Seven Tyler members of Girl Scout Troop 201 recently received the Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can receive.

Morgan Koziol, Sarah Lozano, Alondra Martinez, Meaghan Rabon, Amber Smith, Mel-anie Webb and Shaena White were among 136 Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas to receive the Gold Award for exceptional leadership, organization and community involvement.

Miss Smith also received a $5,000 Samsung Schol-arship.

To meet the requirements of the Gold Award, a girl must be a senior or ambassador, complete two Girl Scout Senior or Ambas-sador GS Journeys or earn the GS Silver Award and complete one Senior or Ambas-sador GS Journey.

Once they meet the requirements, girls must submit a proposal to be reviewed by the Gold Award committee.

Miss Koziol used storytelling to create workshops at the Boys & Girls Club of East Texas. During 12 sessions, along with her volunteers, the workshops provided a venue to build literacy and critical thinking skills. She rewrote several fab-les to use as plays, which gave the participants a way to express themselves with body language, music, costumes and props. She will graduate from Rob-ert E Lee High School in 2017.

Miss Lozano designed and constructed a 1,400-square-foot prayer garden at the Paul Powell Green Acres Church Retreat Center to help people from all walks of life relax and spiritually reconnect. The garden features three trees and 32 flowering bushes, a winding decomposed granite pathway, stone benches and boulders for seating. The garden will be maintained by the Retreat Center and through an "Adopt the Garden" program created by Miss Lozano. She will graduate in 2015 through a home-school Keystone National program.

Miss Martinez led volunteers in repairing and painting a 25-by-4 foot wooden bridge and repaired a sprinkler system that waters the area of the Master Garden at Bishop Thomas Gorman Middle and High School. She added garden landscaping to help slow the erosion in the area of the bridge and make it more attractive. The school administration and students will maintain the newly renovated area. She will graduate from John Tyler High School in 2016.

Miss Rabon was inspired to help children around the world through Mercy Ships, a global charity that operates hospital ships that provide free health care to the poor worldwide. She worked closely with the Green Acres Church Children's Ministry and Tyler Junior College students to educate the community about Mercy Ships' mission and its "Patient Life Program Needs." She and her volunteers assembled more than 1,200 children activity packages, which included crayons, notebooks, pens and coloring books.

Miss Smith and a team of volunteers created more than 180 pillows for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Using recycled materials from the Relay for Life, a cancer fundraising event, the pillows represented a symbol of hope, both as a means of physical comfort and emotional support for patients fighting cancer. She created so much awareness in the community that several organizations are adopting her project. She recently graduated from Robert E. Lee High School.

Miss Webb conducted a project centered on educating her community about intellectual and developmentally disabled persons, focusing on Down syndrome and autism. Working directly with the ARC of Tyler, a nonprofit volunteer organization, she provided more than 300 handmade boutonnieres and corsages for their annual spring dance, as well as reusable room and table decorations for the other five themed dances held each year. She will graduate from Robert E. Lee High School in 2015.

Miss White organized a community-wide bone marrow registration drive in partnership with the "Be The Match" National Bone Marrow Registry. She received a proclamation from Tyler Mayor Barbara Bass declaring the week of the drive as "Save a Life With Only a Swab" week in Tyler. The drive resulted in almost 400 individuals completing the process. She will be a 2016 Troup High School graduate and plans to attend college and pursue a career in the medical field.


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