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Extraordinary Girl – Maggie Westlake

Violin player, excellent student, animal lover, Girl Scout — these descriptions all fit 16-year-old Maggie Westlake, the only girl in a family with four boys. She has five dogs, two cats and a rabbit so it should come as no surprise that she’s in the veterinary assisting magnet program at Tampa Bay Technical High. She’s also the concert master for the school’s orchestra. She also has been a Girl Scout for 10 years, earning Bronze and Silver Awards.

What makes you happy? Why?

I love hanging out with my friends. They always know how to make me laugh. We always act so crazy around each other and can make even the most boring situations into a memory.

Who is your biggest inspiration or role model? Why?

I know this sounds cheesy, but it would have to be my mom and my friends. I’m naturally a shy and quiet person, but my friends and mom always push me out of my comfort zone and make me try new experiences. When I met my best friend Alexandria in sixth grade, I was a very awkward person while she was very outgoing. The saying opposites attract definitely applies here. If it weren’t for her, I wouldn’t be playing the violin or going to Tampa Bay Tech. My mom was the one that signed me up for Girl Scouts. She is always there to help and support me.

What is your favorite thing to do with your family?

Honestly, my brothers and I have the best time just hanging out around the house playing games. We love playing Twister and Life, but our all-time favorite would have to be Super Munchkin. It is a slightly complex game but amazingly fun.

What advice do you have for girls your age?

Don’t ever base your actions on what other people say. I think peer pressure is always present in kids’ lives, even more so in high school. I remember trying to fit in with the “cool” kids in elementary school, and, looking back, I realize how silly that was. In high school, kids definitely need to stay true to themselves and their personal values and morals. Also, what may seem important now (such as dating the hot football player) isn’t going to mean anything in a couple years.

What are your aspirations for the future?

My final goal is to be a veterinarian for large and exotic animals. I will graduate high school with my certification as a veterinarian assistant, which I can use to get a job in college. I would like to go to the University Of South Florida for my bachelor’s degree, then the University of Florida for my veterinary schooling.

 

 

What is your favorite way to relax?

I listen to music or read a book. I listen to all genres, but when I’m trying to relax, I listen to country. I mainly read supernatural and fiction books.

If you could change the world in one way, what would it be?

I would want there to be better role models for girls. Most girls out there are looking up to these crazy pop stars that are size 2 and sing about drugs. I personally listen to this type of music, so I know. It’s OK to listen to it, just don’t let the ideas go to your head and think that it’s OK to act like these stars do. I would also want people to not judge each other. Apparently, some people think that I’m preppy because I don’t talk to them. Really, it’s just because I’m shy! You wouldn’t want somebody to judge you since most of the time the assumption is completely wrong.

What does Girl Scouts of America mean to you?

It means having fun while helping out in the community.  No matter what we’re doing me and my friend Savannah, also a Girl Scout, can always find some way to have fun. Girl Scouts also means family. We are always there for each other and help each other out when we need it most. We know that we can depend and trust each other.

What is your favorite experience?

I honestly can’t choose just one. My favorite experiences vary from camping with my Girl Scout troop In St. Augustine, having cake icing fights with my Girl Scout buddy Savannah at meetings or just every day at school with my friends.

What message do you want to share with other girls and their families?                 

Make fun memories. Young people are always looking to get older, while the older generation is always wishing to go back. Why can’t everybody just be happy with where they are in life? Try to make this time full of events you can look back on and smile about.

Tell us about your community projects?

For my bronze award, I made a butterfly garden at my elementary school. I taught the kids about the stages of butterflies and helped them make terrariums to take home. For my silver award, I made dog treats and toys for animals at the Humane Society. I also volunteered at the Pet Expo with a local dog shelter that had a no-kill policy, and helped them find good homes for some of their dogs. I am working on my Gold Award. I am most likely going to continue with helping homeless and abandoned animals.

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