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Stockbridge Girl Scout organizes veterans benefit
by Nneka Okona
May 01, 2013 11:04 AM | 3222 views | 1 1 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Stockbridge resident Mariyum Khan, a senior at Eagle’s Landing High School, recently earned the Girl Scouts’ highest honor.

Khan was one of 113 girls presented with gold awards March 10 by the Greater Atlanta Girl Scout Council.

“I teared up but I was thrilled and happy,” she said. “I felt a sense of accomplishment.”

For her gold award project, Khan focused on veterans, organizing an information fair and 5K walk to benefit the Veterans Affairs Hospital.

Both events were held Nov. 17 at Heritage Park, where a museum and Veterans Wall of Honor pay tribute to fallen soldiers.

The $1,100 Khan raised went towards the purchase of needed items like toiletries, socks, shirts and water bottles.

Khan, who has been a Girl Scout for the past nine years, said she selected the project in August through a combination of research and realizing she had a passion for reaching veterans in her community.

“I was shuffling through projects and looking online and researching,” she said. “A leader was talking about veterans and linked it to current news. I thought maybe I should take a look at it and became emotionally engaged with the topic.”

Khan turned in her final assessment for her project on Jan. 15, but she believes the lessons she gathered and the impact have continued since then.

“I never really knew what veterans faced,” she said. “I wanted to do something to break the barriers, especially as a Muslim.”

Her conviction, however, was met by opposition by many.

“I was discouraged by family and the Muslim community from taking this project on, but I felt I needed to do this,” she said.

Khan plans to attend Mercer University in the fall and hopes to become a physician’s assistant.

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