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Amber Childres

Girl Scout Created Religious Tolerance Workshop, Earns Gold Award

SPRING, Texas (June 2009) – Girl Scout Senior Amanda F. organized a group of students at Klein Oak High School to help promote understanding among different religions. The project earned her the Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can achieve. Less than 5 percent of girls who join Girl Scouts earn this recognition.

“I decided to do this particular project because I noticed an absence of religious education at my high school and the effects it had on students,” says Amanda, who recently graduated from Klein Oak in May. “General ignorance and misconceptions about certain religions were causing people to fear each other and harbor hostility. I wanted to create a group to address this issue, and clear up some of the misconceptions.”

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.

“Not only did I learn a lot about different world religions, but I also learned how much they have in common,” Amanda says. “Although religions may have varying practices and beliefs, most revolve around the same core principals which is what I wanted to share with my classmates.”

As part of her project, Amanda organized a group of 25 students and held regular discussions about various religions and religious practices. She then hosted a booth at a school event to provide information to students.

“I have seen my daughter grow both intellectually and morally as the result of her work on this Gold Award project,” says Maria F., Amanda’s mother. “I can see that her understanding of the world and humanity has developed greatly and I’m proud of everything she has accomplished.”

An active member of her Girl Scout troop, Amanda enjoys community service and has completed her Girl Scout Bronze and Silver Awards. She enjoys camping, and participated in choir in high school. Amanda plans to attend college in the fall to study biology or chemical engineering.

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 65,000 girl members and 17,000 adults in 26 southeast Texas counties. For more information call 1-800-392-4340 or visit