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National Honors! Aliya Freeman Receives the Girl Scout Gold Award

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A Stockton school is the recipient of creativity and dedication because of Girl Scout Aliya Freeman. A junior at Lodi High School, Aliya recently received the Girl Scout Gold Award. This is the highest achievement that can be earned by eligible high school students through Girl Scouts of the USA National. This prestigious award requires a Girl Scout to discover an issue in her community that she is passionate about, connect with the community to develop a plan for a sustainable solution that addresses the root cause of the problem, build a team to take action and work together to implement her project. While the minimum requirement for this project is 80 hours, Aliya worked on her project for two years.

Aliya started seeking out schools where she could implement her plan. Westwood Elementary School in Stockton had one small play structure and a few hopscotches on their playground. Aliya started brainstorming creative and possible solutions. From the beginning, she envisioned a simple sensory walk, and the ideas kept coming and the project quickly grew. She partnered with CalFresh to help promote movement, socialization and healthy eating. Along with her team, Aliya created a bright and vibrant playground that elementary students could enjoy for many years. Along with the financial support from CalFresh, Aliya used a portion of her cookie sales profits to help fund this project. Now the students play hopscotch and foursquare in brightly painted boxes, along with a creative racetrack, all because of Aliya’s vision to create a place for children to thrive.

This project came to fruition due to the many skills Aliya learned during her time with Girl Scouts. She honed skills to become a leader in her community. These skills include goal setting, money management, people skills, decision-making and business ethics. “It just goes to show that if you are persistent and do your best, you can do great things,” stated Aliya. Now celebrating the accomplishment of serving the community, Aliya plans to continue helping others in creative ways.