Top Teen: Naia Cookson

Top Teen: Naia Cookson

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Dedication to the Girl Scouts and a love for animals. Two passions of Naia Cookson, a teen in Savannah.

She combined the two to create a wonderful project at Daffin Park.

"I take any opportunities I can to volunteer, to get my name out there and just help," said Cookson.

A love of volunteering is what makes the Girl Scouts perfect for 9th grader Cookson.

"I joined because it was new experiences, let me try new things that I might not try elsewhere," she explained.

For her Silver Award, Cookson built a turtle dock for Daffin Park.

"We had to talk to Home Depot to get materials, so we got all our materials for free. Then we had to design and build the turtle dock, research and information, and contact the city for permission to put it in," she said.

After more than 75 hours of work, the turtle dock was complete.

"Once we got it in the lake, we were so happy it was finished," Cookson said.

"I think the coolest thing is we still walk by and we'll check to see if there are turtles floating on the dock and it survived Matthew," added Tricia Cookson, Naia's mom.

As a Communications major at Savannah Arts Academy, Cookson even created a PSA on the importance of getting cats fixed, using stop-motion animation.

"I feel pretty lucky that she takes a lot of it on herself. She takes the initiative to do stuff," Tricia explains.

Cookson will be working on her Gold Award next, and she hopes to gain scholarships for college in the future. But for now, she's having fun, like being chosen as a judge for a local dessert competition with top chefs from around Savannah.

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