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Teen receives award for scoliosis project

Posted: May 13, 2014 - 4:20pm
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Girl Scout Elisabeth Harkins, won a Silver Award for campaign to raise awareness of scoliosis, which she has.  SPECIAL
SPECIAL
Girl Scout Elisabeth Harkins, won a Silver Award for campaign to raise awareness of scoliosis, which she has.

A North Augusta teen’s quest to raise awareness about scoliosis has earned her the Girl Scout Silver Award; however, her mission is far from over.

Elisabeth Harkins, 14, began her project, Scoliosis Beyond the Curve, about two years ago in an effort to raise awareness about scoliosis and the importance of children getting checked for it early.

Scoliosis is a curvature of the spine and can be S-shaped or C-shaped.

In order to receive the Silver Award, the highest honor a Cadette can receive, Elisabeth had to complete 50 hours of work, a journey booklet, and do a final report on the project.

Elisabeth, who was diagnosed with scoliosis a few years ago, formed the Curvy Girls GA/SC-Scoliosis Support Group, a two-state chapter of a national organization; collected 150 pounds of items including socks, coloring books, pens and pencils for children in West Ghana having spinal fusion surgery; received a proclamation from Gov. Nikki Haley recognizing June as Scoliosis Awareness Month in South Carolina; and started a campaign to raise awareness about scoliosis throughout the community through various media.

“It all counted for something,” she said of the efforts, adding that each thing she did benefitted others.

She officially completed the requirements for the Silver Award on April 5 and received her award during a ceremony May 4 at Presbyterian College in Clinton, S.C. She was one of 95 girls in a 22-county Girl Scout council to receive the award.

Now that she has received the award, she has her sights on the Gold Award, the highest honor a Girl Scout can receive, and continuing her efforts to spread awareness about scoliosis, said Elisabeth.

“For something to be so big, not a lot of people know about it,” she said of scoliosis.

After she bridges into the next level of Girl Scouts later this year, she hopes to begin working on the Gold Award.

Her goal during that project is to provide scoliosis meters in at least every elementary school in Aiken County.

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