HOWLAND, Ohio (WKBN) – A local high school junior has earned a top Girl Scout honor for her project on helping combat the Valley’s drug addiction problem. It also honors her fellow students who have lost their lives.
Lindsey Shrodek launched a campaign at the beginning of the year at Howland High School to help inform people about drug addiction.
It’s not only to remember 11 students who lost their lives to drug overdoses in recent years, but to start a conversation
“A lot of people have to start that conversation in order for them to get better, and I’m hoping to start a conversation with this garden,” she said.
Through Girl Scouts, Shrodek identified a problem in her community and decided to do something about it, earning her the Girl Scout Gold Award.
“A lot of people personally have struggled with the heroin epidemic or drug addiction,” she said.
At Howland High School, Shrodek put together the Howland Hope Garden outside the gym that aims to help those facing drug addiction, something she hopes will last forever.
Each lantern in the garden represents a graduate who lost their life to a drug overdose. Rocks are hand-painted by people who pledge to help and a mailbox has resources in it like helplines and ways to deal with addiction.
“So, I wanted to create a space where people could go to get help because there’s a mailbox to get help or just feel safe and comfortable,” Shrodek said.
Through her research, Shrodek says helping students talk about their mental health and learn how to deal with their problems helps.
“That’s a big reason why people go to drugs and develop drug addiction, is because they don’t have healthy coping mechanisms,” Shrodek said.
Her mother and Girl Scout leader, Carol Shrodek, says Lindsey’s compassion for people has fueled her drive to help.
“She looks out for people that are less fortunate, people that struggle in their lives. She just has a lot of kindness and heart,” Carol said.
That kindness and heart is leaving a lasting impression.
“This is going to be permanently implemented at the school, and it’s going to continue to be added on to. So, that’s the whole thing about the Girl Scout Gold Award — you’re permanently fixing a problem in your community,” Lindsey said.
Lindsey will be recognized for all her hard work in June, when she’ll receive her award.