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O’Fallon High senior wants to stop domestic violence, elder abuse

O'Fallon senior hopes to curb elder abuse, domestic violence

Saran Khalid hopes to spread awareness about elder abuse, domestic violence and dating violence through community presentations she is doing as part of a Girl Scout Gold Award project. She is a senior at O'Fallon High School.
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Saran Khalid hopes to spread awareness about elder abuse, domestic violence and dating violence through community presentations she is doing as part of a Girl Scout Gold Award project. She is a senior at O'Fallon High School.

Saran Khalid hopes to spread awareness about elder abuse and domestic violence through community presentations she is doing as part of a Girl Scout Gold Award project.

Saran’s on the “reserved side,” according to her mom, Badia Khalid-Manning, so speaking in front of a large group was out of her comfort zone.

“I’m pretty shy,” Saran admitted.

Saran, a 17-year-old senior at O’Fallon Township High School, said originally, the presentations weren’t part of her Gold Award proposal, but Girl Scout leaders suggested she do them.

She spoke last month at The Colonnade Senior Living in O’Fallon. “It went really well,” she said of her presentation.

Cindy Drury, life enrichment director at the senior living facility, said Saran did a “really good job” on her presentation, which was “very well attended.

“Her information was good and very thorough,” Drury said.

Next month, she will do a presentation on domestic violence and dating violence at the O’Fallon Library on Jan. 7.

Also for her project, Saran is collecting hygiene items for the Violence Prevention Center of Southwestern Illinois in Belleville and plans to sew curtains and make a shelf for the center during winter break.

“I wanted to continue giving back there,” she said.

Saran has been volunteering at the center for the last several years.

“Saran chose a topic very dear to my heart,” said her mother Khalid-Manning. “Domestic violence does not just impact the family or the individual, but it has a negative impact on our communities. Saran has been an advocate for survivors of domestic violence for over three years. ... It was only natural that Saran chose the topic for her Gold Award project.”

To complete a Gold Award, Girl Scout must perform 80 hours of community service. “I think people get intimidated by the 80 hours,” she said. “You feel good after doing all that hard work. It’s a good feeling.”

For her Girl Scout Silver Award, Saran held a lacrosse clinic for middle school students in Mascoutah. “I taught girls how to play lacrosse,” she said.

She’s been in Girl Scouts the last nine years. She’s a member of Troop 139.

Q: What do you hope to accomplish with your Girl Scout Gold Award presentations?

A: “I’m just hoping for people to gain a better understanding of what it is or ways they can help if they think they know a victim. If they don’t know a victim, other ways they can help too.”

Q: What do you enjoy the most about O’Fallon High School?

A: “They have really good teachers, and we have a wide variety of classes we get to choose from.”

Q: Where do you plan to go to college?

A: “I will either be attending Seton Hill University in Pennsylvania or Colorado Mesa to study exercise science and continue playing lacrosse on the college teams.”

Q: What do you hope to do as a career?

A: “I want to be a physical therapist I think.”

Q: What do you enjoy the most about playing lacrosse?

A: “I worked really hard to get up to this and then to be able to go to college and only been playing seriously since seventh grade is pretty cool.”

Jamie Forsythe: 618-239-2562, @BND_JForsythe

Meet Saran Khalid

  • School: Senior at O’Fallon Township High School
  • Age: 17
  • Family: Mother Badia Khalid-Manning, father Tim Manning and two younger siblings
  • Hometown: O’Fallon
  • Sports: Member of the varsity lacrosse team
  • Other activities: Girl Scouts Troop 139 (Her mom is the troop leader.)
  • Volunteers: Violence Prevention Center of Southwestern Illinois and St. Vincent de Paul
  • Favorite TV show: “Grey’s Anatomy”
  • Favorite food: Her dad’s spaghetti
  • Favorite restaurant: Culver’s
  • Hobbies: Cooking and gardening
  • Favorite teacher: Becky Merrill
  • Favorite class: Theatre literature
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