Ambassador Girl Scout Julia Shepstone of New Territory (Brazos Valley Community – Troop 28103) completed her Girl Scout Gold Award – the highest achievement a Girl Scout can earn, symbolizing outstanding accomplishments in the areas of leadership, community service and advocacy.
The Girl Scout Gold Award involves more than a year of work, including a minimum of 80 hours of planning and leading a project that benefits the community and will have a long-term impact on the girl’s community.
Shepstone’s project addressed the issue of communication with scoliosis. Scoliosis is the curvature and twisting of the spine. Most times, scoliosis is idiopathic, meaning that the root cause of that particular case is unknown. Through a website and outreach programs, she improved understanding about scoliosis. Her website can be found at www.bendybacks.org.
In today’s society, the average American has never even heard of scoliosis. With the introduction of this project to the community, she hoped that this would change, and this hypothesis was overwhelmingly true. In terms of who benefitted, she originally intended to only reach out to scoliosis patients themselves, but she later decided it was not necessarily the ones with scoliosis who needed the most guiding, but actually their parents, relatives, and friends. That’s why on the website she decided to share many of her parents’ opinions and thought process about her case of scoliosis.
“With the dozens of families and patients I did help, I felt proudest when I was able to calm a worrisome mother or an apprehensive father, contemplating the obstacles of scoliosis treatment,” she said.
Shepstone is an 12th grader at Stephen F. Austin High School and is the daughter of Sharon and Keith Shepstone. She plans to pursue a finance degree from Texas A&M University in the fall of 2017.