By Renee Larr
Fishers High School senior Katelynn Buchan was working toward her Girl Scout Gold Award when a class project allowed the two to intersect. The GSGA is the highest honor a Girl Scout can earn. It is a service-based award. Buchan’s class project also was service-based.
Her platform was to raise awareness and prevent bullying in school. Buchan said she has never been bullied but had seen other students go through it. Her idea was to install a bench at Fishers High School bearing the message, “Stop Bullying.”
“I used to be such a quiet kid. I was the kid that sat in the back and said nothing, so I did this for those kids that don’t have a voice,” Buchan said. “I wanted to raise awareness and to let others know it isn’t OK. Bullying needs to be stopped.”
Buchan worked to raise money to buy the bench. She raised funds by asking area businesses for donations and holding fundraising events. She raised enough money for not one bench but five. She placed them at the schools she attended.
“I have one bench at New Britton Elementary, one bench at Riverside Junior High and two benches at Fishers High School. I have one bench I’m going to see if I can put in Riverside Middle School, but I haven’t really figured that out yet,” Buchan said.
The project has been a personal one for Buchan and an effort to help the community in which she lives.
“I got to see this little girl grow from a reserved and quiet person to standing up in front of people and talking about this initiative. It’s not only been an amazing personal journey for her, but also about the legacy she’s going to be leaving when she graduates this year,” said Sheri Shaw, Buchan’s neighbor.