SHREWSBURY – Several Shrewsbury Girl Scouts have earned the President’s Volunteer Service Award.
An honorary ceremony held by Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts took place on April 2 to recognize the recipients.
According to the award website, it “honors individuals whose service positively impacts communities in every corner of the nation and inspires those around them to take action, too.”
Different age groups must complete a set amount of volunteer hours to qualify for the award. For instance, children under 10 need at least 75 hours of service for the gold award, while adults (26 years or older) need over 500 hours to qualify.
Celia Marichal (155 volunteer hours), Navyaa Ravi (102 hours) and Shruti Sivashankar (121 hours) achieved the gold level of the award. Melina Lam (79 hours), Kaitlyn Minton (79 hours), and Patricia Minton (473 hours) earned the silver level, while Aruna Tikaare (120 hours) and Saradha Madhuragopal (162 hours) achieved the bronze level.
In information provided to the Community Advocate, Tammy Breen, the special events and project manager for the central and western Massachusetts organization, detailed the importance of volunteering for Girl Scouts. Breen said that volunteering is in Girl Scouts’ DNA, noting how “volunteering is something Girl Scouts have done every day of their lives from daisies to adults.”
Patricia Minton, the leader of Troop 11087, described the excitement of earning the award.
“The girls were thrilled that they were able to achieve this. A lot of them surprised me with how many hours they were able to achieve,” she said. “There’s a lot of real leaders in this troop.”
“Volunteering is important to me because it allows me to help my community in a variety of ways,” Lam told the Community Advocate. “It makes me feel good about myself when I do something positive for others without expecting anything in return. To be recognized for my work made me feel proud of what I have accomplished with my work for the community.”
Sivashankar also shared her love of volunteering with the Community Advocate.
“I love volunteering because it’s a really easy way to give back to a community that already does so much for me. So, I feel that volunteering allows me to give my thanks to my Shrewsbury community and the Girl Scouts community,” she said.
Lam encourages the community to follow in the Girl Scouts’ footsteps and spend time volunteering.
“For anyone who wants to get involved in their community, I would tell them to do it! Reach out to schools and clubs… There are so many organizations and people that need a helping hand,” she said.
Tikaare agreed with Lam.
“I would encourage everyone to indulge in some community-oriented work,” she said. “Many hands make light work.”