Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas (GSNETX) today announced local students Shelly Goel and Emma Shore as the 2017 Young Women of Distinction award recipients. Chosen for their outstanding commitment to community service and leadership, and efforts to address gender disparity in STEM, the two Girl Scouts demonstrate impeccable courage, character and confidence, inspiring young women across their communities to go above and beyond in order to make the world a better place. GSNTEX will present the awards during the Women of Distinction Luncheon presented by AT&T at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 3 at The Omni Dallas Hotel.
“We are proud to recognize Emma and Shelly as our Young Woman of Distinction award recipients this year,” said Jennifer Bartkowski, chief executive officer for GSNETX. “Both of these exceptional young women have made huge imprints in their communities. Their projects represent a passion for equity for women in STEM fields and provide a pathway for young students to see a vision for their future in science, technology, engineering and math. They are both exemplary Girl Scouts who serve as an inspiration and role model to young women everywhere.”
This year’s luncheon is chaired by Susan Glassmoyer and Laura Downing and the keynote speaker will be Dr. Mae C. Jemison, the first woman of color in the world to go into space and serve six years as a NASA astronaut. Additional honorees include Sara Martineau and Nina Vaca, Women of Distinction Award, and Todd Williams, Man Enough to be a Girl Scout Awardee.
Funds raised during the luncheon help provide leadership programming to more than 26,000 girls in Northeast Texas in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), entrepreneurship, life skills, and outdoor leadership, as well as support programs at the new STEM Center of Excellence at Camp Whispering Cedars.
About the Honorees
Shelly Goel, Young Woman of Distinction Award
Shelly Goel has been a Girl Scout for 5 years and is currently a junior at the Science and Engineering Magnet at Townview High School in Dallas. For her Gold Award project, Goel aimed to introduce fifth and sixth grade girls to STEM activities in order to instill a passion and interest for STEM subjects and careers at a young age. Through her project, Goel ran courses for middle school students about basic science and engineering concepts, and designed a website complete with self-made materials for the program so it can be replicated for years to come. The materials included student workbooks and an instructor manual covering hands-on activities involving chemical reactions, acids, bases, chemical changes, simple machines and engineering structures. Goel was also able to fundraise $500 to cover supplies for participants at The Sun Ray School. Learn more about her project at Goel’s website, http://sparkstem.wixsite.com/stem4everyone.
“I want to continue to motivate and inspire girls to dispel gender stereotypes and have the confidence and support system to pursue their passions for STEM,” said Goel. “I hope to empower girls to encourage their peers to pursue STEM as well and make a difference in this world.”
Goel is a member of the ScienceUIL and founder of the Science Fair Club, and recently received Science Student of the Year and an AP Scholar award in 2016. She will graduate from Science and Engineering Magnet at Townview High School in 2019.
Emma Shore, Young Woman of Distinction Award
Emma Shore attends The Hockaday School where she is president of JETS, a competitive robotics engineering team, and also participates in Model UN, Science Olympiad, TEAMS, Latin Club and NSDA Honor Society. A lover of the sciences, Shore centered her Gold Award project around robotics where she formed the Cabell Elementary Robotics Club specifically for girls and underrepresented minorities. Designed to address gender inequality in STEM, the club introduces girls to STEM possibilities at an early age. Through the club, girls learn to code basic robot movements, understand the engineering process, and solve problems as a team. Shore is also the recipient of the US Presidential Volunteer Service Award, and the Visionary Award given by Girl Scouts for her work in advancing women’s equality. She will graduate from The Hockaday School in 2018.
“In middle school, I was the only girl in the computer science elective. This was my first experience I had with gender bias in engineering. I experienced bias again in my high school competition team when we were treated differently from our male peers,” said Shore. “When I chose my Gold Award project, I set out to combat gender disparity in STEM fields and to encourage young girls to pursue interests in robotics and coding. Many underserved schools do not have the resources to offer rich robotics programs. The program I started provides easy to access resources including kits and lesson plans with daily activities and instructions to keep the club running. I hope to continue to promote dialogue about gender inequity in STEM and encourage girls to reach their potential in technical fields.”