Girl Scouts Where Girls Grow Strong  

Contact: Tami De La Fuente/Marianita K. Paddock
1-800-392-4340, ext. 1277 or ext. 1207
713-778-4604 or 713-707-7190 (pagers)


Hundreds gather in Washington, D.C. to honor her as a Girl Scout Gold Award Young Woman of Distinction for her leadership and commitment to community service

Houston, Texas -- Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) named Leanna, 18, of Houston, Texas, a Girl Scout Gold Award Young Woman of Distinction for her community service. This prestigious honor—earned by only ten Girl Scouts in the country every year—will be celebrated in Washington, D.C., March 1-March 6.

During the weeklong event, Leanna will network with prominent women, job shadow a female mentor who shares similar interests and receive professional training in communications and advocacy. On Girl Scout Congressional Advocacy day, March 3rd, she will join Girl Scouts of the USA new Chief Executive Officer, Kathy Cloninger and hundreds of Girl Scout executives on the Hill to meet with members of Congress and White House officials.

On Thursday, March 4th, the honorees will formally be recognized for their accomplishments at an awards breakfast at the Hilton Washington Hotel. In addition to the all-expense paid trip sponsored by Delta Airlines and GSUSA, each Girl Scout Gold Award Young Woman of Distinction will receive a $1,000 college sponsorship from the Kappa Delta national sorority.

For her project, “Bringing Books to Bremond, Texas,” Leanna worked tirelessly to establish the town’s first ever public library: collecting, sorting, counting, boxing and delivering 6,050 books in four separate deliveries to what is now the official Bremond Public Library. Leanna’s project doubled the size of the library’s collection, making it eligible for inclusion in the Central Texas Library System, and thus helping to ensure literacy for the next generation of Bremond.

“Leanna‘s Girl Scout Gold Award Young Women of Distinction project, shows her leadership and real commitment to issues that affect today’s youth,” said Mary Vitek, Chief Executive Officer of Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council. “This year’s honorees validate the Girl Scout conviction that given the right support, today’s young women can achieve real and positive change.” Leanna is the third Houston Girl Scout chosen as a Young Woman of Distinction by GSUSA: following Priti, who hosted an eye clinic in a rural Indian village, and Tami, who developed a Science Literacy Project for kids in partnership with the Houston Public Library.

As the highest recognition in Girl Scouting, less than one percent of all Girl Scouts receive the Girl Scout Gold Award. Of these girls, only ten earn the Girl Scout Gold Award Young Women of Distinction honor. These young women represent the highest degree of leadership, personal development and commitment to their community service project, which is implemented over one to two years, and has far reaching effects in their communities and beyond.

The San Jacinto Council serves 58,126 of girls and has 14,000 active volunteers serving 21 counties in the Houston area. Girl Scouts of the USA is the preeminent organization for girls, and has more than 3.8 million girl and adult members. Girl Scouting cultivates values, social conscience, and self-esteem in young girls, while teaching them critical life skills to later succeed as adults. The organization strives to serve girls from every corner of the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. To volunteer your time or make a donation, call 1-800-GSUSA 4 U.

For more information, please visit us at


GSSJS 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.

Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council l Brand Management & Fund Development Department
3110 Southwest Freeway l Houston, TX 77098