In 2006, HLS Founder Cheryl Lowe served as the Charter Representative for American Heritage Girls Troop KY2521, a chapter of the national organization for young women dedicated to character development, Christian values, and family involvement. Danielle Fuller joined the organization that year as a kindergarten student. Today Danielle is a junior at HLS, and a candidate for the Stars and Stripes Award (the highest level of AHG recognition), for which she recently designed the Cheryl Lowe Prayer Garden at the Spring Meadows campus.
“When considering what I could do for the school, I realized that the CHBC campus has a chapel and a sanctuary, but that Spring Meadows had no place for worship. I thought a prayer garden would be a beautiful and necessary addition to the campus. I wanted to dedicate it to Mrs. Lowe because she was an exemplary woman of the highest integrity,” says Danielle.
According to HLS’ Director of AHG Troop KY2521, Christine Haner, who also served as Danielle’s mentor, the Stars & Stripes Award requires each of its candidates to plan and direct a 100-hour service project of her choosing that fulfills AHG’s oath to honor God, family, community, and country. Danielle began in June, before she and her parents, along with Mrs. Haner, met with Brian Lowe to discuss her blueprint and explain her ideas.
“Mr. Lowe approved the plan for the prayer garden and kindly offered the services of the Spring Meadows campus lawn team. The lawn caretakers dug up the old dead grass and some overgrown plants so my volunteers would have a ‘clean slate’ on which to work,” says Danielle.
Plants and pavers were donated by Greenside Outdoor Services, who also installed the pavers at the onset of the project implementation. Danielle supervised while volunteers tilled and dug dirt, planted herbs and flowers, laid down sod, and power-washed the sidewalk. Then it was time to add a sundial and benches. In her initial meeting with Mr. Lowe to discuss plans for the Cheryl Lowe Prayer Garden, Danielle learned Mrs. Lowe had favored rosebushes and herbs in her own gardens, so those were added to the perimeter of the space.
“God even smiled on the project, keeping the weather perfect for the entire week while the pavers were installed and while volunteers were completing the project. The prayer garden was finished a whole day early!”
Danielle says HLS has played a large role in shaping her character, and she wanted to do something for the school in return by using her involvement in American Heritage Girls. The garden, she says, exceeded her expectations.
Now that the project is complete, Danielle will submit an essay, a resume, and a project summary before she can officially receive her Stars and Stripes Award. The presentation will take place this spring, at which Terry Giltner, Troop Coordinator, will present Danielle the award.
“A Prayer Garden, dedicated to Mrs. Cheryl Lowe, is not just a touching tribute but a lasting contribution to the communities of AHG KY2521 and Highlands Latin School,” says Mrs. Haner. “While I have supported American Heritage Girls and Troop KY2521 in various ways over the last nine years, one of the most rewarding has been to support the girls who seek to earn their Stars & Stripes Award. It takes every arrow in their quiver, every creed word they have incorporated into their daily lives, every tool they have mastered, and all the gifts and talents bestowed by our Creator to earn this award.”
Danielle is grateful for the donations and volunteers who helped her create the Cheryl Lowe Prayer Garden. She says her favorite details are the stepping stones inscribed with Scripture and the sign that quotes Alfred Lord Tennyson: “More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.” Danielle has been especially pleased by the encouragement and affirmation from Mrs. Hatfield, Mrs. Lowe’s sister and author of the New American Cursive program.
“It pleased me to know how much she likes the Cheryl Lowe Prayer Garden, and how much she thinks Mrs. Lowe would have liked it,” says Danielle.