Ambassador Girl Scout
What are some of your favorite hobbies?
Going to the beach, spending time with friends, and eating out.
What college do you plan to attend? Have you decided on your major?
I am going to Stetson University to study Sociology. I am going on the Trustee Scholarship, as well as the Presidential Fellows Program
What is the title of your project?
American Flag Retirement Box Program
Tell us more about your project and how you completed it.
The United States Flag Code requires citizens to properly display the American Flag and to dispose of it when it is no longer fit to display. Members of my community have old flags and they do not know what to do with them. They are not familiar with all the requirements of the U.S. Flag Code, but they know that they want to take care of their flags in a respectful manner. My project provided education about the proper display, care, and disposal of American Flags as required by the U.S. Flag Code as well as created a place (flag retirement collection boxes) where community members can responsibly dispose of their old flags.
I addressed the root cause of my issues by creating three flag retirement boxes and placing them in three neighboring villages: Miami Shores, El Portal, and Biscayne Park. On the top of each box, I included a QR code, which, when scanned, will direct people to a webpage – https://www.usa.gov/flag – with information on how to properly display, care for and retire the American flag. In addition, I created a flier that was placed next to the flag boxes explaining when to retire a flag and how to care for and display the American flag. I also handed out this flier to people at various local community events such as Earth Day, Jazz at the Park, and Green Day. This provided people with insight into how their flags would be handled after dropping them off in the flag retirement box. By educating people on how to properly retire their flags and by giving them an easy way to retire their flags, I was able to address the community problem of not knowing how or where to properly dispose of their flags.
Why is this project important to you?
This project is important to me because I have several family members that have either served in the U.S. military or are currently serving.
What was the biggest challenge you faced and how did you overcome it?
It was more expensive to make the boxes and complete the project than I had expected. The wood ended up costing a significant amount of money than what we had to yet budgeted for. I had to make copies of the PowerPoint presentation for several of the Village meetings, so more money went towards copies. Thankfully, I got a generous grant from the Rotary Club of Miami Shores, had some Cookie money, and was able to sell a lot of ice cream at the fundraisers. All this money helped cover the gap between the budget and the actual cost.
I also ran into a problem with making the signs for the top of the boxes. When reaching out to companies to see if they would be interested in working with me, many of the companies did not get back to me or if they did get back to me, the signs were out of my price range. I had to make my own signs for the boxes, which was more affordable but more time-consuming. I had to make several trips to OfficeMax to laminate the signs and cut them to fit the box and look presentable. There was a lot of trial and error because I was trying to get a nice match with the color of the boxes. I also worked with several friends and neighbors to make sure that the sign made sense in Spanish, Haitian Creole, and Portuguese.
Moreover, because I made the signs, I had to figure out how to make the signs in Braille, so they could still be A.D.A. compliant. I had to purchase some tools that would help create the imprint onto the laminated signs where the dent was deep enough that it could be felt and understood by someone who was visually impaired or blind. I then learned how to write in Braille through research on the internet.
How does this project contribute to your future goals?
It keeps me civically engaged. I plan on working a job that makes a change in my community, so finding one way to be involved is a step headed in the right direction to my future.
What did you learn about yourself in the process of completing your project?
I learned that I am very passionate about my community and care about the needs of the people and society around me. I also learned that I need to have better time management and try not to schedule things for later, but schedule them for when I am available and as soon as possible so I do not need to stress about it later.
What did you learn about your community in the process of completing your project?
I learned that a lot of people have American flags in their houses and don't know what to do with them. My community is also very willing to help solve an issue if there is a problem and is very involved in making the project possible.