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Crystal Simmons
(713) 292-0321

Girl Scout forms volunteer website to earn Gold Award

BELLAIRE (March 8, 2011) – Girl Scout Ambassador Nicole B. formed the web-based volunteer group, Bellaire Youth Art Initiative, 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.

“It’s imperative to be flexible,” says Nicole, a senior at Bellaire High School. “After having to delay my project due to scheduling conflicts, I realized that I was going to have to adapt my project to fit a new timeline.”

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 combine my creative interests with a unique leadership idea,” explains Nicole. “I had talk to Mary Cohrs, director of the Bellaire Public Library, and she mentioned how they needed help with various small scale renovations. I tried to expand on this to create a sustainable project.”

The website Nicole created provided a forum for discussing volunteer projects and allowed volunteers to sign up for projects, consolidate schedules and seek supplies. As part of the initiative, Nicole and her volunteers repainted the Bellaire Public Library Drop Box and assisted in the Bellaire Art Festival.

“Nikki has always been independent and strong,” says Gordon Beittenmiller, Nicole’s father. “Her Gold Award work brought out an even greater degree of responsibility in her, as she navigated an interesting and useful project from conception to successful completion.”

At Bellaire High School, Nicole is involved in National Honor Society, Spanish Club, Mock Trial team and many others. She is also a National Merit Semi-Finalist. Following graduation, she plans to study history and international relations in 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 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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