Scouts

Normal Girl Scout wins nationwide contest, records PSA in Washington

2013-01-23T06:00:00Z 2013-01-23T09:41:14Z Normal Girl Scout wins nationwide contest, records PSA in WashingtonBy Lenore Sobota | lsobota@pantagraph.com pantagraph.com

NORMAL — Amanda Breeden of Normal has a message for the president.

And she has a better way to present it than most people her age.

The 15-year-old Normal Community West High School freshman is one of two Girl Scouts chosen to record a public service announcement after winning a nationwide contest.

“Dear Mr. President,” the video begins before outlining the world the way it is and then how they would like it to be.

“I see a world where it’s what you are that matters, not how you look, your race or your religion,” Breeden said in the video.

She visited Washington, D.C., in December to film the video with 14-year-old Hareem of Sterling, Va. The national Girl Scout organization released only the girl’s first names.

They filmed at various locations such as the White House, Capitol, Supreme Court and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. memorial.

The 60-second video can be seen on the Girl Scouts website — speakout.girlscouts.org/finalists — and will be shared through social media and YouTube.

“It was an amazing experience,” Breeden said. “I’ve never been in front of a camera like that before.”

She was surprised by how long it took to shoot the video on what she described as a “very cold” day in December. It was a daylong shoot, as they traveled in a van from place to place.

What is the message she hopes people get from the video? “If I had to sum it up in one word, I’d say, ‘acceptance.’ That’s what I like about the Girl Scouts; it accepts everybody for what they are,” aid Breeden, who has been in Scouting since kindergarten.

Although the video shoot is over, Breeden has a busy schedule ahead.

She is helping to plan a winter formal dance at Normal West, part of a team preparing for mock trials and practicing for solo and ensemble music competitions on the piano and violin.

And, of course, being a Girl Scout, soon she will be selling cookies, something she has done since first grade.

Her mother, Sarah Breeden, said both Amanda and her younger sister, Christine, were “super sellers” last year — meaning they each sold at least 1,500 boxes of cookies.

Will the girls be “super sellers” again? “That’s the plan,” said their mother.

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