Eve Higdon, of Ooltewah, has earned the Honor Bee award. The Honor Bee is a high achievement award given to young women in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who have completed the Personal Progress program and gone beyond what is required. The Honor Bee is similar to a Gold Award in Girl Scouts, but focused on the virtues of Faith, Divine Nature, Individual Worth, Knowledge, Choice and Accountability, Good Works, Integrity and Virtue.
The Young Women organization of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints originated in 1869 and provides instruction and support for teenage female Church members, ages 12 through 17, to help them draw closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ; understand their identity as daughters of God; obey God’s commandments; and recognize and rely on God’s guidance in their lives (mormonnewsroom.org). All young women – whether members of the Church or not – are welcome to attend and participate.
The Young Women’s organization promotes growth and development through Sunday instruction, Wednesday night activities and a goal-setting program called Personal Progress.
As part of Personal Progress, young women do service projects, keep a journal, record their testimony of Jesus Christ, live gospel standards, read the scriptures and attend seminary – a four-year religious education program where students and teachers meet each weekday during the school year to study scripture, including the Old Testament, The New Testament, The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ, and the Doctrine and Covenants.
Young women who complete the Personal Progress program earn a Young Woman Recognition medallion. They can go further and earn the Honor Bee medallion by re-reading the Book of Mormon and doing an additional 40 hours of service. Eve earned the Young Womanhood Recognition award so far in advance that she began helping other young women achieve their Personal Progress goals.
"Eve is a natural leader who demonstrates Christ-like love for any and all – at home, Church and school. She served as Laurel class president in the Young Women program of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Harrison Bay ward (congregation). For two years, she served as a Young Camp Leader. She received the Stake President’s (ecclesiastical) award for perfect attendance at seminary and for memorization of all scriptural mastery. Eve attended seminary at 6 a.m. every weekday during high school.
"Eve attended high school at STEM School Chattanooga. She graduated this year. While in high school, Eve took dual enrollment classes at Chattanooga State Community College and earned credits toward an associate’s degree. She was also part of a team at STEM School Chattanooga that won the SURGE Pitch competition – a competition where students pitch ideas for starting a business and develop a formal business plan that they present to a network of professionals. Eve’s group pitched an idea for the deaf and hearing impaired.
"For her outstanding achievements and accomplishments, Eve has been accepted to Brigham Young University in Provo, Ut. and also BYU-Idaho. She is choosing to attend BYU-Idaho in Rexburg, Id. to be closer to extended family. Eve plans to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints after her freshman year of college," officials said.
“Earning the Honor Bee wasn’t about a medallion for me,” Ms. Higdon said. “It is about following Jesus Christ. President Russell M. Nelson, Christ’s prophet for the world, recently told the youth that we have the opportunity ‘to be part of something big, something grand, something majestic.’ He invited us to enlist in the Lord’s battalion and share the gospel of Jesus Christ with God’s children everywhere. I want to be part of this because the greatest story ever told is that He is Risen. Jesus Christ is the Redeemer of the world."
“I am trying to do my best,” Ms. Higdone said, “and I am thankful I have parents who help me embrace Heavenly Father’s great plan of happiness” – a plan that includes deep learning, both academically and spiritually.
Ms. Higdon is the daughter of Bianca and Matt Higdon. She has two siblings – Clark and Dean. The Higdons attend church at the LDS chapel, 3067 Ooltewah Ringgold Road in Ooltewah. Ms. Higdon leaves for college this fall.