A Mead High School junior has somehow learned to balance the demands of a 4.0 student, myriad school activities and community involvement to become the queen of the Girl Scout cookie.
With every box of cookies she sells, 16-year-old Miranda Reed earns 50 cents toward her college education and 60 cents toward a fund that has already paid for community outreach trips to Costa Rica, Panama and Puerto Rico.
With some 14,000 boxes sold, Miranda has about $7,000 to pay for whatever college she chooses to attend.
“With Girl Scouts, I learned to sell. I love that,” Miranda said. “I want to go into law or marketing. If you look at it with the law, you are trying to sell your idea why this person is innocent or guilty. In marketing, you are trying to sell an item to somebody. I really like both.”
Miranda Reed started as a Brownie in second grade. Since then, she’s started several new Girl Scout troops, she runs cross country, has competed in swimming, plays tennis, qualified for nationals in debate and serves on the Chase Youth Commission every Tuesday night.
She also has activities every other night of the week and hopes during her next school year to earn the Girl Scout Gold Award, which is the highest achievement the organization bestows.
“Just because of the fact I’m doing all these other things, it’s extremely difficult to get my homework done,” she said.
But it’s a schedule of her choosing and she has parents who share in her frenetic pace.
“Absolutely, it’s been a whirlwind,” Miranda’s mother, Dyanne Reed said. “It’s been quite a haul over the years.”
That dedication twice earned Miranda Chase Youth Awards for community outreach. She and her friends were recognized for gathering about $10,000 worth of relief supplies that they delivered to area firefighters who were battling summer blazes. And she also earned individual recognition for her community service.
“I’m more than proud of her. Her father and I both are,” Reed said. “She has another whole level of motivation and perseverance. She sets her mind at something and just doesn’t stop.”
Miranda’s father, Curtis Reed, said he remembers years ago when Miranda was playing baseball. The coach asked the girls if any of them could pitch.
“She waves her arm. But, she could barely get it over the plate,” he said. “I asked her why she volunteered, and she said: ‘Dad, if I don’t try, I’ll never know that I can’t do it.’ That’s what she does.”
Both Dyanne and Curtis Reed said they were willing to put up with Miranda’s crazy schedule to ensure she, and her older brother Justin, could engage in opportunities the parents didn’t have.
Curtis Reed recalled once, when he was the same age as Miranda, that he tried to order a soda. But, with his speech impediment he could not form the words and his brother had to step forward and order the drink for him.
“I stuttered as a kid. But both of my kids can do speeches in front of 1,000 kids and not bat an eye,” he said. “It’s almost like having your second life. I get to see how they do things that I never had the courage to do.”
Miranda’s best friend, Hailey Sims, 16, said the girls have been inseparable since they met in Brownies in second grade.
Sims attends Riverpoint Academy and said one of her main jobs as a friend is to keep Miranda grounded.
“Basically I tell her that she only has one time to be a teenager and that she has the whole rest of her life to help the community,” Hailey said. “Helping now is good, but she can do other things … like have a Saturday night home with some friends.”
Miranda acknowledged that she misses many opportunities to hang out with other teenagers. But she welcomes her crazy pace.
“My parents are like the backbone of everything I do,” she said. “They really help me with Girl Scouts and debate or anything I want to do. They say, ‘As long as you are working hard, we are OK with what happens.’”
Subscribe to the Morning Review newsletter
Get the day's top headlines delivered to your inbox every morning by subscribing to our newsletter