Mia Iverson, an eighth-grader at Maumelle Middle School, embodies all of the characteristics that the Girl Scouts organization is founded upon: leadership, sisterhood, healthy lifestyles and community service.
Recently, she won the nationally recognized Girl Scouts Silver Award for an awareness project that focused on obesity and sports nutrition. The “Take Action Research Project” consisted of research on childhood obesity and athletics. Iverson developed educational facts and materials about nutrition and health, which she presented via three 45-minute sessions to middle school students. She also asked them to take a pledge to be healthy.
“I wanted to teach people about the importance of a good meal when they are involved in sports,” Iverson said. “I was familiar with bad eating habits myself. I have become more aware of what I am eating and now know how important it is for everyone.”
The Silver Award, awarded to sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders, is one of three prestigious honors that Girl Scouts may earn. Other awards are the Bronze, awarded to fourth- and fifth-graders, and Gold, awarded to high school students.
Iverson is also involved with Family, Career and Community Leaders of America through her school, and submitted her research project on obesity and sports nutrition to two FCCLA state competitions. She received a bronze medal for third place during Maumelle Middle’s district level FCCLA competition and a silver plaque for second place at the state-level competition in Dardanelle.
“She has accomplished a lot,” Mia’s mother Tonya Iverson said. “She chose the topic on her own because she had a personal connection to childhood obesity. Since it was a personal topic, she really put her best work into the project. She has learned a great plethora of leadership skills through both Girl Scouts and FCCLA.”
Mia Iverson also enjoys volunteer work. She has participated in local food drives, collected socks and other personal care items for those in need, assisted staff at local nursing homes and donated snacks and clothes to Our House, an organization that provides working homeless families with housing, job training, child care and education.
Additionally, Iverson loves to play basketball and enjoys dancing. Both of these hobbies are the backbone of her sports nutrition project and partially the reason she chose the topic. She also plays the clarinet in the school band and enjoys cooking.
Iverson has learned at a young age that hard work and preparation pay off in the long run.
“I feel like I worked really hard and my project paid off,” Iverson said. “I plan to stay involved with Girl Scouts until my senior year of high school. I love being around the younger girls and being a role model to them. I also like getting to hang out with the older girls also.”
Iverson hopes to be a police officer one day. She also plans to continue educating others about healthy eating and sports nutrition. Regardless of the career path she chooses, she will undoubtedly help others along the way.