows who are handicapped. They are bullied. The two birds are hungry and hurt.  Often that is how the public treats the disabled.  I only hope they don’t know any better.”  

Lauren’s Gold Award project translated her passion into action by creating and delivering disability awareness workshops in her community to students, parents, and community organizations where she shares what it is like emotionally and physically to have a disability. Participants learn about 17 types of disabilities, from autism to learning impairment to schizophrenia, and how to recognize hurtful behaviors and shift to compassion and understanding.

“What would it be like if you couldn’t read anything?” she asks participants. “How would your life change?”

Lauren serves as an advocate for her Girl Scout sisters in her troop. Rather than being angry to see her friend with disabilities being discounted as a person, she now chooses to open a conversation.

Every day, Girl Scouts of Northern California helps girls like Lauren develop their courage, confidence, and character. Won’t you join us? Become a Girl Scouts NorCal supporter today!