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Mona Tolbert
(713) 292-0361

Houston We Have A Party
Girl Scout creates museum training guide, earns Gold Award

HOUSTON (Sept. 2, 2011) – Girl Scout Jessica H. created training manuals for teen summer volunteers at the Museum of Natural Sciences 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 could complete a long-term project and, obviously, a great deal about different indigenous groups living in Latin America,” says Jessica, a 2011 graduate of Cinco Ranch High School.

girl scout jessica earns gold awardEarning 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 my past work at the museum revealed the lack of a guide for the Latin American section of the Hall of the Americas,” explains Jessica. “I hope my work will help encourage museum patrons to spend more time in this part of the museum.

To complete her project, Jessica had to conduct research, create the manuals and provide training. In the manuals, Jessica included information on the Latin American section of the museum and how to use the museum’s touch carts and interactive displays. Jessica also created a PowerPoint presentation to give volunteers an overview of the Latin American section.

“Our daughter, Jessica, grew a lot throughout her Gold Award experience,” says Phil and Janet Heppard, Jessica’s parents. “From completing a variety of interest projects through working as an Ecoteen volunteer to try out a career, Jessica learned much about life as an adult. Her leadership project taught her how to plan and carry out a long-term project. Jessica had to learn time-management to complete her project while balancing school work and other activities.”

As a Girl Scout, Jessica was a program aid at three day camps and attended three destinations trips, including the San Juan Islands, the Grand Canyon and Ireland. At Cinco Ranch High School, Jessica was involved in National Honor Society, Spanish National Honor Society and the Creative Writing Club. Following graduation, she plans to attend Trinity 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 76,000 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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