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Milton girl scouts recognized in state-wide award

Foster Steinbeck, Editor-in-Chief

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This year, seniors Maria Zulfiqar and Sanjana Duvvur were awarded a spot on the Council Young Women of Distinction, a Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta program honoring girl scouts who achieve excellence in community leadership through their gold award projects. A girl scout’s Gold Star project is the equivalent of a boy scout’s Eagle project. The Council Young Women of Distinction only selects six girl scouts across Georgia.

“For my Gold Award Service Project for Girl Scouts, I decided to address public school cuts to music programs in my own community,” said Duvvur. In response to cuts to Mimosa Elementary School’s music program, Duvvur created a free after-school music program for the students dubbed “Musical Manatees” after their mascot.

She and Mimosa’s administration “launched the program during the second semester of the 2016-2017 school year.” They were able to “organize 12 weeks of detailed lessons for approximately 80 children, coordinate eight on-site musical performances and presenters, hold a talent show, and educate our community about my program and how it addresses the decline of music education in Title 1 schools.”

Duvvur said, “I realized I truly made a difference when a student asked towards the end of the program ‘Can we never stop doing this please?’ It was an extremely gratifying experience.”

Zulfiqar created “Project Aid,” a program teaching recently resettled refugees first aid. “I have always been passionate about medicine,” said Zulfiqar, and through her efforts, she has taught basic first-aid to 56 families over the course of 80 hours. “Most refugees have to cut medical charges when they are relocated, and knowing first aid could be the difference between life and death,” said Zulfiqar. This year is her third year on Milton’s health care pathway.

Duvvur and Zulfiqar are the only two students elected to the Council Young Girls of Distinction to come from the same school. The ceremony is scheduled for February in Atlanta. Duvvur and Zulfiqar are currently in the running for a national competition, pitting girl scouts’ gold star projects from across the nation against each other.

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