Getting pushed around only propelled Lily Stolar forward.
The 19-year-old Centennial Hills resident took aim at bullying and received recognition for it.
Stolar was one of four Las Vegans to achieve the Girl Scout Gold Award - the highest honor a Girl Scout can achieve and the equivalent of a Boy Scout Eagle Scout Award.
Her project, Say No to Bullying , was designed to raise awareness on the causes and effects of bullying and how to spot and stop such behavior.
An estimated one-third of all school-aged children are harassed or bullied by peers each year, according to stopbullying.gov . That's about 13 million children per year who are statistically more likely to have challenges in school, abuse drugs and alcohol and have health and mental health issues, the federally supported website stated.
Stolar, a graduate of Arbor View High School , delivered presentations to more than 500 people in Nevada and Arizona, including girls attending Foxtail Girl Scout Camps in the Toiyabe National Forest in the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area , where Stolar is a camp counselor. She developed an anti-bullying brochure that she used for her educational campaign, and she distributed more than 1,700 copies in three cities, said Emily Smith , chief marketing and development officer for Girl Scouts of Southern Nevada .
"It personally affected me," Stolar said. "I was bullied in middle school especially. I've seen other people get bullied. I wanted to do my part to stop it."
Stolar hosted several free workshops for young women and girls in and out of the Girl Scouts of Southern Nevada . Her tactics included using more visual exercises, she said.
She had participants color and decorate a large paper doll together. Then she taped it to the wall and invited the participants to say something hurtful to the doll and rip a piece off, she said.
Then the group reassembled the paper doll as best it could and spoke to it in a constructive way, Stolar said.
"Even though it looks like a human still, you can see where all your mean words have affected it," she said. "It's scarred now. Bullying has the same effect. Even if you don't see it on the outside, it's affecting them."
The Girl Scout Gold Award includes a project with a minimum of 80 hours of work, wherein the Girl Scout identifies a need in the community, Smith said.
Projects must serve a need and have lasting impact, she added.
Stolar is studying anthropology at the University of Arizona . A public service announcement she created is available at youtube.com/watch?v=NrTwr0djqgE .
The brochure she created is available upon request.
"I feel passionate about this," she said. "Bullying is getting more recognition, and hopefully it will diminish in the future. That alone makes me feel a lot better."
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Contact Centennial and North Las Vegas View reporter Maggie Lillis at firstname.lastname@example.org or 477-3839.