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Girl Scouts award Ida S. Baker student; $1,000 scholarships given to only two youth in Lee County

By Staff | May 15, 2008

The Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida has awarded Ida S. Baker High School senior Brittany Fiore a $1,000 scholarship that she can use for college. The honor was bestowed upon a select group of young ladies in Florida’s Gulfcoast counties. Fiore is one of only two recipients in Lee County.

A member of the National Honor Society for four years, Fiore has been extremely active throughout her high school career. She has been involved in student government, the Future Educators of America and SADD, or Students Against Destructive Decisions. As an athlete, she was a runner in cross country and track.

Still, with all those activities, Girl Scouts has remained at the top of her activities list.

“I find that when I’m in scouts is when I dream the most,” Fiore said. “I ask myself: What can I do with my life?”

Fiore has sported the beige vest of her scout troop for 10 years. Together they have accomplished countless hours of community service — including helping the United Way with Hurricane Katrina restoration efforts — and traveling to beautiful places around the Southeast.

They just returned from a trip to Savannah, Ga., where they visited the birthplace of Girl Scouts founder Juliette Gordon Low.

“It’s so unique,” Fiore said of the scouts. “It’s the only place I’ve found that I can get an array of experiences. We’ve done some incredible things. All of the activities keep me really entertained. It’s special, it really is.”

With the school year nearly complete, Fiore said she “accidentally” got straight A’s through her freshman year, charting a successful path for the duration of her high school career.

She will be off to the University of Florida in the fall to study pharmacology, where she will, hopefully, be rooming with her best friend.

Fiore said she worked so hard to set a good example for her younger siblings.

“I’m a first born in my family, and I love setting an example for my brother and sister,” She said. “I set my standards high. I’m excited to be going to school.”

The Girl Scout scholarship fund was established in 1987 by the board of directors of Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida, and has served more than 10,000 girls in Gulfcoast counties from Manatee to Collier.

The purpose of the scholarship fund is to encourage girls to remain in Girl Scouting, to recognize academic excellence and to provide funds for books and supplies not usually covered by other scholarships.

“We really encourage our Girl Scouts to discover their courage and their strengths and make a difference in the community,” said Kathy Carol, director of public relations for the organization. “We want them to step out of their comfort zones and become leaders.”

The criteria needed in order to be considered for the scholarship is extensive. Not only do the girls have to be continuous scout members for the past five years, but they must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or above. They also need three letters of recommendation from members of the community and a teacher.

“Everyone is unique,” Carol continued. “We help them really connect with others, and we get them to believe in themselves, to find their own leadership skills.”

Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida views the girls in their troops as future leaders in their communities, and maybe one day the country. They teach them to look beyond themselves, but, as Carol said, they must start by “believing in themselves.”

Fiore is the perfect example of what the scouts hope their girls achieve, using their time wisely in the organization and in school to ensure their futures are as bright as possible.

A self-proclaimed “people person,” Fiore said that even though she is starting college, her times with the Girl Scouts is far from over.

“I’m hoping at UF there is a chapter to be involved with. You can be a Girl Scout your whole life, it doesn’t end when you’re 18,” she said.

The other scholarship winner in Lee County is Megan Getter from Fort Myers.