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Crystal Simmons
(713) 292-0361

Girl Scout entertains the elderly to earn Gold Award

HOUSTON (Dec. 15, 2010) – Girl Scout Shayda H. spent nine months providing entertainment to residents of West Oaks 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 that I can make the residents of West Oaks feel wanted, and I learned I can make them happy by doing the smallest thing,” says Shayda, a 2010 Kerr High School graduate. “They enjoyed the crafts we did.”

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 saw the residents, and I just wanted to hug them one by one,” says Shayda. “They were really friendly.”

Shayda organized a group of volunteers to visit the elderly every Saturday for two to four hours. She provided activities such as bingo, gardening activities and crafts. About six to fifteen residents attended each activity.

“I think she showed compassion, patience and understanding for many of the residents who simply wanted the attention and time a young person could provide,” says Diana Hajiebrahimi, Shayda’s mother. “She learned that it is important to not forget the elderly and to recognize their need to be visited and listened to.”

At Kerr High School, Shayda is involved in the Alief Jazz Bullet and Student Council. Currently, she attends Houston Community College. Eventually, she plans to enroll in Texas A&M and major in elementary school 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

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