St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parishioner earns highest award

North Texas Catholic
(May 17, 2019) Local

Troop TX2012 coordinator Sonja Maxwell presents Virginia Norred with the Stars and Stripes Award May 16 at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Keller. (NTC/Anna Engelland)

KELLER — Virginia Norred, a parishioner at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Keller, has earned the Stars and Stripes Award, the highest award in American Heritage Girls. She is only the 53rd young woman in Texas to earn the award.

One of several requirements for the award is a service project. Norred visited In My Shoes, a nonprofit providing housing and support to pregnant women experiencing homelessness, and she was inspired to establish a garden and outdoor seating area. She volunteered more than 100 hours as she took the project from design to completion.

Troop leader Sonja Maxwell praised Norred’s dedication, organization, and natural leadership, describing her as a “great mentor to the younger girls.” According to Maxwell, Norred was the driving force behind service projects such as making rosaries and pillowcase dresses for Catholic ministries in Africa.

Virginia served as the troop historian and earned 49 badges during her seven years with American Heritage Girls. Horsemanship and photography were favorites.

Norred was honored at a ceremony on the evening of May 16 at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, which was attended by the 49 members of the troop.

A senior at Byron Nelson High School, Norred plans to attend Louisiana Tech University in Ruston in August, enrolling in their pre-veterinarian program. Ultimately, she would like to be a veterinarian for horses.

American Heritage Girls is a scout-type character building program that helps girls 5 – 18 grow in their Christian faith, experience the outdoors, develop a heart for service, and cultivate leadership.  

Troop leader Maxwell said the organization provides the opportunity to connect with “like-minded young women” who frequently assist at the parish and can earn Catholic patches including Fatima and Year of Mercy.

“American Heritage Girls has helped me grow in my faith,” said Norred. “We have a community of the same faith, and we talk about how God is working in our lives. I appreciate having that love and support behind me.”

Virginia Norred, award, Stars and Stripes Award, American Heritage Girls, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton,, trending-english