Ramesh strives for the Silver

Freshman+Himmani+Ramesh+standing+in+her+beige+Girl+Scout+sash.+%0A%E2%80%9CThe+hardest+part+of+the+presentation+was+planning+out+the+presentation%2C+and+finding+things+to+do+for+it%2C%22+Ramesh+said.+

Freshman Himmani Ramesh standing in her beige Girl Scout sash. “The hardest part of the presentation was planning out the presentation, and finding things to do for it," Ramesh said.

Anjali Sundaram, Reporter

Ramesh at the Cedar Park public library teaching about sugar to young kids.
Ramesh at the Cedar Park public library teaching about sugar to young kids.

Girl Scouts have been a symbol in our society for quite some time; recognizable by their iconic Girl Scout cookies and the green, brown and beige sashes. Current Girl Scout and freshman Himanni Ramesh orchestrated a workshop to teach the younger scouts about the dangers of sugar.

“I chose to teach children about the dangers of added sugars because kids are more likely to think about the information and apply it to their lives instead of forgetting about it,” Ramesh said.

During the workshop, Ramesh explains the difference between artificial and natural sugar through a 10 minute presentation and several creative and interactive games. The workshop is spread throughout the months of August and September.

“The purpose of this project was to educate people on how much sugar they are eating and the impact that it is having,” she said. “This is because I learned how much sugar we used to have [consume] compared to how much we have [consume] now, and the huge gap in between the two.”

Some of the reasons sugar can be harmful, as Ramesh explains, is that one can develop insulin resistance which can result in diabetes, and according to her research, no matter how healthy one is, there is a higher risk of heart disease if one consumes excess sugar.

Not only has Ramesh taught what she has learned to several kids, she also has applied her newfound knowledge in her day-to-day life.

“Learning about sugar has changed my view because I used to think sugar only caused a few things, but in reality the harm sugar does extends far beyond what I had predicted,” Ramesh said.  “My diet [also] changed after I did my research, and I am a lot more conscious of what I am putting in my body now.”

Ramesh not only gave a presentation with a three foot tri-fold board, but also created different activities to get parents and kids involved. One game featured, was the “sorting foods” game. Basically each team would get a box filled with boxed food.  All teams were then tasked with the challenge of arranging the food in order of what they thought had the highest sugar content to the lowest sugar content, with a time limit of five minutes.

“I came up with the idea of sorting foods by which goods had the highest sugar content, because I thought it would be interesting for people to see how much sugar was in their favorite foods, even the ones which weren’t sweet,” Ramesh said.

The August presentation was the first that Ramesh ever had and she was surrounded by support. It was done at the Sai Baba temple. Some of the people there included her parents, brother and her Girl Scouts Troop leader.

“I was very proud to see her take ownership of her project and develop so many skills, and overcome so many challenges,” Ramesh’s mom Preetha Ramesh said. “I was especially proud because she was able to finish the project in such a small time frame because I know she never settles for anything less than perfection.”

Clad in a black shirt, blue jeans and the iconic beige Girl Scout sash; Ramesh glides up to the stage of the Sai Baba temple where a crowd of roughly 20 people await her, she starts her presentation.

“I was really nervous right before the presentation but once I had finished I was really proud of myself for doing it,” Ramesh said. “Though, if I could change one thing about the presentation, I would be more confident in myself.”

The entire project was based off of the requirements needed for one to get the Silver Award. According to Ramesh, the Silver Award requirements are: finding an issue in the community that is close to the Girl Scout’s heart and find a way to fix it.

“Getting a silver award is special to me because it is an amazing opportunity to help my community and express my passion for healthy eating,” Ramesh said. “This is why I chose to educate people to make better choices.”

Though, according to Ramesh, Girl Scouts isn’t just about the awards or the cool opportunities, rather the community and support that each girl gives and gets.

“My favorite part about Girl Scouts is that your troop is a really tight knit community and an amazing support group,” she said.

Ramesh has since then gotten her Silver award and expresses her favorite part about her project.

“The best part of the activity was getting questions about it afterward, because that’s how I knew that people were interested in my presentation,” she said.