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Isabel Peinado is your typical 15-year-old girl living in the Los Angeles area.She uses Snap Chat and loves hanging out with her friends.
However, this summer she dedicated herself to the project that would earn her Girl Scouts Gold Award, the highest award offered by Girls Scouts of America.
Isabel decided to paint a large mural entitled “Empowerment” in Boyle Heights depicting 16 amazing women in history who demonstrate vision and leadership for the Nation and the world. The young artist spent over 600 hours tirelessly working on the project, her first mural ever. Isabel only took two days off during the whole of the summer, and her project was unveiled to the community in a ceremony on August 26, 2017.
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Isabel was cautioned by some on the sheer size of the project and told she’d better make it only a quarter of the size because it would be too large of an undertaking for the young woman. Thankfully, Isabel stood firm and insisted on using the entire space given to her.
Isabel spent many hours preparing and planning for the mural as well as selecting the inspiring women. She chose influential women such as civil rights activist Rosa Parks, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the Nobel Peace-Prizing winning female education activist Malala Yousafzai who won miraculous survived being shot in the head by the Taliban, and Jeanna Wakatsuki Houston, the author of “Farwell to Manzanar,” a novel about her experiences as a Japanese American living in the World War II American internment camps.
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Other women gracing the mural include Diana, Princess of Wales, painter Frida Kahlo, Heller Keller, feminist nun Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, Susan B. Anthony, Ellen DeGeneres, the slain singer Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, and Our Lady of Guadalupe. Isabel hopes that the mural inspires all people, but young women, in particular, to follow their dreams, no matter what they are.