Alice Xie is 16 years old and has been a part of journalism for the past five years of her life. However, the teacher who first educated her on the craft at Rancho Pico Junior High relocated to teach at a different school just after Xie moved on to ninth grade at West Ranch High School. With the journalism teacher gone, so was the journalism program at Rancho Pico.
When it was time for Xie to advance into the gold award category at her Girl Scout troop, she knew what her project was going to be – reinstating the journalism program at Rancho Pico.
“I think it’s really important for students and younger generations to get an education about the world and be updated on world events and news because this is important,” said Xie.
For nine months, Xie would walk to Rancho Pico’s yearbook room every Wednesday, and teach students about journalism. She would even bring in her fellow news mates at West Ranch as guest speakers for the kids. All of this was done with one goal in mind – create cohesive magazines.
Xie decided to continue the name of the retired magazine, “Hoof Beats,” and help the students produce quarterly magazines. In their final issue, students wrote about topics such as students’ favorite subjects, stress at school, COVID in schools then vs. now, and using pronouns.
Xie’s main focus on the revival of “Hoof Beats” was to educate the students and hand them the resources that they would need to continue journalism on to future generations.
“I think it’s important that students understand just how important the world is so that they can choose classes and choose careers and explore hobbies related to how our world is working and why we need to learn about it in order to become better leaders in the future, when we are the people making decisions for our world,” said Xie.
After working with the students from September 2021 to May 2022, Xie finally hit her 90 hours of service to approach the gold award council with the results of her project.
With her two Google forms that she had the students complete to assess their journalism knowledge at the beginning and end of her time with them, her results proved a major increase in their knowledge. The evidence was beyond substantial and the council decided to award Xie with the Girl Scouts gold award, an award that less than 6% of Girl Scouts receive. She will be awarded her certificate in June 2023.