Emily, a 17-year-old high school graduate from the Charlotte area, has earned a Donate Life NC Honor Cord. She chose to focus her Girl Scout Gold Award project on organ, eye and tissue donation by creating a new teen registration drive package for Donate Life North Carolina. She spent several months researching registration trends amongst her peers before creating an online guide, as well as ready-to-mail packages for high school students interested in running a donor registration drive at their own schools.
We talked to Emily about her project and what she learned about becoming a donor.
DLNC: Emily, what made you decide to do a project involving organ, eye and tissue donation?
I decided to do a project involving organ donation after I was asked to be an organ donor when receiving my license. I had not talked about it with my parents ahead of time and it was completely unexpected. I want other kids to be more prepared than I was.
DLNC: For those who don’t know, what is the Girl Scout Gold Award?
The Girl Scout Gold Award is the highest award in the Girl Scouts organization. The easiest way to think of it is as the Girl Scout equivalent to the Eagle Scout Award in Boy Scouts.
DLNC: What did you do for the project?
For my project I ran multiple booths and classes to be able to gain enough experience to write a descriptive guide about running a booth to be handed out to other students. My guide is available on the Donate Life NC app for anyone interested in looking at it!
DLNC: What's something you learned about organ donation doing this project?
I learned a lot about organ donation during this project. Specifically, I learned more about the process of organ donation and the rules and laws behind it.
DLNC: What's something you learned that you can apply to anything (not related to donation)?
I definitely learned a lot about public speaking and presenting myself and project to others. I can always use practice but I am much more confident speaking to others than I was before this project.
DLNC: What would you say to someone who wasn't sure about registering as an organ donor?
If you aren't sure about registering, then don't stress about it! Whether you register or not, you can always change your decision later. I think that it is important to take a deep look at the details and information about donation and to talk with your loved ones about your decision and theirs. Being informed is the most important thing.