Monisha Dilip, Gr. 12, received the 2009 National Young Women of Distinction Award in late February, given every year to the top ten Girl Scouts in the country. A Gold Award Girl Scout, Dilip received the high honor for her extraordinary leadership and commitment to service. For her community action project, she established a free learning center for the visually impaired in Chennai, India.
The center is the first of its kind in India. Dilip discovered that less than five percent of reading materials are in an accessible format and that visually impaired people are the most persecuted in poor countries. At the learning center, visually impaired people can use assistive technologies to browse the Internet, access educational and informational materials and keep in touch with friends and family. Girl Scouts of the USA said that Dilip’s “compassion for children with disabilities was the motivation for the Indian Disability Center.”