Girl Scout Gold Award focuses on the community youth center.
By Brandon HENSLEY
Perhaps it’s not worthy of being featured on “Extreme Makeover,” but the Fire House youth center in the 2500 block of Foothill Boulevard is looking much improved thanks to the efforts led by a local Girl Scout. Mithra Bhadha recently completed her Gold Award project, to the benefit of the youth center, which is located on the St. Luke’s of the Mountain’s property.
“I know there’s been problems with teenagers hanging out at stores in the past around town. So I figured helping out would be a really nice idea,” said Bhadha, 16, who will be a senior at CV High School in September.
It took the entire school year, but Bhadha was able to raise enough money to complete the job. The Fire House now boasts a California native garden lit with solar lighting. There is also now a swinging bench, umbrella, a barbecue and a Ping-Pong table.
“I’m really, really happy with the way it turned out. I didn’t think it would turn out this well but it turned out great,” Bhadha said.
It was a long process. Bhadha said she spoke to former Crescenta Valley High School counselor Dennis van Bremen, and he suggested doing work around the school for her project. He gave her ideas about doing a garden or something on earthquake awareness. Bhadha also talked with Fire House volunteer Mary O’Keefe, and they were able to decide on something.
Bhadha held a recycling drive last winter and a fundraising night at Baja Fresh in April. She said the umbrella, bench and plants each cost over $150. The CV Water District donated money toward the plants. The Ping-Pong table was donated by friends of Bhadha’s family.
“It was a long process, but it was definitely worth it,” she said.
Bhadha is interested in science and math. She is a member of CVHS Academy of Science and Medicine, led by teacher Orenda Tuason. She said she hasn’t made up her mind on where she wants to go to college or what she wants to study.
“I’m not really sure yet. There are a lot of UCs [I’m looking at] but I’m not 100 % sure yet … I have visited a lot of schools outside of Southern California but it’s still up in the air.”
Whatever she does next, at least Bhadha’s experience in Girls Scouts – she joined when she was in first grade – has been a fruitful one.
“It has helped me emerge as a leader,” she said. “It was always hard for me to talk in front of people and be an open person. Girl Scouts opened me up to accepting people and helped gain a lot of really good friends.”