Girl Scout Ambassador Erica Tello organized a field day for mentally and physically disabled children 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 every child should be able to participate in a school’s activities,” says Erica, a 2010 graduate of St. Agnes Academy. “Disabilities shouldn’t stand in the way of letting children participate. I learned I truly made a difference and that disabled children could participate in adaptable games.”
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.
“My little cousin Samantha is in the Life Skills program,” explains Erica. “I wanted these kids to be able to participate in field day with fun and adaptive games that fit their needs.”
For her project, Erica created adaptive games and field events for the Life Skills class at Roosevelt Alexander Elementary in Katy, after learning the students could not participate in the general field day. She worked closely with Life Skills teachers to develop the activities, and she worked with local stores to collect donations that included prizes, equipment and lunch for all the volunteers and students.
“Erica has shown that no task is impossible,” says Maricela Tello, Erica’s mother. “She deserves this award whole-heartedly. We are very proud of her tenacity, leadership and organization skills that helped her achieve success.”
As an active member of Girl Scouts, Erica has earned her Silver and Bronze awards. At St. Agnes Academy, Erica was involved in student council, varsity cheerleading, yearbook, Habitat for Humanity and more. Currently, she is attending the University of Missouri to study broadcast journalism.
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