One of the victims of the tragic elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, posthumously received a rare honor from the Girl Scouts for heroism.
Amerie Jo Garza tried to use her new cell phone to call for help when an armed gunman entered her classroom at Robb Elementary School. The 10-year-old girl was eventually killed by the shooter.
Amerie had just joined Girl Scouts in December 2021, and recently earned her Junior Girl Scout rank. For her actions on what would be the last day of her life, the organization honored her with its Bronze Cross Lifesaving Award, which is given to Girl Scouts who risk their life to save another person’s. The award is the highest award for valor in the Girl Scouts.
According to the Washington Post, Girl Scouts Chief Executive Sofia Chang sent Amerie’s family a letter shortly after the shooting, in praise of their girl.
“[Amerie] embodies what it means to be a girl of courage, confidence and character who makes the world a better place,” Chang wrote. “Through her willingness to take decisive action in the midst of this devastating emergency, Amerie serves as a true example of leadership in action.”
Girl Scout leaders pinned the Bronze Cross medal to a green Junior Girl Scout sash with insignia from Amerie’s local council. A unicorn crest, representing beauty and courage, also adorned the new sash.
Girl Scout representatives presented the Bronze Cross to Amerie’s family in a small ceremony a few days after the shooting, according to a thread of tweets from the Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas.
“We will carry her story with us always and ensure her brave actions will endure for generations,” the thread concludes.
Last week, Girl Scouts of the USA posthumously bestowed upon Amerie Jo Garza, 10, of Uvalde, Texas, one of the highest honors in Girl Scouting: the Bronze Cross. The Bronze Cross is awarded for saving or attempting to save life at the risk of the Girl Scout’s own life. 1/3 pic.twitter.com/bFjz0I4awa
— Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas (@girlscoutsswtx) May 31, 2022
”We were so proud of her,” Amerie’s grandmother, Berlinda Arreola, told People. “It was so emotional … The words they put into this thing was all Amerie, it was her and we are just so ecstatic about this.”
Arreola shared that Amerie loved being a big sister, swimming, eating pizza and Chick-Fil-A. She was an honor roll student and last year won Robb Elementary’s “Heart of Gold” award. An obituary also noted that Amerie — an avid drawer — had dreamed of one day being an art teacher.
“A protector of her brother and as we now know her classmates,” the obituary reads. “This world will never have another Amerie.”
You can donate money to Amerie’s family through a verified GoFundMe fundraiser that aims to alleviate the stress that will inevitably come from such a profound loss.