Sparrows Point girl honored for outreach to seniors
Wednesday, 28 May 2014 13:32

Liliana Scott posed with Washington, D.C., news anchor Chris Lawrence and Maryland Secretary of Aging Gloria Lawlah during the Governor’s Leadership in Aging awards ceremony on May 15.

Liliana Scott receives state Aging award

by Nicole Rodman

    Sparrows Point third-grader Liliana Scott was just five years old when she first realized that not all senior citizens see their loved ones on a regular basis.
    Startled and saddened by the revelation, Liliana decided to do her part to make the lives of local seniors a little less lonely.
    Now, three years later, the Maryland Department of Aging has recognized Liliana’s efforts with a Governor’s Leadership in Aging Award.
    As Liliana’s mother, Lisa, told The Eagle earlier this month, there are approximately 45,000 seniors living in care facilities across the state.
    Of those seniors, only 40 out of every 100 get regular visits from loved ones.
    For Liliana, who sees her own grandparents often, this fact demanded action.
    “When I found out that seniors live in care facilities and don’t see friends or family that often, it broke my heart,” Liliana explained. “No one should feel that lonely. I see my grandparents all of the time so I wanted to find a way to bring cheer to these seniors.”
    At the age of 6, Liliana began by visiting senior care facilities, sharing homemade artwork and cheering up residents.
    “My family loved receiving my art work so I thought it would be great if I shared it with seniors in senior homes during cheerful visits,” Liliana said, noting, “The first year I did 1,000 pieces of art myself and met a lot of great seniors. Then I started speaking so I could get others involved.”
    Her program grew and, two years later, “Lilly’s Cheerful Grammy Grams” now reaches more than 2,500 seniors.
    Liliana spreads the word of her program by speaking to youth groups and providing art supplies for other children to create their own homemade greetings for area seniors.
    She began participating in natural pageants (pageants that do not allow wearing of makeup and focus on personality and character) as a way to spread her message.
    Last year, Liliana took the title of National American Miss Maryland Junior Pre-Teen; this year, she was named Maryland USA Ambassador, Jr. Pre-Teen.
    “Both have opened doors for speaking and print engagements,” Lisa explained.
    In an effort to spread the message even further, Liliana’s mom wrote a letter explaining her program to the Maryland Department of Aging.
    “When I received a letter from Liliana, which detailed her outreach project with older adults, I was very impressed,” Gloria Lawlah, Maryland Secretary of Aging, told The Eagle. “She saw a problem in her community, seniors who were isolated and she came up with a plan to solve it.”
    Touched by Liliana’s actions, Lawlah was determined to honor the girl and encourage her efforts.
    “Her story inspired me to create the Intergenerational Award,” Lawlah explained. “We want to encourage young people to get involved and make a difference in their communities.  After all, excellence at any age should be recognized and celebrated.”
    Liliana received the Intergeneration Award during the 7th annual Governor’s Leadership in Aging Awards ceremony at the Ten Oaks Ballroom in Clarksville on May 15.
    (Also honored at the May 15 ceremony was Turner Station resident Mary Branch. Branch was profiled in last week’s issue of The Eagle).
    While the Intergenerational Award may be her latest honor, Liliana has also been recognized with the Kohl’s Cares Award, Hometown Hero Award, Star Student Award and citations from her senator and Gov. Martin O’Malley.
    In her spare time, the homeschooled third-grader also enjoys playing the piano, practicing karate, horseback riding and dancing.
    While Liliana is gratified and excited by her many awards and honors, she remains humble and focused on her goals.
    “The awards mean the most because the recognition helps me to spread my message that we all need to reach out to our forgotten senior citizens.”