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A Toms River North High School junior honors student stands in unique company this summer by winning the scouts highest award

Ayanna Yhap is the first in the history of the Jersey Shore Council to win The Summit Award, by building three insulated safe havens for about 45 feral cats in Ocean and Monmouth counties.

"When I was first thinking of doing this project, I was thinking of my cat Reggie that I have," said Yhap. "If he was in that situation...I wouldn't want any other cat to be in that situation, so I said, there has to be something that can fix this problem."

The award is given to the person who best exemplifies a true maturation in personal development and community service.

Yhap always had the confidence she would succeed, something instilled in her growing up.

"My mom and my step-dad pushed me a lot throughout this whole process, making sure I did what I had to do," said Yhap.

The summit award she says is on the same level as the eagle award.

Humbled by this honor, she encourages others who set goals in life or in the scouts to never give up.

"If you have a goal, just go for it," said Yhap. "Don't ever think that you can't do it."

It took 21-people and over 213-hours to build three safe havens but now that she's won The Summit Award, she says she'll focus on earning The Ranger Award.

"It's a lot of physical activities like biking," said Yhap. "You can also do things like running or kayaking."

She's currently trying to help someone achieve a fitness feat in the Guinness book of world records.

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