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Crystal Simmons
(713) 292-0321

Girl Scout teaches music to autistic children to earn Gold Award

MISSOURI CITY (Jan. 27, 2011) – Girl Scout Ambassador Brianna B. led musical activities for children with autism 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 skills in coordinating volunteers and community relations,” says Brianna, a 2010 graduate of Hightower High School. “I also learned how to better apply my talents for the service of others and am interested in expanding it with a master’s degree in music therapy later on.”

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 am passionate about sharing my gift of music with others,” explains Brianna. “Using my talents to serve others at a disadvantage in the community and improve their well-being and social/physical skills is the best way for me to reach out to my community.”

Brianna gave four-hour lessons for five days to children in the Texana Center Behavior Treatment and Training Day Program. Children learned the lessons in three groups according to their needs: early development, intermediate and advanced. The activities included singing songs with motions, playing musical games, making music on drums and pianos and moving ribbons in rhythm to music. At the end, she donated the musical instruments, music and other materials to the center and created a song book, so the center could continue using music to treat autism.

“Brianna found her project to be very rewarding and the success of the project reaffirmed her interest in working with special needs children and pursuing her degree in music education and music therapy,” says Kristina and Lawrence Bonnette, Brianna’s parents. “She is even more self-confident that she can accomplish her goals.”

Brianna is a lifetime member of Girl Scouts and has earned her Silver Award. At Hightower High School, she was a member of National Honor Society, drama club and choir. She currently attends Sam Houston State University and is majoring in vocal music education.

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 www.gssjc.org.

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