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Media Contact: Miranda Enzor
Office: 713-292-0384

West U Girl Scout holds dance clinic for child refugees to earn Gold Award

Houston, TX – Girl Scout Kristen S. held a summer dance clinic at St. John’s School’s Summer Express to earn Girl Scouts of the USA’s Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can receive. Less than five percent of girls who join Girl Scouts achieve this national recognition.

“I learned how to lead a group of volunteers and how to adjust when things did not turn out as planned,” said Kristen, a junior at St. John’s 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 have been dancing for nine years, and I wanted to share all my technical knowledge with those who haven’t had the opportunity to enjoy this art form,” said Kristen. “I also wanted to enrich these recently arrived refugee kids’ American experience with new ideas and cultures while respecting their individuality and promoting a sense of belonging.”

For her project, Kristen led a team of volunteers in planning and teaching the dance clinic. The clinic was held as part of St. John’s School’s Summer Express, a week-long tutoring program for recently arrived refugee children to prepare them for their transition into a new school system. In addition to teaching the children dance skills, Kristen also collected 40 dance costumes that the participants wore in their performance on the final day of the clinic.

“Kristen improved her organizational skills and learned how to effectively lead a group of people to achieve a common goal,” said Arlene N., Kristen’s mother. “Her focus, decisiveness and determination have allowed her to achieve her goals which has strengthened her confidence and self-esteem.”

Kristen has been a member of Girl Scouts for 10 years. At St. John’s School she is a member track and field as well as Terpsichore, her school’s highest-level dance team. Kristen is also captain of her school’s girls’ cross-country team. Following graduation in 2014, she plans to attend college to study dance and pre-med.

About Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council

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 70,000 girl members and 19,000 adults in 26 southeast Texas counties. For more information call 1-800-392-4340 or visit

About the Gold Award

The Girl Scout Gold Award represents the highest achievement in Girl Scouting; it recognizes girls in grades 9 through 12 who demonstrate extraordinary leadership through sustainable and measurable Take Action projects. Since 1916, girls have successfully answered the call to Go Gold, an act that indelibly marks them as accomplished members of their communities and the world.

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