BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - A South Mississippi Girl Scout is doing more than helping people at all times and living by the Girl Scout law — she's also helping animals.
Eighteen-year-old Asher Day became interested in marine biology as a child, with the sea turtle becoming her favorite animal. However, the more she learned, the more concerned for their safety she became.
When it was time for the Senior Girl Scout with Ocean Springs Troop 6217 to work on her Gold Award, she knew exactly what she wanted to do.
"My original thought about this project was I was going to do these sea turtles signs for the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies, and that was it," said Day. "But then I started looking at my paperwork and saw I had to teach the community as well, and that's when the workshops and presentations came in to the picture."
The young activist partnered with IMMS scientists and staff to design information signs for two local beaches, informational brochures and also hosted public presentations on the plight of the animals.
As a result of her hard work, IMMS announced plans to release Kemp's ridley sea turtles from Biloxi Beach in honor of Day.
"It is an unbelievable feeling to know that my project has turned into this one big awareness project. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect that I was going to have touched so many people with a Gold Award project," Day added.
The institute will release the turtles across from White Avenue on Saturday at approximately 9:00 a.m. At 10:00 a.m., IMMS will unveil the Sea Turtle informational sign at the Biloxi Light House Pier and a reception at the Biloxi Visitors Center will follow.
Day, who plans to move to New Mexico after the unveiling, hopes others will follow suit and pursue the things that matter to them.
"If it is something so important to you and you believe it is worth fighting for, don't give up. Keep at it until you reach your goal because once you do, it's the best feeling in the world. Trust me."
Day also told WLOX that she is grateful for the encouragement and support she received throughout the duration of her project.
IMMS asks the public to contact the IMMS stranding hotline, 1-888-SOS-DOLPHIN (1-888-767-3657) if they observe any stranded sea turtles, nesting sea turtle activity or incidentally captured sea turtles on fishing piers or boats.