• Stand up, don’t stand by

    03 Sep 2014

    As students begin to settle into the school year, it’s important to be aware that one-third of girls ages 12-18 have reported being bullied at school; 85 percent of the time, no one intervenes.

    The Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas (GSNETX) is looking to change that statistic by instilling courage, confidence and character in its 33,000 members.

    “I am totally in the know about these things because I have a 6th-grade daughter,” said Jennifer Bartkowski, CEO of GSNETX. “Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas has been around for 102 years, and the core of who we are is about how to have healthy relationships. As we have seen girl-on-girl bullying and cyberbullying increase, Girl Scouts provides resources to prevent bullying. Troops learn teamwork, conflict resolution, how to build a better self and about positive relationships. [It’s important because] girls don’t always get that kind of character development outside of school.”

    Of the 7,233 Girl Scouts in Collin County, more than 2,400 live in Plano. Bartkowski said Girl Scouts in grades 6-8 participate in a “journey” aimed at the organization’s three keys of leadership: discover, connect, take action.

    “We have three journeys – one is called aMaze! and it’s all about healthy relationships,” Bartkowski said. “Girls go through that journey over two to three years and learn how to stand up for themselves and how to have healthy relationships.”

    A few years ago Girl Scouts developed its BFF: Be a Friend Fi...

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  • Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas to Honor Key Contributors

    09 Aug 2014

    Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas (GSNETX) will honor two deserving women and exceptional Girl Scouts at the Women of Distinction Luncheon this fall.

    Gene Jones, Board of Directors for the AT&T Center for Performing Arts and the Texas Cultural Trust, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award for her lifelong pursuit of helping others. Former Girl Scout and teacher Nancy Ann Hunt, will receive the Woman of Distinction Award.

    The luncheon is presented by AT&T and will be held Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014, at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas with keynote speaker Alison Levine, team captain of the first American women’s Everest expedition and author of the New York Times best-seller, On the Edge: The Art of High-Impact Leadership.

    The Women of Distinction Luncheon recognizes outstanding women leaders and girl scouts for their service to the community. Funds raised during the luncheon help provide memorable programs to more than 33,000 girls in Northeast Texas in the areas of financial literacy, healthy living, science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and outdoor leadership.

    “Gene and Nancy are incredible examples of women making a difference in the Dallas community through their everyday commitment to help others,” said Jennifer Bartkowski, chief executive officer for the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas. “At Girl Scou...

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  • Girl Scouts’ Golden Gals Benefit Communities

    08 Jul 2014

    (Retrieved from

    Just call them the golden girls. Local Girl Scouts Meredith Burke, Grace Cunningham, Meghan Harshaw, Ryan McBride, Susan Adelaide Moore, Farish Mozley, and Amanda White recently received the organization’s prestigious Gold Award.

    “It takes a minimum of 80 hours to complete a Gold Award [project],” explained Ana Harshaw, who leads Troop 306. “Twenty of the 80 hours must be in leadership. The project must also be sustainable and global, and the girl must be able to evaluate the impact of the project.”

    In other words, a Girl Scout must not only identify a problem — she must take measurable action in order to solve it. Take Harshaw’s daughter-turned-Troop member, Meghan, for example. Concerned after observing two years of West Nile Virus outbreaks in Dallas County, Meghan began researching preventative measures that were both natural and eco-friendly. Her final solution? Let’s just say it’s a bit, well, batty.

    “In my zip code there was a major outbreak,” Meghan recalled. “I researched how to curb West Nile and we found out that bats eat a lot of mosquitoes, so we decided to build bat houses.”

    With full cooperation from her homeowners association, Megan began building and installing bat houses for every neighbor willing to participate. For those desiring an artistic touch, she added a spray-painted Batman logo.


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