Amador Valley High junior Audrey Morse recently received a Gold Award from the Girl Scouts of Northern California for her efforts to bring art supplies to young patients at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital in Oakland.
Morse's "Art Cart for Healing," delivered to the hospital earlier this year, is being used by children undergoing diagnostic tests and treatments to help make their experience less intimidating and more comforting, according to hospital officials.
"I've always loved working with young children, whether through being a summer camp counselor to coordinating programs for younger Girl Scouts," Morse said in a statement. "Seeing how this cart will help ease the stress of medical procedures for both kids and their parents through art therapy is so exciting for me."
A Girl Scout since 2004, Morse started working on her Gold Award project in January 2015. It took nearly half a year for her Gold Award proposal to receive endorsements from hospital and Girl Scouts officials.
Patient safety was a top priority for the hospital, according to Morse. "I had to change the construction materials to melamine to ensure that it could be cleaned properly for the safety of the kids that would be using it," she said.
Morse began construction last August and delivered the completed art cart to Children's Hospital in late February. Girl Scouts representatives announced her Gold Award recognition May 4.
The honor recognizes Scouts for completing a service project that requires them to demonstrate leadership skills and make a difference in the world around them.
"It is an honor to bestow the Gold Award to exceptional girls like Audrey whose commitment and initiative betters themselves and the world around them," said Marina Park, CEO of Girl Scouts of Northern California.
"The intensive work behind the Gold Award epitomizes how Girl Scouting helps to set a girl on her path, and then she can take it anywhere from there," Park added.