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Toms River North High School student looks to earn prestigious honor

It would be a big honor! A Toms River North High School honors student and venture scout hopes to become the first in the Jersey Shore Council to win the BSA’s Summit Award on Saturday.

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Ayanna Yhap is working alongside ‘Ney Ney Cats’ in Howell to construct Three insulated, thermally controlled safe havens for about 45 feral cats in Ocean and Monmouth Counties.

“They’ll be painted dark brown so the community wouldn’t be able to visit them…to make sure that these cat houses aren’t damaged,” said Yhap. “They’re more for the cats and not for the human to destroy.”

She says these safe havens will provide warmth for these felines when temperatures drop.

Yhap had the idea for the project after getting a rescue cat of her own, Reggie, and sought a way to give back.

The award Yhap could come home with is give to the person who best exemplifies a true maturation in personal development and community service.

She’s driven by a challenge and is always looking for ways to improve and exceed expectations.

“To me…it’s getting to a higher level than anyone else,” said Yhap.

She hopes to also continue her giving towards others as she grows up.

“I either want to be in the Coast Guard or become a Marine Biologist,” said Yhap.

She’ll be joined by about twenty others in her group to build the safe havens on Saturday.

“We’re trying to build these cat houses in four hours,” said Yhap.

She also explains the building plans for these shelters.

“The way that I’m building it is above ground with wood,” said Yhap. “So if it rains or snows there’s nothing going into the cat houses.”

These shelters will be built with angled roofs to prevent snow and rain from flowing in and once finished will be re-located with help from ‘Ney Ney Cats’ in Ocean and Monmouth Counties as deemed necessary.

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