Tessa Komine is a 16 year-old Girl Scout who created Project: S.O.S., an all-girl community service program in Medfield, MA. She designed the program to respond to the needs in the Medfield community: to have more opportunities for youth to have a positive influence in their community and to encourage youth to willingly seek out community service.
In May 2007, Tessa designed a program similar to a service-learning model for Youth Service America: Preparation-Action-Reflection-Celebration. When her Girl Scout Gold Award project was approved, she then gained approval for sponsorship by United Church of Christ, as a non-denominational church initiative. She set the schedule, advertised and began her program in October 2007.
She works hard to find fun, interesting projects. For example, the team made 50 party favors and decorations during one meeting, and then hosted a Valentine’s Day dinner/dance for 50 senior citizens who struggle with loss during the holidays. The S.O.S. team has also decorated and stuffed 26 activity bags for residents of the Veteran's Hospital to help battle boredom. To date, Project: S.O.S has touched more than 650 people through their service projects.
Tessa worked to increase public awareness of her program through United Church of Christ, Girl Scouts, and through a headline newspaper article. Almost 70 girls have attended the program, 50% attended two or more times. In June, she held a culmination event for the church congregation and S.O.S. families. During this event, she presented the church with a remembrance quilt.