Thursday, January 14, 2010

Shelby County Girl Chosen For National Honor

Girl Scouts of the USA has named Hanna, an Ambassador Girl Scout and a Chelsea High School Senior, as a 2009 National Young Women of Distinction for extraordinary leadership demonstrated through her remarkable community service projects.

Hanna was one of 10 Girl Scouts in the nation chosen for this honor. “This honor completes a goal I set in the seventh grade at the Atlanta National Girl Scout Convention,” states Hanna. “I sat in the sessions and looked at these young women on the stage describing their accomplishments and I set a goal that I would be one of these young women. I also hope the honor will bring more people to view my book about dyslexia, Help For Hanna, which can be found at”

"The 2009 National Young Women of Distinction epitomize Girl Scouting as the world's best leadership experience for girls," says Trish Coghlan, CEO of the Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama. "By discovering, connecting and taking action, Hanna has defined what it means to be a female leader in today's global society."

Girl Scouts of the USA and an external committee comprised of high-profile professional women selected 10 National Young Women of Distinction from hundreds of applicants who had already earned the Girl Scout Gold Award. Each honoree has spent one to two years on a community service project that has far-reaching effects in her community and beyond.

For her Gold Award project that earned her this unique honor, Hanna wrote a book to explain the problems she suffers with dyslexia so that teachers and parents could become more familiar with the symptoms. Hanna did a great deal of research and conducted several interviews with experts on dyslexia. She was also responsible for raising the funds to publish her book and did so by participating in the Girl Scouts’ Fall Product Sale and using her earnings to pay for the materials.

“The most important thing I learned from earning my Gold Award was that you need others to help with large projects and that it is important not to procrastinate,” said Hanna.

Hanna will have the opportunity to attend the National Corporate Leadership Meeting, which is a meeting of GSUSA executive staff, GSUSA National Board of Directors, Council CEO’s, and Council Board Chairs. Hanna will now also serve as a National Girl Consultant to consult both National Board members and Girl Scouts of the USA staff members.

“I want to have a voice in the Girl Scouting Program, and being a National Girl Consultant will give me this voice. I have ideas for keeping older girls in Girl Scouting and want to share them.

Hanna encourages girls to stay with Girl Scouting because it allows them to be themselves.

“Girls are not judged by how smart or pretty they are, or if they go to a special classroom. Girl Scouting accepts everyone. They are allowed to develop their talents and by the time girls are in middle school, they run their own troop and plan their own activities. Girl Scouting gives them a place to express themselves and make lifelong friends.”