By Karen Morfitt

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. (CBS4) – A 17-year-old Girl Scout from Cherry Creek High School has an idea she hopes will change lives and earn her the organization’s Gold Award.

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With the help of some of her classmates, she is getting reusable feminine pads to young girls in developing countries.

On Thursday, Maya Hegde and four of her closest friends threw a party, complete with stacks of fabric on the table and scissors in hand.

CBS4’s Karen Morfitt interviews Maya Hegde. (credit: CBS)

“It has a big opportunity to make a difference not only in the other countries, but here as well,” Hegde said.

She started hosting “pad parties” with her friends a few months ago as part of a project to earn one of the Girl Scouts highest honors.

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“The Gold Award is a project that an individual Girl Scout does to make their community better,” she said.

While visiting an orphanage in India when she was just 15, she learned many of the young women there miss school because they have little to no access to feminine hygiene products.

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“You could see these girls in their room while the rest of their classes were at school. I thought it was really shocking,” Hegde said.

(credit: CBS)

She immediately wanted to help and has since developed a pattern for a reusable pad.

With the help of friends, she builds samples to send to overseas.

“I think this is an amazing project,” her friend Lauren said. “It is not really something that comes to mind when I am thinking about doing charity because it is not something that is talked about.”

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Hegde says whether she earns that badge, she has found the experience rewarding enough.

“Because of this, they will be able to go to school and hopefully get jobs in their future,”

She will have her final presentation in just a couple of weeks where she will find out whether she has earned that Gold Award.

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Karen Morfitt joined the CBS4 team as a reporter in 2013. She covers a variety of stories in and around the Denver metro area. Connect with her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter @karenmorfitt or email her tips.