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Amber Childres

Teen Designs Self-Esteem Program for Kids at Local Shelter

HOUSTON (March 2009) – Girl Scout Senior Megan M. designed and led a character-building program for young girls at The Mission of Yahweh’s House of Joy, a local shelter, to earn the Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can achieve. Less than 5 percent of girls who join Girl Scouts earn this recognition.

“Through my community service project, I learned that patience is the key to leading a large group and that everything runs more smoothly when I take the time to listen to other ideas and contributions,” says Megan, a student at Memorial Senior High School. “It’s important to reach out and help children with low self-esteem and confidence. My experience showed me how just one person or one program can make a huge impact on someone’s life and bring them great joy and happiness.”

Earning the Gold Award is a significant honor that requires recipients to demonstrate outstanding leadership skills, career planning, community involvement and personal development. It takes more than 100 service hours and two to three years of intensive work to complete the award requirements, which include planning and completing a project that is a service to the community.

“I chose this project because I’m interested in how character traits can build self-esteem and confidence,” explains Megan. “I wanted to work with children to help them develop their character to gain confidence so they might find success in the future.”

As part of her project, Megan recruited 11 volunteers to help design a program for girls ages 5 through 12 who are either homeless, abused or come from low-income households. During their meetings, the girls played games and made crafts while Megan addressed eight character traits that boost confidence and self-esteem.

“Megan learned a great deal about character traits and how they impact your self-esteem and self-worth,” says Anne McCormack, Megan’s mother. “The young girls in her group are also interested in starting their own Girl Scout troop; Megan is excited for them because she has truly enjoyed her Girl Scout experience.”

As part of a Girl Scout troop, Megan enjoys camping and works on community service projects. This summer, her troop is planning a trip to Our Chalet, a Girl Scout World Center in Switzerland that brings Girl Scouts together from around the globe to share experiences, as well as the culture and traditions of their homeland. After high school, Megan plans to attend college.

Girl Scouts of the USA is the world's preeminent organization for girls, with a membership of more than 3.7 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 65,000 girl members and 17,000 adults in 26 southeast Texas counties. For more information call 1-800-392-4340 or visit