Fifteen-year-old Anna Tast, who is a senior Girl Scout from Troop 755 in Suffolk County, built a garden from the ground up for Mill Neck Services’ Day Habilitation participants. She did this as part of her Girl Scouts Gold Award, which required her to build a sustainable project that would help the community.
MNS’ Day Habilitation program provides support to Deaf, Hard of Hearing, non-verbal and deaf-blind adults with a range of disabilities so that they can become more independent and included within their communities.
“I definitely wanted to do something here at Mill Neck because I want to do something with the Deaf community when I’m older,” Anna said.
Anna, who attended Mill Neck’s Sign Language Camp for Hearing Kids—a camp held during the summer on the Mill Neck Manor campus that teaches children to communicate through the use of Sign Language—was able to cultivate her passion for Sign Language and Deaf culture.
“I never really knew anyone who was Deaf, but when I was little I used to ice skate,” Anna explained, “and Sign Language was how me and my mom would communicate with each other through the glass.”
The Day Habilitation participants will learn important life skills and maintain the garden, which consists of delicious fresh vegetables like cauliflower, lettuce, tomatoes, eggplant, and more.
A huge thank you to Anna, her mother Patricia, the Day Habilitation staff and Participants, Deaconess Phyllis Yee, the Girl Scouts from Troop 755 and everyone who helped make this beautiful garden a reality.