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Mona Tolbert
(713) 292-0361

Girl Scout improves local horseback riding trail to earn Gold Award

HOUSTON (Oct. 1, 2010) – Girl Scout Senior Lillian M. designed and built a sensory trail for handicapped horseback riders at the Joy Ride Center in Magnolia to earn the Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can achieve. Less than five percent of girls who join Girl Scouts earn this recognition.

“I learned what it means to be an active citizen, lead and develop independence,” says Lillian, a 2010 graduate of Stratford High School.

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 wanted to permanently and positively change a part of the community that deserves more recognition and support than it has,” explains Lillian.

Joy Ride Center is a horseback riding center that caters to riders with disabilities. Lillian led volunteers in creating a sensory trail, a type of riding trail that serves to challenge disabled riders, stimulate their senses and encourage them to interact with the world around them. Lillian designed, planned and built the trial at Joy Ride Center.

“Lillian has always been a sweet, self-disciplined and talented young lady,” says Thomas M., Lillian’s father. “The challenge of this project had developed her leadership skills and confidence in a way that has rounded and prepared her for life.”

As a member of Girl Scouts, Lillian has also earned the Bronze and Silver Awards. At Stratford High School, she was a member of swim team and National Honor Society. She is currently attending Rice University to study business.

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 72,000 girl members and 18,000 adults in 26 southeast Texas counties. For more information call 1-800-392-4340 or visit

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