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Art inspires Saurbaugh to complete Gold Award along with graduation project


Every Tuesday after school for two years, Abigail Saurbaugh hosted an art therapy club at Manheim Township High School for students, teachers and staff members.

Although a term paper during her freshman year may have sparked the idea, art's influence in Saurbaugh's life has been palpable since birth, as both of her parents are artists.

"I have always had that artsy influence," Saurbaugh says. "In freshman year, I was writing a term paper, and I got really interested in (art therapy), so that gave me the idea to create an art therapy club."

Having run the club for two years, there have been about 12 participants for each session. Now that she is graduating, her younger sister plans to take over the operation.

For Saurbaugh, the ability to empower others was inspired by the empowerment she got from being in Girl Scouts.

"When you get to the older Girl Scout levels, it's very girl-run and the leaders step back and are kind of there to oversee things," she says. "You get that freedom once you're older ... (when) you can really get the full grasp of being a Girl Scout and being a leader in your community, and that's a really empowering feeling."

She will attend Millersville University in the fall to study art education.

"All the leadership skills and self-confidence skills, I will definitely carry (them) with me into art teaching and any other adult experiences."