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Liza Villanueva Receives Girl Scouts’ Highest Honor for Establishing Mobile Learning Centers for Children in the Philippines


Liza Villanueva and iDREAM Express Van

IRVINE, Calif. (July 20, 2015) – Girl Scouts of Orange County is happy to announce that Liza Villanueva was selected by Girl Scouts of the USA as one of ten 2015 National Young Women of Distinction, the highest honor in Girl Scouting, for her Gold Award project, iDREAM Express.

This special honor and designation by Girl Scouts of the USA showcases Liza’s extraordinary leadership over a project that had measureable and sustainable impact and addressed a global issue. After visiting the Philippines for the first time at seven years old, Liza saw that found out that many children do not attend school because of their lack of resources, money, or their distance. Nine years later, Liza decided to take action through her Girl Scout Gold Award. Liza established a mobile learning center (a van equipped with tables, chairs, eating utensils, tablets, books, school/art/hygienic supplies, and miscellaneous educational tools). The center currently travels to two locations weekly: Bacolod and Silay. At the centers, children (of all ages—infant to young adult) are bathed, have their wounds and eye/skin infections treated, receive slippers, and are taught reading, writing, and math. They also receive a hot lunch and have the chance to sing, dance, and play games. Liza plans plan to expand her project and create more mobile learning centers in places such as Mexico and India.

Both the Kappa Delta Foundation and Girl Scouts of the USA each generously provided a $5,000 college scholarship to all of the ten National Young Women of Distinction, including Liza Villanueva.

Later this year, Liza will be honored at a national recognition ceremony hosted by Girl Scouts of the USA. She will also be featured in a livestreaming TED Talk–­­style event with her fellow National Young Women of Distinction. Both the recognition ceremony and livestream will be held on October 7, 2015, in New York.

Earning the Gold Award is just one of the fun and amazing things girls can do as part of Girl Scouts. To join Girl Scouts or learn more about volunteering, please visit: www.girlscouts.org/join

About Girl Scouts

We’re the Girl Scouts of Orange County. We’re 37,000 strong—22,000 girls and 15,000 adults who believe every girl can change the world. Girl Scouts began over 100 years ago with one woman, Juliette Gordon “Daisy” Low, who believed in the power of every girl. Today, we continue her vision of building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place by helping them discover their inner strength, passions, and talents. And with programs in every zip code in Orange County, there’s a chance for every girl to do something amazing. We’re the Girl Scouts. To volunteer, reconnect, donate, or join, visit www.GirlScoutsOC.org.

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