Taylor Breeden, Mary Donahue earn the highest award in American Heritage Girls

Taylor Breeden and Mary Donahue, members of American Heritage Girls Troop TN0413 at St. John Neumann Parish in Farragut, received the Stars & Stripes Award on Nov. 7 during a ceremony at St. John Neumann School.

The Stars & Stripes Award is the highest recognition available to an American Heritage Girl. The award teaches perseverance, self-respect, and a strong feeling of satisfaction. In addition to badge work, references, and personal reflection, Stars & Stripes Award candidates complete a substantial service project, which they plan, lead, and implement.

Taylor’s Leadership Service Project involved updating Tennessee Right to Life’s prayer garden by building an arbor, adding a statue and a birdbath, constructing a prayer box, painting Scripture on rocks, adding an entrance sign and lights to the prayer garden walkway, mulching, and planting flowers.

Taylor attends Pellissippi State Community College and joined American Heritage Girls in 2013 as an Explorer.

Mary’s Leadership Service Project involved designing and building large storage cabinets for Shangri-La Therapeutic Academy of Riding, where she has been volunteering for more than seven years. Shangri-La is a nonprofit provider of therapeutic experiences using horse-related activities for people with disabilities or other special challenges.

Mary, who joined American Heritage Girls in 2009 as a Pathfinder, also made a variety of therapeutic games for Shangri-La clients, including a picture match game, basketball game, and ring toss. She also attends classes at Pellissippi State Community College.

An important part of each girl’s journey has been earning her Catholic faith awards. Mary earned her Family of God, I Live My Faith, Mary the First Disciple, and Spirit Alive awards and was presented with the Pillar of Faith Catholic Award. She has also earned a total of 84 badges.

Taylor earned her I Live My Faith, Mary the First Disciple, and Spirit Alive awards. She has earned a total of 47 badges.

Mary has served her troop as senior squad leader, squad leader, assistant squad leader, welcome/snack organizer, and assistant shepherd. Taylor has served her troop as assistant senior squad leader, scribe, squad leader, and assistant shepherd.

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