GSNEO pins new honorary troop in Columbus
|Photo courtesy of Girl Scouts of North East Ohio|
The new troop is intended to serve as an advocate for girls and young women in: promoting girls’ physical, social and emotional health; increasing girls’ involvement in science, technology, engineering and math; advancing the cause of girls in leadership; and strengthening their financial literacy. The troop also will help educate branches of Ohio government about the issues and barriers that hinder girls and young women from opportunities to excel in these areas.
Serving as co-chairs of the troop are state Rep. Anne Gonzales (R-Westerville) and Sen. Shirley Smith (D-Cleveland). The other councils at the event included Ohio’s Heartland Council, Black Diamond Council and Western Ohio Council, who with GSNEO serve 120,000 Girl Scouts statewide with support from nearly 30,000 volunteers.
Ingram-White Castle Foundation sponsored the event, as well as the “Voices of Freedom” scholarship essay contest. The contest was open to Ohio Girl Scouts in grades nine through 12 who have earned Girl Scouts’ highest honor, the Girl Scout Gold Award. The girls were asked to write about a female leader who inspires them to take action in their communities. Five recipients each received a $1,000 college scholarship. Among the finalists was Telayne Keith, 17, of Akron and a student at Our Lady of the Elms. Her essay, titled “Gotta Be Me,” described how her mother, Willa Keith, overcame adversity in her life and became a role model, mentor and leader. “Willa continues to shine and pursue her dreams advocating for peace, justice, and self-worth in the community,” said Telayne Keith. “I am truly inspired by her tenacity, strength, and ambition, and I believe those qualities have been given to me.”
Shown at right, from left, is GSNEO CEO Daisy Alford-Smith, Telanye Keith and Erin Shannon, community relations manager, White Castle System Inc., and great-granddaughter of White Castle founder E.W. Ingram, who presented the scholarships to the girls.
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