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Brookfield Central junior supports girls in Tanzania and earns highest Girl Scout honor

April 21, 2014

Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast (GSWISE) has awarded Sussex resident and Girl Scout April Fehr the highest honor in Girl Scouting—the Girl Scout Gold Award. Girl Scouts who receive this 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 wellbeing.”

Fehr connected her global project with Girl Scouts in southeast Wisconsin by organizing a World Thinking Day event in February. 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.

Fehr is a junior at Brookfield Central High School. After high school she 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 L. 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."

About the Girl Scout Gold Award

The Gold Award represents the highest achievement in Girl Scouting; it recognizes girls in grades 9 through 12 who demonstrate extraordinary leadership through sustainable and measurable Take Action projects. Since 1916, girls have successfully answered the call to go gold, an act that indelibly marks them as accomplished members of their communities and the world. A Girl Scout who has earned her Gold Award immediately rises one rank in any of the U.S. military branches.

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