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111 Girl Scouts Of Northeast Texas Honored During Gold Awards

The award is given to less than 6% of Girl Scouts

The Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas celebrated 111 members of the 2024 Girl Scout Gold Award class during a ceremony at the Plano Event Center. This accomplishment made the council the third-highest in the nation for the number of Gold Award Girl Scouts. 

These young women earned the highest honor in Girl Scouting by identifying key community challenges and developing innovative solutions. “These Gold Award Girl Scouts are not just participants in their communities but active architects of change,” said Jennifer Bartkowski, CEO of Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas. “Each of their projects proves these young women are well-equipped to lead and innovate in any environment and underscores the powerful impact of the Girl Scout leadership experience.”

The Gold Award Girl Scouts tackled a range of issues that American teens consider most pressing in today's society. This year’s key focus areas included diversity, equity, inclusion and racial justice (DEI-RJ), mental and physical well-being and environmental sustainability. Each project aligned with one or more of the Girl Scout pillars — STEM, outdoors, life skills and entrepreneurship — demonstrating the comprehensive skills and values that Girl Scouts instill in its members, fostering the development of well-rounded, capable leaders.

Among the initiatives, Zoya Hussain volunteered with the project, "Days-of-Service," to address the gender disparity in STEM fields, where less than 20% of the workforce comprises gender minorities. The initial project, created by Abby Fischler and Belle See, also worked in collaboration with The Hack Foundation and co-founder Christina Asquith to deliver numerous hackathon events, teaching over 100 students coding skills such as website development and video game design. The project recently secured a grant from SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell to expand its reach to 1,000 students across the nation. Hussain is set to graduate from Great Hearts Irving Upper School in 2025.

Update 6/7/24 9 a.m. A previous version of this article included incorrect information regarding Hussain's project. It has now been updated to better reflect the project. 

Representing the Girl Scout Pillar of Outdoors, Elizabeth Cater spearheaded the project "Red, White & BBQ" to create a welcoming outdoor space at CampV, a veterans' campus in East Texas. Driven by the statistic that 22 veterans commit suicide each day, Cater sought to raise awareness and support. She gave presentations at churches and community organizations about the mental health challenges and PTSD that veterans face. Her efforts for CampV, which included providing barbecue equipment such as grills, utensils, trash cans and a drawer storage system, earned her formal recognition from the Smith County Commissioners Court, which declared May 14 as "Elizabeth Cater Day." Cater is set to graduate this year from Bishop Thomas K. Gorman Catholic School, where she has distinguished herself as the senior class president and salutatorian.

Achieved by less than 6% of Girl Scouts, the Gold Award requires a minimum of 80 hours dedicated to leading a community service project, highlighting these young women as future leaders. Gold Award Girl Scouts exemplify the spirit and values of the organization, demonstrating that with courage, confidence, and character, they are poised to shape a better future.

For more information about the Gold Awards, including requirements and deadlines to apply, visit

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