Memorial student earns Girl Scouts’ highest honor for community history project
Ruhi Thapar has joined an exclusive club in the Girl Scouts organization.
Thapar, a Memorial High School senior, has become a Gold Award Girl Scout. The honor recognizes girls in grades 9 through 12 who demonstrate extraordinary leadership through sustainable and measurable community service projects that require a minimum of 80 hours to complete. Less than five percent of Girl Scouts earn the award.
According to the Girl Scout Research Institute’s (GSRI) report “The Power of the Girl Scout Gold Award: Excellence in Leadership and Life,” Gold Award Girl Scouts receive greater lifetime benefits than their peers with regard to positive sense of self, life satisfaction, leadership, life success, community service and civic engagement thanks to their experience in Girl Scouting, including earning their Gold Award.
Thapar created an oral record of the concise history of the Memorial Villages and Spring Branch area. She wanted to help bridge the gap between generations. Thapar led more than 20 volunteers in research, interviews, taking landmark pictures, hosting tours and writing/editing. According to Thapar, she hopes that an insight into the rich history will encourage people to preserve not only traditions but also landmarks and the environment.
“Knowledge of history instills in people a sense of belonging to a community as they learn about the efforts and dreams of the founders,” said Thapar. “I hope that future generations will develop an appreciation of the past and the important lessons it teaches.”
Thapar also made a booklet which is available to the residents of the Memorial Villages and Spring Branch through the local library and city offices. Her project brought people close by enlightening them about the importance of traditions and community events.
“I was passionate about exploring the historical development of a community,” said Thapar. “I had noticed a growing emphasis on materialism and a disregard for preserving traditions and the environment. It is my belief that a community that appreciates its past is more likely to practice a sustainable lifestyle.”
Thapar plans to attend a four-year university and study health and human biology or public health.