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Crystal Simmons
(713) 292-0321

Girl Scout starts sanitation system in India to earn Gold Award

MISSOURI CITY, Texas (March 8, 2011) – Girl Scout Ambassador Sejal L. established a sanitation system in India 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.

“Even though I went to India to teach these children, the gratitude I received from them taught me to appreciate all I have,” says Sejal, a senior at Hightower High School. “Since I have been blessed with so many things in the U.S., I want to continue to give to those in need in other countries to help more kids prosper.”

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 really felt there was a need to teach poor kids in India about sanitation, hygiene and first aid,” explains Sejal. “Many children in India die due to not having the knowledge that I tried to provide them.”

While in India, Sejal spent three days teaching 50 13-year-olds at a small school hygiene, first aid, proper nutrition and sanitation to give the children the chance to live healthy, long lives. She also gave the students sanitation kits with floss, tooth paste, alcohol swabs, hand sanitizer and established a way for the students to replenish their kits.

“Working toward the Gold Award is challenging,” says Raj Lahoti, Sejal’s mother. “I have seen one thing in Sejal: that she tirelessly worked toward her goal.”

As an active member of Girl Scouts, Sejal has been a camp counselor and participates in cookie sales. At Hightower High School, Sejal is involved in Health Occupation Students of America and varsity tennis. She is president of her chapter of Habitat for Humanity and is vice president of Fort Bend Teen Service League. Following graduation, she plans to attend Duke University to study Biology.

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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