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Lady Oliver
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High School Girl Scout Earns Prestigious Gold Award While Helping the Homeless

If is often shocking to find that in the land of plenty, the United States of America, there are citizens who do not even have the basic necessities of food and shelter. While working on her community service project for her Gold Award, Senior Girl Scout, Michelle M. teamed up with SEARCH to help the homeless. SEARCH is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to helping homeless men, women and children get off the streets and into jobs and affordable housing. They serve more than 10,000 homeless people annually, providing them with the tools to work and achieve self-sufficiency.

Michelle's desire for her project was to help homeless people find hope for better days to come and renew their faith in humanity. "I organized a group of volunteers to read books on tape for the adult educational department and organized a carnival for the children attending SEARCH's daycare center, The House of Tiny Treasures," said Michelle. "We collected $300 dollars worth of diapers and wipes for the facility."

Although Michelle led the charge for her cause, she had help from several friends and family who volunteered to record the books on tape and work at the carnival. "I learned a lot from this project, including how important volunteers are," said Michelle. "I also discovered that I could accomplish so much more when I set goals and stay organized."

Michelle's perseverance has earned her Girl Scouting's highest achievement, the Gold Award. Girl Scouts who earn this award have demonstrated leadership skills, career planning, community involvement, and personal development. It takes two to three years of intensive work to complete all the requirements for the award. Less than five percent of girls who join Girl Scouts earn this recognition. A major component of earning the Gold Award is planning and completing a Gold Award Project that is a service to Girl Scouts and/or the community.

Michelle is an active senior at James E. Taylor High School who participates in the band and is on the National Honor Roll. She is also a Life Teen at Epiphany Catholic Church. "My daughter has learned so much from this experience. It was amazing to watch her work with people of different ages and different backgrounds, too," said Michelle's mother, Patricia M.

Girl Scouts of the USA is the world's preeminent organization for girls, with a membership of more than 3.5 million girls and adults. Today, as when founded in 1912, GSUSA helps cultivate values, social conscience, and self-esteem in young girls, while also teaching them critical life skills that will enable them to succeed as 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 over 63,000 girl members and 18,000 adults in 25 southeast Texas counties. For more information call 1-800-392-4340 or visit www.gssjc.org.

GSSJC Pluralism Statement
Embracing and promoting pluralism is an integral part of every activity and plan of Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council, not disconnected or separate projects. Only individuals willing to accept and be educated about the basic tenet that Girl Scouting is for all girls may serve in volunteer leadership or staff positions.

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