From Tragedy to Celebration

Life is unpredictable. Just ask Joyce Termini, mother of the late Beth Winters.

When Joyce took Beth to a meeting to learn more about being a Girl Scout in the 1970’s, Joyce left that meeting with a new title, troop leader. We’re sure some of you can still relate to this same story too!

Beth took to camping and loved everything about Girl Scouts. Beth was the kind of person who wanted to know everything about everything. Beth traveled with the first rendition of what is now called the Girl Scout Destinations program and was part of “Leadership Today and Tomorrow,” a national initiative of GSUSA and AVON at the time. In that program, she received a scholarship to attend the University of Missouri where she went on to earn a degree in Journalism and minored in music.

Beth paid for her own college experience by working and receiving grants and scholarships, something that her and her family was proud of. She graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1991 and upon graduation, was offered a job with Time Life Books, of which she interned with during her time in college.

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Just four years after graduating college and a year after getting married in Joyce and George Termini’s backyard garden, Beth was tragically killed in a car accident.

Upon her passing, Joyce and Beth’s brother Chip began thinking of ways to honor and remember her. With Beth’s passion for continuing education and her love of Girl Scouts, a scholarship for graduating Girl Scouts in seemed like the perfect fit. “This was exactly the right answer,” is how Joyce describes starting the scholarship.

Twenty years later, the Beth Winters Memorial Scholarship has provided 28 scholarships totaling nearly $50,000.

Joyce jokes that “Beth started her own scholarship” since she was so organized with all of her retirement planning and life insurance policies, things that typical 26 year olds don’t give much thought.

Groups that she had worked with and people Beth had met sent donations to the scholarship in lieu of flowers and the next thing Joyce and Chip realized is that they had the foundation for scholarship fund that would be sustainable.

Joyce presenting the 2016 Beth Winters Scholarships at Inspire a Girl.

Joyce presenting the 2016 Beth Winters Scholarships at Inspire a Girl.

Each year, Joyce contributes to the scholarship fund to honor Beth’s birthday and give her a gift at Christmas and family members continue to donate as well.

While Joyce and Chip do all the granting from the fund, Girl Scouts of NE Kansas & NW Missouri manages the financial side.

“This scholarship is in celebration of her life and the accomplishments of so many young women who in their curiosity, enthusiasm, energy and efforts to better the world, remind us of Beth.”

Former scholarship recipients include a pastor, public relations director for the Fort Osage school district, a professional actress living in New York, a Major in the Army, a project leader for the Boston Consulting Group, assistant rowing coach at K-State, a teacher in the Park Hill school district and many other distinguished young women and current students!

This year’s recipients are Amanda Johnson, Blayre Messner and Abby Mitchell.

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When Joyce and Chip started the scholarship, there were other scholarships available to graduating Girl Scouts. In the past 20 years, the organizers of those scholarships have since moved on to other projects, leaving the Beth Winters Memorial Scholarship as the only one specifically for deserving Girl Scouts.

Joyce is challenging you to fund a scholarship to honor and reward deserving girls every year. It could be a memorial scholarship like theirs, a scholarship that honor someone special, or recognize what Girl Scouting has meant to your own life!

She’ll tell you that you don’t have to know much about how to do it! Our council’s staff will assist; manage the fund and providing administrative support so you can do the fun stuff.

“If you want to see your dollars put to good use making the world a better place, please consider a Girl Scout scholarship, I can’t think of a better investment in the future,” Joyce said.

If you’re interested in learning more about starting a scholarship fund, please contact Mary Pat Beals at 816-759-3045 or marypatbeals@gsksmo.org

 

 

 

 

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