Girl Scout Tessa Baker, a 15-year-old from Highlands Ranch, has been awarded Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA)’s prestigious Medal of Honor for helping save a fellow student’s life in February 2021. Tessa didn’t hesitate and jumped into action when a classmate appeared to be having a seizure during an algebra lesson. As the teacher pressed the emergency call button, the student began to fall out of her desk. Tessa ran to help.
“Everyone else was in shock. She (Tessa) knew we needed to lay the student on the floor, so the fall wouldn’t cause an injury. I moved the student to the floor with Tessa’s help,” Brent Murray, teacher at Highlands Ranch High School, wrote in a letter to GSUSA. “I don’t think I could have done it all by myself.”
Emergency personnel took over once they arrived in the classroom and the student is now doing well.
“I was so happy to have Tessa in that class. Tessa was so calm and collected. She was also very knowledgeable about what to do in such a situation,” Murray also wrote.
Girl Scouts of the USA awards the Medal of Honor for “saving life or attempting to save life without risk to the candidate’s own life.”
“I feel honored to receive this recognition. I hope that other girls see this as an example of what Girl Scouts can do and how we can apply what we learn here to our everyday life,” wrote Tessa.
In March 2016, Katie Hurley of Northglenn was awarded the Medal of Honor for saving her mother’s life after her glucose levels dropped to a life-threatening level. Later that same year, Katelyn Ibarra from Steamboat Springs was also awarded the Medal of Honor for saving numerous lives after a city bus crashed.
Tessa is also a Silver Award Girl Scout. She earned the highest honor for Girl Scouts in middle school by completing a project called “Hoops for Athletes.” While watching her older brother play at a unified basketball tournament, she was sad to see that some athletes were using trash cans as makeshift basketball hoops. Tessa didn’t like the message trash can hoops gave to athletes with limited physical abilities, as well as to game spectators. In the spirit of inclusion, Tessa, along with her sister Diana, replaced the trash cans with height friendly basketball hoops at area Douglas County schools.
What’s next for Tessa? In just a few days, she will attend Girl Scouts of Colorado summer camp at Tomahawk Ranch as a counselor in training.
We want to hear how your girl is using her Girl Scout skills by taking initiative, caring for the community, and Girl Scouting at home. She can send in her story here.