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ASU senior named Woman of Distinction

December 13, 2006

ASU senior Kelley Stewart is being recognized by the Girl Scouts' Arizona Cactus-Pine Council with the Women of Distinction World of Courage award.

The Arizona Cactus-Pine Council annually recognizes Arizona women who are role models for girls by living by the Girl Scout Promise and Girl Scout Law. Awards in six categories reflect facets of their lives that have positive influences on girls of today and tomorrow.

These honorees, chosen for their exceptional community service and leadership, represent the highest ideals in Girl Scouting.

Stewart is double majoring in applied psychology and multimedia writing and technical communication at ASU's Polytechnic campus. In addition to working and her course work, she has been involved in the community through her student years at Mesa Community College at Red Mountain and ASU's Polytechnic campus, as well as the Mesa Fire Department. In addition, through the AmeriCorps program, she completed two 900-hour volunteer service terms in homeland security while attending college.

“Ninety percent of my civic engagement activities have been directly tied to promoting ASU or Mesa Community College student leadership development,” Stewart says. “Many of my community service activities support the Mesa Fire Department.”

At MCC, Stewart mentors student leaders through planning for the annual holiday charity ride, a project she initiated in 2002 as a community partnership with the Mesa Fire Department. She created this event as a fun way to educate community members about fire and life safety tips, and to collect toys for needy children. More than 250 MCC students have volunteered to work with Stewart on projects directly benefiting Mesa residents. As a regularly invited MCC alumni speaker, Stewart also leads scholarship workshops and shares student success tips.

By serving ASU students through her positions in campus student government and as a board member for the Arizona Students' Association, Stewart works to raise awareness of student issues such as safety concerns, equitable student services and academic issues. Stewart mentors students through the process of voicing concerns to administrators. Stewart, along with others, helped lead the way for a traffic light installation at a dangerous crosswalk, and she is taking part in efforts to save an abandoned military auditorium for re-use as a campus theater.

“The ideas and values of the Girl Scouts must have stuck with me throughout the years, because they still represent to me the way that I strive to treat others and how I try to live my life,” Stewart says.

Stewart's advice to girls is simple: “Follow your dreams, and don't let negative people, words or thoughts steal away your ability to believe in yourself.”