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Amber Childres

Missouri City Teen Encourages Active Lifestyles for Youth. Earns Gold Award

MISSOURI CITY, Texas (June 2009) – Girl Scout Senior Rai’Shonna P. planned and held an activity day for children at the Stafford Branch Boys and Girls Club 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 you have to stay strong when things don’t always go your way and push through it to accomplish your ultimate goal,” says Rai’Shonna, who had a minor setback while planning her Gold Award project due to Hurricane Ike.

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 wanted to help kids understand the importance of leading an active lifestyle, while addressing other issues such as positive self-esteem, good study habits and constructive criticism,” explains Rai-Shonna as to why she chose this particular project.

As part of her project, Rai-Shonna organized a group of 29 kids and six volunteers to help her host various activities including volleyball, basketball, pool, book reading and computer games. She also taught the children about the benefits of meeting new people, eating healthy and other fun ways they can stay mentally and physically fit. In fact, the children enjoyed working with Rai-Shonna so much that 12 girls who participated in the program signed up for Girl Scouts.

“Rai’Shonna has learned patience and communication skills while working on her Gold Award,” says her father, Raymond. Rai’Shonna’s mother adds, “My daughter has learned first-hand what it means to be committed to something and how to follow through with a task even when obstacles stand in her way. We are very proud of what she’s been able to accomplish.”

An active member of her Girl Scout troop, Rai-Shonna is involved in the Senior Senate as well as a member of the New Faith Church Flag Corps. She will be a senior at Thurgood Marshall High School in the fall, and plans to attend college after graduation with an interest in psychology.

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