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Lisbon girl wins scouting's Gold Award

May 6, 2014

A Lisbon girl has received the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor in Girl Scouting.

April Fehr, a junior at Brookfield Central High School, received the award after organizing a World Thinking Day in February, establishing a Girl Guides troop in Tanzania and providing the troop with materials.

Scouts who receive a Gold Award are challenged to complete a variety of requirements and carry out a project that meets an expressed need in the community and beyond.

Fehr was inspired after attending a "packathon" in 2012 for Simple Hope, an organization that assembles and sends meals to the needy in rural Tanzania, Africa.

After learning that the life expectancy of a girl born today in Tanzania is only 48 years old, Fehr set out to establish a Girl Guides troop in Arusha, Tanzania. She provided the troop with materials, including a water unit, emergency food, bras and underwear. She also coordinated volunteers overseas and secured training materials for troop leaders.

"The girls in Tanzania face a life of hardships," Fehr said in her Gold Award final report. "They have little food, unclean water, little education and inadequate housing. My project is sustainable because the girls in Tanzania are being taught life skills that will give them the ability to control their health and well-being."

She spoke to local Girl Scout troops about what life is like for the Girl Guides living in Tanzania. A troop from Wauwatosa Catholic School has offered to host a Tanzania workshop for local girl scouts next year.

After high school, Fehr plans to major in physical therapy or sports medicine. A nationally-ranked judo player, Fehr also hopes to compete on the Olympic training team for judo.

"Earning the Girl Scout Gold Award designation is truly a remarkable achievement, and this young woman exemplifies leadership in all its forms," said Christy Brown, chief executive officer of Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast. "She saw a need in her community and took action. Her extraordinary dedication, perseverance, and leadership, is making the world a better place."

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