La Mesa Girl Scout selected for a trip to India with the Destination Program

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In many ways, Alexandria Freeman, a student at St. Martin’s Academy in La Mesa, is very much like other 13-year-old girls. She likes animals and hanging out with her friends in her Girl Scout troop. Yet she is one of only fifteen girls in the world selected to attend an immersion trip to India with the Girl Scouts Destinations travel program. 

In many ways, Alexandria Freeman, a student at St. Martin’s Academy in La Mesa, is very much like other 13-year-old girls. She likes animals and hanging out with her friends in her Girl Scout troop. Yet she is one of only fifteen girls in the world selected to attend an immersion trip to India with the Girl Scouts Destinations travel program. 

Freeman’s application essay got her that opportunity. She had also applied to another adventure with the Space Program, into which she was accepted as well.

“I chose the India trip because I am interested in their culture. It started when I was a little girl when I used to dress up as Jasmine, my favorite Disney princess,” she said. 

Freeman will leave July 8 for ten days in India. 

“We’re going to make a sari, visit a Hindu temple, and do community service helping out at a soup kitchen for the homeless. 

“I’ve been counting down the days on my calendar until I leave,” said Freeman, adding that she had started packing a few things two months ago.  

Being in Girl Scouts has helped Freeman take more chances in life, she explained. When she was five years old, her mother, who had also been a Girl Scout, took Freeman to a Daisy troop meeting. 

“I fell in love with it. There are still six original girls from that Daisy troop with me now in Girl Scouts.

“The real point in Girl Scouts is travel. We are taught that reaching out into the world is what helps us grow into more interesting people,” she said.

“Being here at St. Martin’s Academy has also helped,” said Freeman. “I used to go to another school where I was bullied and made fun of. When I came here in 5th grade, right away I felt welcomed here. Now I talk a lot, and people ask me to be their friends.”

Language Arts teacher Maria Mosel beams with pride over Freeman. “She is a remarkable young lady aware of other people’s feelings, and she is also able to empower others, a unique trait in such a young lady.

“To go out there and embrace people is how Alex distinguishes herself as a person outside of the classroom,” said Mosel.

Freeman looks to her mother as a model of who she wants to be like. “She is a single mom, and has had to work hard for everything she got. She always tells me to aim high,” she said. “

Freeman’s mother Amanda said she was very proud for her courage and desire to visit somewhere so different from home.

“She’s an amazing young lady who has grown so much in her leadership, through Student Council at school, Girl Scouts, and sports, that I can’t be anything but excited for what she is about to experience,” she said.

Her best friend has helped encourage Freeman, too. “Jennalyn is the one who really encouraged me to try out for the Destinations program when I thought I wouldn’t have a chance,” she said. 

When Freeman is not in class or doing homework or helping out with chores at home, she spends her spare time playing softball, soccer, and basketball as well as track and field.

After an invigorating day of playing sports with her friends, Freeman puts together her favorite food: salad. “I like it because I can put everything I want on it. Besides, I’m not that crazy about things like hot dogs,” she said, wrinkling her nose.

Another favorite activity of Freeman’s is reading, particularly “Divergent,” a best-seller book about an intelligent, sensitive girl coming of age in a dystopian society. 

“I’ve read this book nineteen times,” Freeman said, with a shy smile. 

“I really identify with the main character Tris. She is a quiet girl—I relate to her in that way. And she develops into a person who really cares about the world around her. 

“She thinks the way I do, that no matter what you have been through or who you are, you need to let go of the past and start every day new,” she said.

For more information about the Girl Scouts Destinations Program, go to www.forgirls.girlscouts.org/travel/take-a-trip/destinations.

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