According to the Girl Scout Research Institute’s (GSRI) report, The Power of the Girl Scout Gold Award: Excellence in Leadership and Life, Girl Scout Gold Award recipients receive greater lifetime benefits than their peers with regard to positive sense of self, life satisfaction, leadership, life success, community service, and civic engagement thanks to their experience in Girl Scouting, including earning their Gold Award.

Jari McCoy, a graduate of Jersey Village High School, has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor in Girl Scouting.  The award recognizes girls in grades 9 through 12 who demonstrate extraordinary leadership through sustainable and measurable community service projects that require a minimum of 80 hours to complete. Less than five percent of Girl Scouts earn the award.

McCoy wanted to address the lack of music education and appreciation among youth and music therapy for the elderly, so she launched Smiling Strings, a project that included a classical quartet made up of  McCoy and a few of her friends from her school’s orchestra. They put on performances for children and the retired who lived in their community.

“Our audience response from the kids was more than expected and some of the questions asked were about the instruments, why we got into music and whether or not it was difficult to learn,” said McCoy.

Music has always been a big part of McCoy’s life. She was a member of her high school’s orchestra and previously played for patients at Memorial Hospital.

McCoy is currently attending University of Texas at San Antonio where she is majoring in Anthropology.

To learn more about the Girl Scout Gold Award, 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

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