Plant High School Senior Clara Burkhart spreads positivity throughout her community by creating acts of kindness for her Girl Scouts Gold Award project. She enlisted her friends and Mitchell Elementary school students to support her mission. And guess what, her project was approved; she dedicated more than eighty hours of service and incorporated requirements like sustainability to make it happen. Check out her activities and creativity on Instagram @thepositivityproject_gs.
In the words of the Girl Scouts, the Gold Award is the highest achievable award, and a mark of the truly remarkable—proof that not only can she make a difference, but also that she already has.
Clara could do her project on anything she wanted to achieve this award, and she chose to focus her project on positivity by spreading complimentary messages. Her own sense of positivity inspired her, and she was excited to share that part of herself with the community.
Clara was initially going to work with Mitchell Elementary students face to face to teach them about positivity, but due to the Pandemic, she had to alter those plans. So, to reach the whole audience at the school, she made a giant painting on a canvas that says, “Kindness is Contagious.” with vibrant bright colors and gifted to Mitchell.
“I wanted the message to be there for each class coming to the school — to see it and all of the teachers and guidance counselors to see it as a constant reminder of positivity,” Clara said.
She also met the Mitchell students involved in local Brownie Troops, and she held Zoom meetings with them to complete activities, like kindness trees. She had everyone share what positivity means to them and talked to them about complimenting others. During the height of the Pandemic, Clara felt it was important that the kids focus on what is going right in the world, not what is wrong.
One activity Clara enjoyed during her project was the playlist of music artwork, where she created cards that displayed positive lyrics to songs from all genres and generations. On each card, she wrote, “pass this on to a friend” to keep the messages going. These cards were placed in random mailboxes to spread some happiness.
She also gathered more than fifty thank you cards electronically and printed them out to have distributed to various healthcare workers at Tampa General Hospital to make sure they know they are appreciated for their dedication to others during such a challenging time.
“It’s part of who I am to be positive, but I didn’t realize how much response I would get so quickly from people, even before I would finish an activity like chalk drawings. People gave such positive feedback and wanted to share it too. I think it just takes one person to make a change,” Clara said.
Clara had followers on her Instagram account from all over the world. She was shocked and pleaded by how something so small could make such a positive impact and reach so many.
The project may be completed and approved, but Clara encourages others to keep spreading positivity any way they can and be optimistic because it makes for a better environment for everyone, making them happier and more productive.
The Brownie Troop that met with Clara over Zoom will start taking over the @thepositivityproject_gs Instagram page to keep the spread of positivity going. They, too, will share their acts of kindness and activities that take place during their meetings.
“Being positive, it leads to bigger things and makes society better; I know it sounds cheesy, but I think living with this positive mindset has helped me, and I think it can help others,” Clara shares with a big smile on her face.