Michaela Reynolds is a straight “A” eighth grader who is in her ninth year as a Girl Scout. Michaela keeps a full schedule. She has been dancing ballet for 11 years, throws discus on the track team, is treasurer of her school’s student council, a PTSA board member, a National Junior Honor Society member, a Junior Docent at Heritage Village, and co-founder of Kids Against Bullying, an anti-bullying advocacy group at her school. Despite all she has on her plate, she still finds time to be a kid, spending time with her friends and family and playing with her family’s rescued cats.
What makes you happy? Why?
Spending time with my friends and family makes me happy. I have several good, close friends and a large extended family. Being able to be a kid, having fun and enjoying life with my friends and family makes me really happy. I also like talking on Skype with my pen pal in Scotland.
Who is your biggest inspiration or role model? Why?
One of my biggest role models is my mother. She is a successful, independent woman who supports both of us. She tries to provide me with every opportunity to be successful, well-rounded and happy. One of my other role models is my dad. He is very smart and resourceful. He owns his own business and always does his best to make me happy. I love the quality time I get to spend with both of them.
What is your favorite thing to do with your family?
I love to travel with my family. It’s nice when everybody forgets about work and school and just enjoys themselves. It is wonderful bonding time. I love out of the ordinary vacations: horseback riding or hiking in the mountains of NC, antiquing, zip lining in the jungle, taking a cruise or exploring old graveyards.
What advice do you have for girls your age?
Just love life; do not waste your childhood. Have fun, enjoy the outdoors and your friends, love yourself and most importantly, stay true to who you are. Be proud of your uniqueness and always follow the Golden Rule. (Do unto others as you would have done unto you.)
What are your aspirations for the future?
I want to go to college and get a degree in finance and business management. Eventually I want to be an entrepreneur and open a business with my stepsister.
What is your favorite way to relax?
My favorite way to relax is to ride my bike, skateboard or scooter around the neighborhood with my friends. I also like to draw and be creative.
If you could change the world in one way, what would it be?
If I could change the world, I would get everyone to recycle everything as much as possible. I want my great-grandchildren and their great-grandchildren to have a beautiful world to live in.
What does Girl Scouts of America mean to you?
Girl scouting means learning new skills, making life-long friendships, and learning to be a strong, independent person.
What is your favorite experience?
My favorite experience as a Girl Scout would have to be cookie sales. It helps me to practice my public speaking, marketing and financial skills. It is also fun because it helps us in raising money to reach our goal of a yet to be determined big trip (New York, Washington DC, a cruise or possibly even Europe).
What message do you want to share with other girls and families?
Girl scouting has been such a positive, uplifting experience. I have made several friends that I feel confident will be lifelong friends. I have gone on several memorable trips. I have learned so much and developed many new skills. It is empowering.
Tell us about your community projects.
I earned my Silver Award by creating an organization at my middle school with a fellow friend and Girl Scout. Together we created Kids Against Bullying. It is an organization to get anti-bullying student advocates and to provide resources to kids who have been bullied.
One in five students has been bullied so it is a pressing issue. There have been many student suicides as a result of bullying. This statistic and recent news stories motivated us to create Kids Against Bullying. My friend and I have given presentations to the PTSA and to the student body for the past two years.
My troop also collected old cell phones for the Cell Phone for Soldiers program —www.cellphonesforsoldiers.com. It is a program that provides a free 60-minute calling card to active duty soldiers for every cell phone (workable or not) that is turned in. These soldiers put their lives on the line for us and are away from their loved ones for months. The least we can do is help them to stay in touch with their loved ones.