Lauren Gross, a 17-year-old senior at Council Rock South and a Girl Scout since the fourth grade, is working towards the scout's highest acheivement—The Gold Award.
In order to receive the Gold Award, scouts must plan a project that can change the world on a local scale, or "make a lasting impression on the community" as Troop 2273 Leader Cindy Cook explained it.
Gross, who has been in Cook's troop since the fourth grade, presented her idea and was approved by the Gold Award Committee to proceed. She has since been working with children and teens through the Autism Cares Foundation on art projects.
"She came up with the idea for her project and proposed it to Linda Kuepper, one of the co-founders of Autism Cares Foundation," Cook said. "Lauren came up with the ideas for the art and then wanted to showcase the talents of these fine artists."
Scouts working towards a Gold Award must log at least 80 hours on the project, Cook said. Additionally, the scout has to train a team of volunteers (a minimum of five people who are not related to the scout) to assist her in making the project come to fruition.
Cook has been moral support for Gross and has acted as a "sounding board" for her. Some of the girls from the troop have participated in the project and attended the workshops to help Gross, in addition to other volunteers.
"Lauren is passionate about what she does and truly is thrilled to be doing this project," Cook said.
For the past three weeks Gross and her team of volunteers have been working with children and teens from the Autism Cares Foundation to create various art projects. The art will be showcased at the Art for Autism show, which is the final step of Gross' project.
To show support for Gross' project and the Autism Cares Foundation, view the works of art at the Art for Autism show at Northampton Township Library from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 24.
Before starting work on the Gold Award, Gross also earned the Bronze and Silver Award. Aside from participating in the Girl Scouts, she is involved in the Theater Company at CR South as an actor and student director and is an officer for the choir.