For one local Girl Scout, spreading the love of music is more than a passion, it’s her mission. Sofia Fahsi of Nashua, recently earned her Girl Scout Gold Award for creating and leading a music program for senior citizens in her community.
A Girl Scout since second grade, Fahsi has fully embraced the nonprofit’s motto of being a girl of courage, confidence, and character, who makes the world a better place. In addition to her Gold Award, she has also earned her Bronze and Silver Girl Scout Awards by helping her community.
Partnering with her local animal shelter in fifth grade, Fahsi collected food, blankets, and other items needed for the shelter’s animals. She also held a school assembly for her peers which highlighted ways to help shelter animals, ultimately earning her Bronze Girl Scout Award.
In eighth grade, she earned her Silver Award by working with three troop members to improve two local homeless shelters. The group raised money through donations and grants to purchase couches, blinds and curtains for each room, sheets and comforter sets for every bed, and new dressers. They didn’t stop there. They also educated community members on homelessness and how they could help as well.
The Girl Scout Gold Award is the most prestigious award for girls in the world, requiring a minimum of 80 hours of work on a project that not only makes a difference now, but can also be sustained to make a significant impact for years to come. Only 6 percent of Girl Scouts earn the award annually.
For Fahsi, earning her Girl Scout Gold Award came down to her passion for music and her dedication to make a difference.
“I love working with people and I love music,” she said. “I loved the idea of teaching a group of people to play an instrument that otherwise would never have the opportunity.”
After reading an article that cited how music can help senior citizens improve their memory, Fahsi began brainstorming ideas for her Gold Award project, ultimately deciding to teach ukulele to elderly community members. It turned out to not only be a learning experience for her students, but also for herself.
“I learned that I am capable of more than I think. I often doubted, and still do doubt myself, but what I figured out is that everything worked itself out in the end,” she said.
During her eighth week of teaching class, the group put on a small show for the Senior Center the week before Christmas. Sofia played and sang along with the seniors, then stopped halfway through, watching as her students continued without her help.
“I cannot explain how proud and happy it made me to see them be able to perform alone after only eight weeks.”
Fahsi graduated high school this past spring and is currently taking a gap year where she’s attending a German high school to learn the language. And though she might be abroad, senior citizens at her senior center can continue to learn music thanks to her efforts to make her Gold Award project sustainable.
Through the generosity of a grant from Girl Scouts as well as community members, Fahsi purchased 15 ukuleles, stands, tuners, and materials to make music books which she donated to the senior center. She also created and donated videos showing how to play various chords as well as a few songs.
Fahsi credits Girls Scouts with having a huge impact on her life. “It has helped me become a leader, independent, and helped me to help others,” she said. “Girl Scouts has been a part of my life for 11 years and I cannot imagine not being a Girl Scout. Girl Scouts has given me so many opportunities that I would’ve never had.”