Monroeville Girl Scout earns Gold Award for social media project giving the amputee community a platform

Annie Garness had to think quickly about her Girl Scout project when her idea of putting together an adult amputee camp fell through because of covid restrictions last year.

The 19-year-old Girl Scout was determined to provide a space for people with disabilities to raise awareness and be highlighted. For her new project idea, she created an Instagram page called, “info4amputees,” to educate people with amputations about adaptable activities/tasks they can perform.

The page posts uplifting content, such as inspirational quotes, and gives shoutouts to people’s pages.

The year-and-half project earned Garness aGirl Scout Gold Award.

Inspired by her sister, who received a Gold Award, and her brothers, who earned Eagle Scout status in the Boy Scouts, Garness was happy to join their company with her accomplishment.

“It was nice to be recognized and appreciated,” she said.

Garness dedicated 80 hours to her project, conducting research, speaking to people with amputations and figuring out the social media presence.

“It was really challenging doing this while also balancing my school work and having a social life,” Garness said.

Cindy Maley McCue, Garness’s advisor and director for Camp STAR, said Garness handled the pivot well and managed to execute what she envisioned.

“She did a phenomenal job, and I’m so proud of her,” McCue said.

Tom Furnival, peer visitor and counselor for the Girl Scouts, knew Garness from the various summertime amputee camps. He thought she went above and beyond with her project.

“She is used to dealing with people with disabilities, so her picking this project was very fitting,” he said.

The Instagram account is in its early stages, with only seven posts and 34 followers as of early July. Garness said she is trying to post at least once a month to keep the account growing. She recently posted in time to bring awareness to the Paralympics happening Aug. 24.

“It has been receiving pretty positive responses and it is growing. I am always looking to do shoutouts on it to highlight people on our page,” Garness said.

Garness envisions having someone who is a part of the amputee community take over the account or have dual ownership with someone who can share in the posting.

Tanisha Thomas is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tanisha at 412-480-7306, or via Twitter .

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