Westfield junior awarded SMWC scholarship

July 21st, 2015 | SMWC

Sara Zaloudek receives scholarship
(l to r) Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College President Dottie King, Ph.D., and Girl Scout Gold Award and $10,000 SMWC scholarship recipient, Sara Zaloudek

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College in partnership with Girl Scouts of Central Indiana recently awarded a $10,000 scholarship at the Girl Scouts’ Girls of Distinction brunch in Indianapolis, Ind.

Selected from among 33 Girl Scout Gold Award recipients, Sara Zaloudek received a $10,000 scholarship over four years to Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. Zaloudek, who shows a proclivity for and commitment to leadership, will be a junior at Westfield High School this fall. She is the daughter of Kris and Jim Zaloudek.

“We are so grateful to Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College for this new scholarship opportunity for Girl Scout Gold Award recipients,” said Deborah Hearn Smith, chief executive officer of Girl Scouts of Central Indiana. “The Gold Award is the highest award in Girl Scouts, and it’s all based on building leadership skills and performing community service. This scholarship is a wonderful way to recognize a girl’s achievements and build on her success for a bright future.”

To be eligible for the scholarship the recipient must be a Gold Award recipient. This prestigious award challenges girls to make a difference in their communities and beyond. Zaloudek did just that by recognizing a need and addressing it.

Zaloudek worked with the staff of Magnolia Springs to create a "courtyard with a purpose" at the newly built assisted living facility. She began by developing a plan for a barren courtyard, which included laying a circular path, selecting plants and benches, and adding two raised garden beds. Zaloudek then recruited volunteers to come out for several workdays to help turn her vision into a reality.

She also took the time to share with volunteers the importance of their work, sharing how the new space would create an outdoor space for the patients in the memory care unit. The plants Zaloudek chose for the garden were all plants and herbs that would trigger the senses for visitors. For patients this might spark a memory they could share with family and caregivers allowing for a bridge between the individuals to be made. The facility's culinary staff has found an added benefit to the two raised herb gardens, as they have been able to use many of the fresh herbs in meal preparations for residents.

"I was so surprised and happy to hear the news about the generous scholarship from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College,” stated Zaloudek. “It is an honor to have been selected out of all the Girl Scouts that were recommended. Thank you for believing in my academic future!"

The driving force of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College and Girl Scouts is the empowerment of girls and young women. Both organizations provide opportunities for individual growth and service to their communities through collaboration and strong leadership skills.

“We are proud to announce this scholarship, which reflects the importance of civic engagement in a Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College education,” said Dottie King, Ph.D., president of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College.  “Our liberal arts education provides our students with the knowledge, skills and tools to effect real change in their workplace and in their community. We look forward to building upon the foundation that Sara received from Girl Scouts through strong programming, mentoring and leadership development.”

We're Girl Scouts

We're 2.8 million strong—2 million girls and 800,000 adults who believe girls can change the world. It began over 100 years ago with one woman, Girl Scouts' founder Juliette Gordon "Daisy" Low, who believed in the power of every girl. She organized the first Girl Scout troop on March 12, 1912, in Savannah, Georgia, and every year since, we've made her vision a reality, helping girls discover their strengths, passions, and talents. Today we continue the Girl Scout mission of building girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. We're the preeminent leadership development organization for girls. And with programs for girls from coast to coast and across the globe, Girl Scouts offers every girl a chance to do something amazing. To volunteer, reconnect, donate, or join, visit girlscoutsindiana.org or call 855.GSCIN.4U.

About Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, known for its rich liberal arts education, strong Catholic tradition and ranking consistently as one of the Best Baccalaureate Colleges in the Midwest by “U.S. News & World Report,” has a long history of commitment to academic excellence and leadership among women. Visit www.smwc.edu.

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