Article by Phoenix writer Cristina Palmeri ’25:
There is no better feeling than that of the cool ocean water washing over your feet on a hot day. Girl Scout Ambassador, and Kellenberg Memorial senior, Anna Nealon believes that everybody should be able to experience that, no matter their circumstance.
“Live Without Limits”, Anna’s Girl Scout Gold Award project, aims to make life easier for those who are physically impaired.
Anna credits her desire to make these improvements to her cousin and her love for the beach, saying, “My inspiration for my project is my 23-year-old cousin, Brianna Nealon, who has Rett Syndrome and due to her physical impairments has been limited in appreciating the joy and beauty of sitting at the shoreline.”
The first part of the plan is to extend the Mobi-Mats in the Town of Hempstead beaches so that people in wheelchairs can have access to the shoreline. This would include Point Lookout and Lido Beach. Extending the Mobi-Mats would significantly improve the beach-going experience for families with a disabled child or parent.
The extension of access mats could also benefit the elderly, as many elderly people find it difficult to walk through the sand.
Many studies have shown that nature can benefit a person’s well-being. One of those studies, quoted in Anna’s gold award petition details, by Trent University psychologist, Lisa Nisbet suggests, “There is mounting evidence from dozens and dozens of researchers that nature has benefits for both physical and psychological well-being.”
As a Lido Beach Camp ANCHOR Volunteer, Anna attests to having seen “first hand the positive impact outdoor experiences have on the well-being of campers with disabilities.”
In a world where people are constantly discussing creating wheelchair-friendly resources, this is the perfect project to take action in. The admirable petition is currently available on change.org to sign. Overall, “Live Without Limits” is a fantastic project to support.