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Seabrook teen earns national service award for hurricane checklist, becomes Gold Award Girl Scout


According to the Girl Scout Research Institute’s (GSRI) report, The Power of the Girl Scout Gold Award: Excellence in Leadership and Life, Gold Award Girl Scouts receive greater lifetime benefits than their peers with regard to positive sense of self, life satisfaction, leadership, life success, community service and civic engagement thanks to their experience in Girl Scouting, including earning their Gold Award.

Tessa Daniels, a graduate of Clear Falls High School, has become a Gold Award Girl Scout. The honor recognizes girls in grades 9 through 12 who demonstrate extraordinary leadership through sustainable and measurable community service projects that require a minimum of 80 hours to complete. Less than five percent of Girl Scouts earn the award.

Texas is the second most hurricane-affected state in America. Emergency preparation information is generally directed to adults and not youth, so to become a Gold Award Girl Scout, Daniels designed a youth-appropriate hurricane checklist that provided simple, organized steps to help young people prepare for a hurricane as well as steps on what to do during and after.

“While adults have overall hurricane preparation responsibility, youths now have a strong tool to help themselves and their family prepare,” said Daniels. “Being prepared changes the process and increases the level of success.”

Daniels assembled two youth focus groups to help design a youth-appropriate checklist. It describes how to protect key emergency items in zippered plastic bags inside a trash bag. Daniels demonstrated and presented the checklist to four city emergency managers and one school district. The checklist was added to their city and school district hurricane plans. More than 40,000 age-appropriate youths in the Texas Bay Area were impacted by Daniels’ project.

“As a youth, hurricane seasons always brought fear and anxiety, and I’m sure others feel the same,” Daniels said. “Living on the Texas Gulf Coast, the problem is a big part of life. It was a prominent thought when choosing a topic to make a difference.”

Daniels attends a four-year college and is majoring in cell biology.

To learn more about the Girl Scout Gold Award, visit