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Plano resident wins prestigious service award



PLANO, TX – When home-schooled high school senior Hannah Morrison moved to Texas from West Virginia, she was shy. She didn’t know anyone in the community, and she said she was “a very anxious introvert.”

After moving from West Virginia in 2014, she joined American Heritage Girls (AHG), a Christian scouting-like organization that many consider to be similar to Girl Scouts.

Over the last six years, she has spent more than 900 hours volunteering in the community. Morrison said she has spent these hours doing a variety of things: serving in the Chamber of Commerce, volunteering in her church and spending time with seniors in the area.

In recognition of her 900-plus hours of service, Morrison has 46 badges on her uniform sash and has been awarded the Stars and Stripes Award by American Heritage Girls. The Stars and Stripes Award is the greatest recognition and award available to an American Heritage Girl.

The level of prestige of this award does not go unnoticed by local leaders. To thank her for her service, Morrison said US Senator Ted Cruz flew a U.S. flag in her honor on the 4th of July, which was presented and gifted to her at her award ceremony Saturday.

Morrison, who turned 18 in the spring, said serving her community has helped her grow as a leader and in her time at AHG, she was able to develop into the kind of adult she wants to be.

“I created lifelong friendships and we’ve grown together. (We’ve learned) to be compassionate, helpful, honest, loyal, and perseverant,” Morrison said.

For the final project needed for Morrison to receive her Stars and Stripes award, she chose to build a prayer garden outside her church, where her father Mike is a pastor.

COVID-19 made her project more difficult. Instead of being able to build the garden over the course of one long work day with 50 volunteers, it took Morrison and her team five days so they could comply with social distancing guidelines and avoid gathering in large numbers.

Morrison is currently applying to colleges. She said she hopes to attend College of the Ozarks, Randall University or Welch College and do Christian missionary work in church plants.