WATCHUNG, NJ –  A member of the Girl Scouts of America since the first grade, Lauren St. Louis of Piscataway has earned her Silver Award after helping to establish a “Community Corner” at the Piscataway Library. 

A sophomore at Mount Saint Mary Academy in Watchung, Lauren is a member of Troop 80849, which is part of the Central and Southern NJ Council. The Silver Award, which she officially received on May 21, 2017 at the G.I.R.L. Achievement Awards, is earned when a scout is a Cadette and involves developing a project that can help the community in some way.

“The scout must contribute 50 hours to the project and report its results,” explained Lauren. “I came up with our project by brainstorming events that could be held in our town. My troop noticed that our local library’s Maker Day Faire, a science fair, had no real local organizations present.”

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“This led us to develop our project which was to create a Community Corner,” she said. “We contacted local businesses and asked them to support the event. We visited the actual businesses and helped on the day of the Faire. The Community Corner was a section in the library on the day of the Faire which showcased these businesses and other STEM-related activities which were led by our troop.

The faire was held on March 25th at the Piscataway Library. It is an annual event held in this library, and throughout the state New Jersey which in held in the month of March. 

Lauren believes that her project was consistent with the Mercy Core Value of service – one of five values underlined at Mount Saint Mary Academy, which is a sponsored work of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas. The other Mercy Core Values are justice, compassion, integrity and respect.

“My project was consistent with the Mercy Core Value of service because we needed to dedicate many hours of our time to the project,” she shared. “The time spent involved working on the logistics of the project, and making flyers to pass out at school and around the town. Our Community Corner made many people more aware of the unique and resourceful local businesses that they might not have known of.”

She added, “The project helped the local businesses because this brought them potential customers and more public recognition. The project also brought more attention to the Maker Day Faire, which is built around STEM, and tied it in with women and the STEM field.”

“When I first joined Girl Scouts, it was only because my mother wanted me to be involved in extracurricular activities,” reflected Lauren. “I thought of it as just another club where we did projects and had fun. Now, I look at being a Girl Scout as a way to directly reach the community through unique ways.”

When asked about why scouting organization is special to her, she said, “It brings together the ideas of volunteering and service through sisterhood. Being part of the Girl Scouts for so many years has really helped mold me into the person I am today, and it has led me to meet some of my best friends.”

Lauren, who is also a member of the Mount Saint Mary Academy Forensics team, Model United Nations, and Chemistry Club, added, “This organization continues to keep me aware of the positive changes that determined people can bring to their community and beyond.”