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12-year-old girl awarded for saving drowning toddler

Posted at 10:12 PM, Feb 28, 2019

ESSEX, Md. (WMAR) — It started out like any Girl Scouts meeting does, but Thursday night at Back River United Methodist Church in Essex was different.

"We have Girl Scouts who sometimes do incredible things. They save people's lives and we have a Girl Scout among you who saved another person from drowning. Her name is Alyssa Rhine," Girls Scouts of Central Maryland CEO Violet Apple said.

It was two summers ago, Alyssa was swimming in a pool when she saw a 3-year-old fall in, struggle to stay afloat, and no one was paying attention.

"She just looked like she was scared and she needed help so I just went to help her," Rhine said.

She quickly swam over and saved her.

"That child is alive because of what Alyssa did," Apple said.

Her actions earned her a national Girl Scouts award... the Medal of Honor.

"It's a really big deal," Apple said.

Apple came to the meeting specifically to give it to her in front of her peers and said it's one of the highest awards. Alyssa was very shocked.

"I think it's a real honor because I feel like sometimes people need a bit of help and it's great to get recognition for it. I don't need it but it feels really good," Rhine said.

"I think it's very important for her to understand that her peers really respect what she did and she's a hero," Apple said.

Alyssa says she was just trying to do the right thing; that this shows small actions can have a big impact.

"Even if it's just something small like opening a door or something big, then it's good to at least do something nice or to help someone our somehow," Rhine said.