Girl Scouts awards $29,000 in scholarships to 24 graduating seniors  

SOUTHEAST TEXAS (April 27, 2017) – The Emerald Circle of the Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council (GSSJC) recognized 24 graduating seniors at the organization’s annual Gold Award Scholarship presentation held April 9. The Emerald Circle awarded a total of $29,000 in scholarships to Girl Scouts who have earned the Gold Award, the highest award in Girl Scouting.

[2017EmeraldCircle]: Recipients of the 2017 Gold Award Scholarships presented by The Emerald Circle (TEC) of Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council. Row 1 (l-r): Suzanne Mastren, Ashka Dighe, Catherine Mastren, Katie Hyde, Victoria Shelby. Row 2 (l-r): Mia Moore, Sydney McCoy, Cara Day, Stephanie Dodgen. Row 3 (l-r): Caroline Dimpel, Kaitlyn Unterman, Tanaya Behramsha, Rachel Bjerkaas, Sydnee Vinnett. Row 4 (l-r): Abbie Seay, Megan Alam, Savannah Lee. Back row (l-r): Halee Lewis, Lindsey Donaldson, Aisha Sheikh, Camille Nutall, Shumaila Lakhani. Not shown: Lindsay Bing and Rebecca Wied. TEC awarded $29,000 to 24 young women at its annual Gold Award Scholarship presentation on April 9. Photo by: Iska Wire

Recipients were required to submit a scholarship application, including a resume, essay and description of their Gold Award project.

2017 Emerald Circle scholarship recipients are:

  • Halee Lewis (zip: 77433), Cypress Ranch High School, Judy Kunkel Memorial Scholarship for $3,000, presented in memory of Kunkel, a long-time Girl Scout volunteer and professional educator.
  • Megan Alam (zip: 77381), Academy of Science and Technology at The Woodlands College Park High School, Albert and Margaret Alkek Foundation Scholarship for $2,500, honoring the Alkeks, Texas philanthropists involved in various community issues, especially in support of education.
  • Victoria Shelby (zip: 77401), St. Agnes Academy, Robert H. and Joanne M. Williams Family Scholarship for $2,000, funded since 2002 by a GSSJC family with three daughters, all of whom earned the Gold Award.
  • Lindsey Donaldson (zip: 77064), Jersey Village High School, Ervan Chew Memorial Scholarship for $1,000, funded by the GSSJC Board of Directors to honor former board member Ervan Chew, a prominent community leader and volunteer who died in 1999 while serving on the board.
  • Five recipients were designated as Goodykoontz Scholars.  This special recognition is given to recipients whose Gold Award projects exemplify the Girl Scout Promise and Law. The designation honors lifetime Girl Scout Dorothy Goodykoontz, founder and past president of The Emerald Circle.  Each of the Goodykoontz scholars received Emerald Circle Gold Award Scholarships for $1,000:

o   Shumaila Lakhani, Clements High School (zip: 77479)

o   Savannah Lee, Clear Falls High School (zip: 77586)

o   Mia Moore, The Woodlands College Park High School (zip: 77393)

o   Camille Nutall, Cypress Woods High School (zip: 77424)

o   Kaitlyn Unterman, The Woodlands College Park High School (zip: 77381)

  • One Emerald Circle Gold Award Scholarship for $1,500 was awarded to:

o   Katie Hyde, Logos Preparatory Academy, Sugar Land (zip: 77479)

Additional Gold Award Scholarships for $1,000 were presented to:

o   Tanaya Behramsha, Langham Creek High School (zip: 77095)

o   Lindsay Bing, Memorial High School (zip: 77024)

o   Rachel Bjerkaas, Cinco Ranch High School (zip: 77494)

o   Cara Day, St. Agnes Academy (zip: 77056)

o   Ashka Dighe, Awty International School (zip: 77041)

o   Caroline Dimpel, The Woodlands College Park High School (zip: 77381)

o   Stephanie Dodgen, Klein Oak High School (zip: 77379)

o   Catherine Mastren, Memorial High School (zip: 77055)

o   Suzanne Mastren, Memorial High School (zip: 77055)

o   Sydney McCoy, Ridge Point High School (zip: 77459)

o   Abbie Seay, Briarwood School (zip: 77450)

o   Aisha Sheikh, George Ranch High School (zip: 77479)

o   Sydnee Vinnett, Cypress Ranch High School (zip: 77424)

o   Rebecca Wied, Monsignor Kelly Catholic High School

(zip: 77706)

Recipients plan to attend a variety of Texas colleges and universities, including University of Houston, University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University, Baylor University, Texas State University and Texas Tech University. Some will attend colleges out of state, including University of Notre Dame, Louisiana State University and Howard University. Two scholarship recipients will attend military academies – the U.S. Naval Academy and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.

Following the presentation ceremony, scholarship recipients joined by their families and friends enjoyed a celebration held at the Girl Scout Center in Houston.

The Emerald Circle (TEC) is Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council’s scholarship selection committee established in 1992. Since then, it has awarded 461 scholarships totaling $629,000 to Girl Scouts who have earned the Gold Award, Girl Scouts highest honor. To learn more about TEC, contact Emily Kelly at 713-292-0358 or email To make a scholarship donation, visit:

About Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council

Girl Scouts of the USA is the world’s preeminent organization for girls, with a membership of more than 2.8 million girls and adults. Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. Chartered by GSUSA to provide Girl Scouting locally, Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council, a United Way agency, is one of the largest Girl Scout councils in the country serving more than 58,000 girl members and 16,000 adults in 26 southeast Texas counties. For more information, call 1-800-392-4340 or visit