Based out of St. Stans in Maspeth, NY a combined group of 22 girl scouts from Junior Troop 4378 & Cadette Troop 4509, along with their leaders, elected graffiti removal as their community service “Take Action” project this year.  The site located at the corner of Grand Ave and 83rd Street in Elmhurst, NY was chosen because it has been such an eyesore for the neighborhood for such a long time. Coincidentally, it was also featured in the December, 2013 Juniper Berry Hall of Shame.
With the approval from the site’s management company the troops got to work.  Using a portion of each troops proceeds from their cookie sales this year along with the help and sponsorship from Gary Giordano, District Manager for Community Board 5 in Queens, the troops managed to secure paint and supplies to be able to paint over the graffiti on the building.
Work on this project serves to beautify the community but more importantly it contributes to the values of teamwork, leadership and service being taught to these girls who range in ages from 9 to 12.

Hope you enjoy some of the before and after pictures. Unfortunately, this accomplishment was short lived. Less than 24 hours later, by the break of dawn, someone managed to ruin the great work done by these girls. 
Now for some of the girls the sense of joy and accomplishment experienced just a few short hours before has turned to feelings of dismay and discouragement as they experience the effects of those who can be so heartless. In the end, this is a bitter/sweet story with take away lessons from both sides of the spectrum. It’s a lesson about “girl” power and love for their community along with a lesson on dealing with disillusionment. 

Photo: Scouts in attendance (in alphabetical order):
From Junior Troop 4378 (front wearing green vests) – Olivia Bradley, Olivia Carpente, Cassidy Conte, Olivia Davis, Topaz Gal-Zur, Sabrina Lanci, Kayla Rodriguez, Andrea Sanchez, Theresa Shanderson, Kirsten Szeto, Lexi Velez, Angelica Vivas