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Poplar Grove teen earns highest Girl Scouts honor for work with Hoo Haven

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POPLAR GROVE (WREX) — Gabbie Brewer joined the Girl Scouts in middle school but it feels like she's been with the organization as long as she can remember.

Though it took some time, she was able to eventually find her fit with the group.

"I was kind of jumping around from troop to troop until one that actually liked a lot of the things I liked like the outdoors stuff and skills stuff too," Gabbie Brewer said.

Gabbie is now getting comfortable being a part of a more exclusive group in the inner circle of the Girl Scouts.

She recently earned herself the Girl Scouts Gold Award, the highest honor a high school Girl Scout can receive.

"It's an award that is earned by high school girl scouts that lead a team to address the root cause of a community issue with sustainable, measurable and national/global impact," Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois Girl Experience Specialist Caron Prettyman said.

Only 6% of Girl Scouts receive the Gold Award.

Gabbie became a part of that statistic through her work to help Hoo Haven Wildlife Rescue Center.

Her service project consisted of both hand made and digital assistance to the center.

First, she made a cabinet to make the volunteer workspace more efficient for feeding the animals.

"It allows more open area because that was just for their main building. That's the only building they really have A/C for to prepare their food," Gabbie said.

Gabbie also flexed her creativity through two videos she made to help educate people on the work Hoo Haven does as well as encourage people to do their part to help the center's cause.

"It's about becoming more aware and hopefully more people will notice it. More people will actually go out and help or make donations or do what they can," Gabbie said.

All of Gabbie's hard work reflected in a prestigious award.

Something that embodies everything it means to be a part of the Girl Scouts.

"It needs to resound in themselves that I have shown to myself and the world that I have those leadership skills to take me forward," Prettyman said.

"To see them come in with a project idea and leave with a completed, earned award is amazing."

It's an amazing feeling for Gabbie.

A sense of accomplishment for making Hoo Haven and the Girl Scouts proud.

"It's given me some type of purpose," Gabbie said.

"I've actually learned a lot. I've experienced a lot that you wouldn't expect someone in the Girl Scouts to experience."

We need your help to recognize the accomplishments and hard work being done by the people of our community.

If you know anyone making a positive impact in the stateline, you can fill out a nomination form or reach out directly to

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Evan Leake

Evan Leake anchors for 13 News Today and 13 News at Noon. Evan grew up in Darien, Illinois, a south-west suburb of Chicago. He came to WREX in 2017 and worked his way to the anchor desk in May of 2019. He coordinates both the Teacher of the Week and Inspiring 815 series for 13 News. You can connect with Evan at or Evan Leake on Facebook.

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