When Girl Scout Ambassador Faith Endsley started thinking about going Gold, she knew exactly what she wanted to do to improve the community that she is a part of. Faith is a member of Girls Night Out (GNO), a social skills and self-care program for adolescent girls with autism and other developmental disabilities through the University of Kansas Medical System. Through GNO, girls who have autism are paired up with a mentor, a girl who does not have autism, for one year. Throughout that year they get together for monthly activities like movie outings, shopping events, spa nights and holiday parties, just to name a few. However, when that year is over the mentors and participants are considered alumni and the program is just over for those girls. That wasn’t something that set well with Faith who was diagnosed with autism at the age of 3. So, for her Gold Award project, she put together a plan to expand the GNO program far beyond that first year.
“I’ve learned things like self-care skills, how to dress and social skills [because of GNO],” Faith said. Faith worked closely with the founder of the program and her community advisor, Dr. Jamison to put together multiple resources for GNO program alumni. These resources included an application to pair girls with shared interests together, a catalog of activities for the pairs and a presentation. It's her hope that this will encourage lifetime friendships and connections for her community. “I want to see girls connecting, making and keeping friends because they’re doing things together that they’re both interested in [through Girls Night Out],” she said.
Once she's a Girl Scout alum, Faith plans to continue serving her community. “I plan to be a lifetime Girl Scout member and remain active with Girl Scouts. I will participate in GNO Connections as a founder, member, coordinator and supporter. It’s good to have positive girl groups to belong to. It gives me a sisterhood I do not get anywhere else.”
Thanks to Daisy's Circle, girls like Faith have access to the incredible programming that prepares them to go for Gold and make change in their communities. Thank you, Faith, for giving back and empowering girls in your community! Read more about Faith's story on our blog at www.gsksmoblog.org!