Nedda Besharat has been fluent in Farsi all her life. Her parents are from Iran and she loves exposing others to her culture.
"I've traveled to Iran a lot to see my family," Nedda says.
She is one of 15 young ladies earning the coveted Girl Scout Gold Award from the Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast. Her winning project links students in the US with students in Iran. It's called a Project SPEAC. Teachers in both countries supervise conversations between students.
"I've brought Iranians and Americans together more than 7,000 miles apart," the bright senior explains. "That's my ultimate goal in life. To just bridge that gap between people from different backgrounds. It was a great sense of accomplishment, I think. I mean I've been working on my website on my project on Project SPEAC for more than two years."
Nedda hopes to dispel myths many people have about Iran.
"I haven't experienced any overt racism but definitely some prejudice, yes," Nedda says. "I mean, whenever I bring up that I'm Iranian in a conversation, the conversation just stops right there."
She says being a Girl Scout has enriched her life.
"One thing I love about Girl Scouts is just all the adventures I've gone on. We've had so many different experiences camping, hiking, scuba diving, kayaking jewelry making, I could go on and on."
It's clear Nedda is a super achiever. She found a way for Pewaukee High School students who love science to meet and compete.
"I started the Science Olympiad Club at Pewaukee High School just in hopes of creating an opportunity for students, and for myself actually, to just be a part of a fun supporting community of students who love science," Nedda says. "I know a lot of girls my age may feel kind of uncomfortable being interested in science or doing anything involving STEM. I think it's important that we go for it. We are fully capable as women."
Nedda is also an athlete. She's coached gymnastics and is even a first-degree black belt in tae kwon do. She also volunteers at the Food Pantry of Waukesha County and is a volunteer tutor in fourth-grade classrooms. She has been accepted at UW Madison and hopes to become a doctor.
Nedda is grateful for loving supportive parents, but admits, they get annoyed when she is so busy, they don't get to see her enough. Despite being a high school student, she has clarity about her personal mission.
"My purpose in life is to bring people together and to help others."
For more information about Nedda’s project, click here.