Gold Award Girl Scout Developed an Ebola Education for Kids
Sadhana Anantha, Girl Scouts of the USA's 2016 National Young Women of Distinction, Girl Scouts North Carolina Coastal Pines
In response to the 2014 Ebola outbreak, Gold Award Girl Scout Sadhana Anantha developed an Ebola-testing simulation to help educate middle and high school students about the epidemic. Executed in partnership with the North Carolina Museum of Natural Science, Anantha’s Gold Award project exposed students to advanced laboratory techniques and demonstrated a real-world application of the bridge between science and medicine.
“I wanted kids to have a global view and an understanding based on science, not bias," said Anantha. "Illustrating how science and medicine evolve can be really awe-inspiring.”
Today, Anantha is in her first year of medical school at the University of Miami’s Dual Degree Program in Medicine. She cites her experiences as a Girl Scout as being an instrumental and invaluable aspect of her journey. “Girl Scouts really helped me explore my passion for science and gain exposure to different types of careers," she recalled. "As a child of immigrant parents, I did not know a lot of people. Through the network of Girl Scout Alums, I was able to make connections that I would not have been able to make otherwise.”
She also indicated that selling Girl Scout cookies played an important role, helping her build confidence, courage, and a willingness to take initiative in order to achieve a specific goal.
To pay it forward, Anantha has remained active, often seizing opportunities to inspire the next generation through speaking engagements. She offered this advice to students who aspire to be a force-for-good in their communities: “If you have the passion to make a difference," she said, "you are never too young. Just start somewhere and take action, because you never know where it can take you.”
Anantha also encourages students to be more open-minded about various subjects. “Innovation is bred through the interconnections between different disciplines. Bring your passion for art or history into your science and vice versa!”