Local Girl Scouts lead by example

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We want to thank four Denton Girl Scouts who recently received the Gold Award for leading by example.

Their service projects should not only result in ongoing benefits to the community but also inspire and challenge others to follow in their footsteps.

Kelly Garrett, 19, a 2013 graduate of Ryan High School and a member of Girl Scout Troop 1, developed a student club at Strickland Middle School that focuses on gardening and environmental issues. The club built a community garden, which will be maintained by the school.

Kaela Byrd, of Troop 3799, worked with United Through HOPE, an organization that assists children and adults with social challenges. She created videos for more than 50 special-needs children who require visual cues for comprehension and wrote, directed and published 10 videos to be used by the agency as learning tools.

Bailey Cage, a member of Troop 1303, planned and implemented an event for more than 165 elementary children to encourage learning about science. She recruited and trained high school volunteers to run experiment stations with such activities as conducting density tests and making flaming bubbles and dry-ice root beer. It may become an annual event.

Erin Fuhrman, with Girl Scout Troop 256, focused her project on air pollution and its association with childhood asthma, cancers and other health issues.

Through research and collaboration with local scientists and the Denton County Master Gardener Association, Fuhrman developed a list of houseplants that are effective at filtering pollutants from the air, distributed more than 200 plants to her community and won a $500 grant from Keep Denton Beautiful. The funds were used to partner with a local preschool to promote environmental education.

Leadership ability is only one of the criteria for the Gold Award, the highest honor a Girl Scout can receive. Scouts are also ranked on such factors as organization and community involvement.

Judging from their service projects, these four Scouts more than qualified on all levels.

Monica Gonzalez, a spokeswoman for Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas, said the awards can have long-lasting effects on the Scouts’ lives and future careers. Qualifying for the award is a long process, she said, and requires a great deal of dedication.

Garrett’s story is a good example. She told us that she started thinking of her project in ninth grade, wrote the proposal for it in 11th grade and finally put it to work her senior year.

That’s what we call dedication.

We congratulate these four Girl Scouts and all the other young people out there who have gone the extra mile to serve their communities.

Officials told us that the Denton honorees were among 136 Gold Award recipients in northeast Texas. That’s an impressive number.

Once again we are reminded of just how talented and motivated our young people are — they continue to make us proud.


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