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Connie Chavez Villarreal

Katy Resident Awarded World Friendship Medal by Girl Scouts USA

HOUSTON (June 16, 2008) – The National Board of Directors of Girl Scouts of the USA recently awarded Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council (GSSJC) volunteer Karen Saenz the Juliette Low World Friendship Medal for her efforts in promoting international friendship and understanding through Girl Scouting. Saenz is only the second volunteer in San Jacinto Council’s history to receive the award.

“Karen’s unfaltering dedication and support of international Girl Scouting is admirable,” said Mary Vitek, GSSJC chief executive officer. “Karen has been a long-time supporter of our Council’s international travel group, and has always encouraged girls to seek out international experiences and learn from visiting other countries and cultures.”

A Girl Scout volunteer for almost 50 years, Saenz has filled numerous leadership positions, including her current role as chair of the Friends of Pax Lodge USA Committee, part of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, which encourages girls to develop courage, confidence and character through travel, leadership programs, community service and networking with girls from around the world.

In addition, Saenz helped GSSJC launch a leadership institute for girls and form an international friendship committee and international travel group. A volunteer troop leader for more than 30 years, Saenz has chaired and actively participated in more than 20 other Girl Scout committees and initiatives.

“Volunteers are the essence of Girl Scouts,” said Vitek. “Individuals like Karen, who truly care about helping girls become the leaders of tomorrow, are crucial to our success as the premier leadership organization for girls.”

To find out more about volunteer opportunities within Girl Scouts, call 713-292-0300 or visit

Girl Scouts of the USA is the world's preeminent organization for girls, with a membership of more than 3.5 million girls and adults. Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. Chartered by GSUSA to provide Girl Scouting locally, Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council is one of the largest Girl Scout councils in the country serving more than 64,000 girl members and 18,000 adults in 26 southeast Texas counties. For more information call 1-800-392-4340 or visit

GSSJC Pluralism Statement
Embracing and promoting pluralism is an integral part of every activity and plan of Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council, not disconnected or separate projects. Only individuals willing to accept and be educated about the basic tenet that Girl Scouting is for all girls may serve in volunteer leadership or staff positions.

GSSJC | Communications Department
3110 Southwest Freeway  Houston, TX 77098