Colorado teen wins national award for creating club inspired by brother with autism

(Photo: Sarah Greichen and her twin brother. Courtesy: Girl Scouts of Colorado)

(Photo: Sarah Greichen and her twin brother. Courtesy: Girl Scouts of Colorado)

CENTENNIAL, Colo. — A Colorado high school student has been named a National Young Woman of Distinction for creating a nonprofit group designed to bring together students of all abilities.

Sarah Greichen, who attends Front Range Christian School in Centennial, is being honored by Girl Scouts of the USA. Greichen is one of 10 Girl Scouts nationwide to earn the distinction.

Greichen was 13 years old when she started the organization Score A Friend in 2012. Greichen was inspired by her twin brother, who has an autism spectrum disorder, according to the website.

“(B)eginning in middle school, [Greichen’s brother] experienced a lack of inclusion in school clubs and sports, as well as an overall lack of friendships. Sarah’s initial Project goal was to help her brother find a friend. If she could help him find a friend, she knew she could help other kids with disabilities find friends too,” the website said.

The organization helps build friendships between kids with and without disabilities. Members learn about disability topics, advocacy and opportunities for youth leadership and activation, according to the website.

“Today, there are Score A Friend clubs in schools and universities across the country,” Girl Scouts of Colorado officials said in a statement.

“She recognized a community need, collaborated with industry leaders and community partners and founded a nonprofit that will provide lasting opportunities to children and their families. ongoing impact through leadership,” said, Stephanie A. Foote, Girl Scouts of Colorado president and CEO.

Greichen will be publicly honored at Girl Scouts of the USA’s national conference of CEOs and receive a $5,000 scholarship from Kappa Delta, officials said.