GSNC's Gold Award Recipients
Since 1916, Girl Scout’s highest and most prestigious award has stood for excellence and leadership for girls everywhere. The Gold Award focuses on the interests of individual Senior and Ambassador Girl Scouts. Each girl chooses and thoroughly researches an issue she cares about, designs her action plan, builds community collaboration, and takes the lead in implementing the project. Gold Award distinction is recognized by a number of college-scholarship opportunities, and by an immediate rise of one rank in the U.S. military branches.
At our 2013 Gold Award Ceremony, GSNC honored 55 young women who earned the highest award in Girl Scouting. As a Council, we are proud of what they have achieved, what they have become, and what they will be, as leaders in the 21st century.
“Become Unplugged,” Alexandra’s project, taught girls in grades four through six that sewing is a fun alternative to technology. With sewing as her longtime interest, she presented classes at her Village Hall that showed how sewing can make a difference in the girls’ lives all while disconnecting from daily distractions caused by technology. While communicating with students, Alexandra honed her teaching skills and confidence. She also sewed beanbags to leave behind for younger children in the community.
A sophomore at The Wheatley School, Alexandra is an active member of the book club and is responsible for taking care of the costumes for the fall and spring drama productions. Alexandra’s activities include ice skating, horseback riding, playing the flute and Saturday fashion classes, among other things.
Allegra’s project, “Pocket Pals and Inspirational Bowl” was designed to help patients and families cope with the stress of being hospitalized. Through this project, Allegra wished to bring a sense of hope and control to the families and patients while bringing a little joy to their day. As a result of her project, Allegra became empowered by making a difference in the lives of the people with whom she interacted.
A senior at Herricks Senior High School, Allegra will attend D’Youville College in Buffalo in the fall with the goal of attaining an Occupational Therapy degree. She cites the preparation and execution of the Girl Scout Cookie Princess Kickoff as one of her best Girl Scout memories.
“Operation Celebration… 100th Birthday GSUSA!” was Al¬lison’s way of showing her Girl Scout spirit to the families and potential Girl Scouts in her community. She took advantage of parade events, a fair booth, her blog and radio to broadcast her message. The goal of Allison’s project was to inform girls about Girl Scouting history and encourage them to join in the future. This project directly influenced Allison to apply for college as a Communications and Integrated Marketing major, when she attends Ithaca College in the fall.
As a senior at Massapequa High School, she is the captain of the varsity swim team, a member of the National Art Honor Society, National Honor Society, Visions Art and Literary Magazine and a set builder/actor in the high school musical production of “Into the Woods.” She raises service dogs for Ca-nine Companions for Independence and is a lifeguard, among other activities to which she dedicates her time and energy.
With a keen understanding of the value of friendship, Antoinette designed her project, “Friendship Matters,” as a vehicle for fifth and sixth grade girls to understand what makes a great friend, and how they can learn to be one, how to develop healthy friendships, and keep their friendships. The project came about through the idea that an unhealthy friendship may lead to bullying. Her project provided inspiration for younger girls to become strong, independent women.
Antoinette will attend Adelphi University in the fall. A senior at Oceanside High School, she is a member of the Tri-M National Music Honor Society, Thespian Troop #132 and the Symphonic Choir. Her other activities include the Rockville Centre Theater Guild and working as a Catechism teacher and dental receptionist. In response to a personal medical condition, she is recording an album to benefit the Cohen Children’s Medical Center.
Elizabeth’s project, “Unearthing Massapequa’s Hidden History,” brought her love of community and enthusiasm for history together. She achieved the goal of her project by elevating the pride in her community through education of Massapequa’s place in American history. Elizabeth did this by creating a documentary and a display filled with information about their history based on records of Massapequa to which she was granted access. Both the documentary and the display were presented in street fairs and Girl Scout Troop meetings. In the process, Elizabeth learned that her passion for history has had more of an impact on her life than she had previously thought.
As a senior at Massapequa High School, Elizabeth is a member of the SADD club, the National Honor Society and is first violinist in the pit orchestra for the school’s annual musical. In addition, Elizabeth is a taekwondo instructor, a volunteer at the Mill Neck Festival for the Deaf, an office manager and teacher’s aide at Congregation Beth-el Hebrew School, and a volunteer at Helping Hands. She will attend Adelphi University’s Honors College.
Fostering her love of dance, “Little Ballerinas” allowed Jessica to promote a healthy and active lifestyle for girls ages five to eight who participated in her project. Undaunted by snow storms that caused the project to be rescheduled, Jessica persevered to bring her project to life. The impact that Jessica was hoping to achieve was for girls to stay healthy and to prevent childhood obesity. With this project Jessica was able to overcome obstacles and share her enthusiasm with the younger girls.
A senior at W.C. Mepham High School, Jessica will attend Drexel University in the fall. She is editor of her school’s yearbook and plays lacrosse; she also dances five days a week and plays travel soccer. She fondly recalls end-of-year trips taken as a Girl Scout and the great fun she had.
Kalifa’s project underscored the atrocities taking place in the Congo. Her goal was to reach a diverse group of people by raising awareness that most victims of a barbarous, decades-long civil war are women and girls. Through her project, Kalifa provided history and fundamental knowledge of the subject to better educate her classmates. She found that the information she had provided benefitted her classmates, her family and her community – along with the people of the Congo and herself.
At St. Anthony’s High School, where she is a junior, Kalifa is a member of the creative writing club, the jazz band, the basketball team and the sports medicine club. She is also an acolyte for her church, plays AAU basketball, volunteers in the Pediatric unit of Nassau University Medical Center, as well as at East Northport Physical Therapy.
“Animal Rights Action” is close to Kelly’s heart; to specifically bring attention to animal abuse that takes place globally, every single day. In her project, she educated people about the cruelty and injustice that occur in the meat, fur, testing and entertainment industries. Her primary goal was to encourage her participants to make more humane choices in their everyday lives. Kelly hopes that she made even a small impact to alleviate animal abuse in the world and to help people lead a healthier and cruelty-free, vegan lifestyle.
A senior at Sacred Heart Academy, Kelly is a member of her school’s Techies, where she works on stage, sound and lighting in the theater, and she is a school library aide. She is also a camp counselor at St. Anne’s. Kelly will attend SUNY Geneseo in the fall.
“Long Island Treasures,” Kiera’s project, connected the world of Letterboxes with the world of Geocaches. Letterboxing is a pastime that combines navigational skills and rubber stamp artistry in a “treasure hunt” style outdoor quest. Geocaching is a free real-world outdoor treasure hunt where players try to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, using a smartphone or GPS and can then share their experiences online. By improving communications between the two groups, the project enabled them to meet fact-to-face and learn from each other to find where new boxes were hidden.
Kiera is a senior at Sacred Heart Academy where she participates in the band and is a National Honor Society member. Beyond school, she plays CYO Basketball, is a member of the Squirettes of Mary and is an altar server.
In Lauren’s project, “CCC: Computer Crash Course,” she taught seniors how to use a computer and familiarized them with basic, useful computer functions. The project provided her students with access to information available online, the ability to better communicate with loved ones, and an introduction to programs such as Microsoft Word and Excel. Additionally, the students now have more access to information about upcoming community events, which will improve the quality of their lives. While she does not consider herself a computer expert, Lauren has a good deal to offer senior citizens who lack computer knowledge.
Lauren is a senior at Great Neck South High School. She will attend University of Massachusetts Amherst in the fall. She plays varsity lacrosse and is a member of the Asian culture club, which runs Asian Night. She participates in her school’s annual charity volleyball tournament and is a summer camp counselor and after school babysitter.
Natalie’s love of the violin resulted in her project, “Pee Wee Paganinis,” a program for young children to gain a better understanding and appreciation of music. Participants were elementary school children who play the violin; they improved their musical ability through playing new pieces of music. With this project, Natalie learned that she can accomplish anything she sets her mind to.
A junior at Valley Stream North High School, Natalie is a member of the Pre-Med club; the book club; the breakfast club (chamber music orchestra), where she is the treasurer; bowling club; National Honor Society; Tri-M Music Honoree Society; Science Honor Society; and Language Honor Society. She volunteers at Franklin General Hospital and performs with the Rockaway Five Town Symphony and the Long Island Youth Orchestra.
Natalie expressed her concern for older members in her community with her project, “Reconnecting Seniors to the Community”. The project primarily took place within assisted living facilities, where some seniors may feel isolated or deprived. In addition to teaching her senior students new skills, she completed services for those less fortunate and shared her positive and caring attitude with them, while increasing confidence in herself. She has wonderful memories of her last meeting at Bristal Assisted Living, where the women who were a part of her Troop had a major influence on her life.
A senior at Massapequa High School, Natalie will attend Quinnipiac University in the fall. She is a member of the National Honor Society, National Art Honor Society and the Winthrop University Hospital Healthcare club.
As someone who loves reading, Nicole’s project “Love of Literature,” enabled her to share her passion with children in grades one through five at the Buckley Country Day Camp. Her goal was to encourage children to put down their remote controls and video games and pick up a book that suited their interests instead. The issue was that many of the kids did not know how to choose a book that they would enjoy reading. Luckily, Nicole aided in choosing the right books through workshops. In fact, an outcome of the project was the heightening of Nicole’s love of reading, while honing her leadership and organizational skills.
A senior at W.C. Mepham High School, Nicole will attend Fordham University in the fall. She is the senior class treasurer and president of the Italian Honor Society. Her memberships include the National Art Honor Society, where she is an officer, and is on the track and badminton teams.
Through her project, “Bridging the Generation Gap,” Allison set the goal of increasing communication between the younger and older generations. She engaged the women of the American Legion Auxiliary and younger Girl Scout Troops and brought them together over the course of three workshops to reach her objective. Throughout Allison’s workshops, the Girl Scouts and the women participated in projects that required communication and teamwork. Obtaining a comfort level speaking before a group and enhancing her organizational skills were additional outcomes of Allison’s project. She enjoyed working with both groups of women.
Allison graduated from Calhoun High School last year, and currently attends SUNY Buffalo. She cites camping at Camp Blue Bay as a highlight of her Girl Scout activities.
Angela’s project, “Cyberbullying: The Ugly Side of Technology,” educated parents and children about this issue. With the goal of urging people to stop, look at what they are doing and turn it around, she provided resources for her audience to deal with cyberbullying. These resources included a website and a presentation in which children and parents were encouraged to communicate and work together to stop cyberbullying. Angela learned that she has a passion for leading projects and that she can use her voice to influence others.
Headed to SUNY Binghamton in the fall, Angela is a senior at Massapequa High School. She is a member of Mock Trial, Model United Nations, the Research club, National Honor Society, Law Day and Village Court Night, Key Club and the A Cappella Chorus. She works at Waldbaum’s, babysits and has participated in the Shadowing Program at Suffolk County District Court.
“Operation BeYOUtiful” was cleverly named by Ariana. Her goal was to help young girls live healthier lives and give back to the community. She brought her project to girls aged nine to twelve in her community as well as the children at Art Feeds in Joplin, Missouri. The issues that were addressed while dealing with these girls consisted of exercise habits, healthy eating, and self confidence. Ariana provided tips on healthy living to the girls and followed a lesson plan to truly reach her goals of promoting a healthier lifestyle. Ariana came to view herself as a role model and someone who had more knowledge and ability than she previously thought possible.
As a junior at Valley Stream North High School, Ariana is president of the National Honor Society, a member of LOTE (Languages Other Than English) Honor Society, Science Honor Society and Career and Technology Education Honor Society. She is a volunteer camp counselor in the summer for children ages three to nine and tutors students in grades seven and eight.
With her project “Seniors Party Hardy,” Brenna established a bond between younger community members and senior citizens at The Bristal through the shared celebration of birthdays. Many friendships were made and many birthdays were celebrated, where newly minted friends spoke of their life experiences and exchanged stories. Brenna’s project successfully bridged the social gap between young people and senior citizens through the joy of a birthday celebration. Brenna learned that making friends needn’t be just with one’s peers. Like those who participated, she also became friends with people of all ages.
Brenna will attend SUNY Oswego in the fall. A senior at Wantagh High School, she participates on the varsity tennis and track teams, the academic team, Model Congress and Key Club. She is a volunteer teacher’s aide to her first grade teacher and is a counselor at her church’s vacation Bible school program.
As the creator of “Taming Tanglewood”, Carolyn’s project engaged others, specifically children, to understand the effects of pollution on the environment and ways to prevent pollution in the future. Her classes and cleanup efforts were directed to the people who frequent Tanglewood Preserve in Rockville Centre, who learned how to live environmentally conscious lives. The goal of these classes and this cleanup was to teach people how we can stop the devastating effects of pollution through a hands-on experience.
Carolyn will attend St. Mary’s College in the fall. A senior at Kellenberg Memorial High School, where she is a teacher in PREP (Parish Religious Education Practicum); a member of the retreat staff of SAINTS (Students Assisting in Nurturing the Sophomores); a member of the National Honor Society; captain of the varsity tennis team; and a participant in many other activities.
The historic Onderdonk House in North Strathmore was the focus of Caterina’s project, “Community Caretakers for Beauty and Preservation.” She selected it to address the importance of landmark preservation and to involve each resident to help beautify, save and protect this local gem. Caterina’s project has raised awareness and interest within the community and increased public efforts to preserve this landmark. The project also enabled Caterina to cultivate her communication, time management, event planning, organizational and fundraising skills.
Following her graduation from Manhasset High School, Caterina will attend Adelphi University to pursue a Speech Pathology degree. She is a member of the Tri-M Music Honor Society who plays violin in the chamber orchestra and is a team member on the school’s varsity soccer and varsity track and field teams.
“A Glimpse of Hope…for Mother Nature and Mankind,” Christina’s project had a goal of increasing awareness of the environment in young students. Christina taught her students a lot about the environment, and also taught them how to make environmentally friendly crafts. The workshops and classes held at East Meadow Public Library, along with the Facebook page Christina created aided in educating the children. With the support of her friends and family, Christina learned that she is an effective public speaker.
A member of the National English Honor Society, Math Honor Society, Science Honor Society, Tri-M Music Honor Society, Mathletes and secretary of the Key Club, Christina is a sophomore At W.T. Clark High School, where she plays on the tennis, varsity badminton and varsity bowling teams, and in the Chamber Orchestra. She also participates in many Girl Scout activities.
The “Effects of Medications on Brown Tide,” the name of Christina’s project, educated the public on how improperly-disposed prescriptions and over-the-counter medications have an effect on the growth of brown tide. Through experiments and research, Christina was able to recreate the effect to record the data necessary for addressing the problem at hand. Those who benefitted from the information Christina disseminated were people in the Town of Oyster Bay. A Massapequa resident, Christina learned to persevere through the hardships of Super Storm Sandy, including being displaced in the midst of her project.
A senior at Massapequa High School, Christina will attend Jacksonville University in the fall. She is vice president of the French club, co-secretary of the SADD club and a member of the Research Science club and the American Sign Language club. For the past three years, Christina has been co-captain of Taekwondo UCTA team and is a multiple gold medal winner.
The “Community Garden” project initiated by Courtney is a place where people can go and socialize, spend time and relax. There were multiple gardens planted of both floral plants and locally grown food by Courtney and her team in the areas of New Cassel and Westbury. This project has benefitted her community by building beautiful retreats. By putting her mind to the project at hand, Courtney knew she would be able to make it happen.
Courtney is a senior at Westbury High School where she plays basketball and piano. Her other activities include volunteering at a daycare center, farmers market and a senior citizen center. Courtney’s time spent in the Hamptons at a weekend Girl Scouts campout remains in her memory as a high point of her scouting activities.
Working with children in the North Bellmore School District, Deanna addressed discrimination and bullying of people who are different. Through group discussion, “Signs of Peace,” taught elementary school age children that differences should be celebrated, not criticized. Deanna also taught the children that differences are what makes us unique and special, and skills such as what to do if you see someone being bullied. The goal that Deanna hoped to achieve was to create a better world through our differences. She gained valuable skills running her project, including time management, organizing and planning.
Deanna will attend Pratt Institute in the fall. A senior at W.C. Mepham High School, she is a member of A World of Difference club, Habitat for Humanity club, badminton, art club, National Honor Society, Art Honor Society, English Honor Society and Italian Honor Society. She is also a volunteer at Bethany House, Ronald McDonald House, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary food drive and Habitat for Humanity Builds.
Elena’s project, “Music in Our Lives,” reflected her love of sharing music with others, including older members of the community. Her project was focused specifically on the elderly and the loneliness they may feel. Through this project Elena hoped to bring happiness and provide company for the elderly through a musical performance. During the course of the project, Elena learned to play her own instrument with confidence in front of others while bringing people of all ages together.
A senior at Wantagh High School, she is a member of the pit orchestra, Tri-M Music Society, band council, marching band and pep band. Elena is also a member of the Seaford Community Band and the Nassau Suffolk Performing Arts Concert Band. She plays travel soccer and is involved in vacation Bible school. She expects to attend SUNY Fredonia this fall.
“Food Allergy Awareness” was designed to address the issues and potential dangers that people with life-threatening allergies face. Elizabeth educated children on how to respect others and create a safe atmosphere for people with allergies. Elizabeth created educational books for those with and without allergies to learn how to respect each other’s needs. Additionally, Elizabeth set up an email account to answer any questions that may be presented to her. She also honed her public speaking skills, and gained satisfaction by helping others.
Elizabeth, a senior at Sacred Heart Academy, participates in the Nutcracker Dance Theater, Leadership club and National Honor Society. Her activities, in addition to Girl Scouts, include serving as a Eucharistic minister, lector, babysitter and community service volunteer.
“A Friend in Need,” the title of Elizabeth’s project, engaged the clients of ACLD (Adults and Children with Learning Disabilities), an agency that serves the needs of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. She collected over 100 games, puzzles and books for the organization. Though this effort, Elizabeth learned that she can tackle any problem and work well with the disabled population.
A senior at Holy Trinity Diocesan High School, Elizabeth is a cheerleader and varsity winter and spring track team member. Her volunteer activities include decorating graves at the Long Island National Cemetery; collecting soda can tabs for dialysis patients; participating in Operation Christmas Child, Extreme Home Makeover, the Midnight Run at Molloy College, the Jones Beach and Stony Brook Breast Cancer Walks; and donating to Locks of Love. She will attend Farmingdale State College in the fall.
With her project “The World is Bigger than Just Us,” Erin addressed the United Nations Millennium Development Goals by educating children in her community on issues such as hunger, poverty and health problem faced by children around the world and learn how they can help. Through movies and discussions, Erin was able to impact the children in her community through knowledge of the subject, which in turn she hopes will impact the children around the world. She gained confidence and organizational skills, and learned that one person can make a difference and stated that no natural disaster can stop her.
A senior at Massapequa High School, Erin will head to college in the fall. She is on the honor roll and a member of the American Sign Language Club, Best Buddies, Key Club and SADD. Erin is a youth group member and leader and she works as a waitress.
Evangeline conducted a workshop for her project, “E=Mc2”, to combat the stereotype that girls are not scientists. Evangeline hoped to foster a passion for science in young girls and to raise awareness that women are often undermined in the world of science. Workshops were held for girls in Evangeline’s community to have a hands on experience with science. The girls who attended, especially those who began to love science, benefited from their participation. Evangeline learned how much it meant for her to educate others about her favorite subject and gained satisfaction from planning out the details of the workshop.
Evangeline is a junior at William A. Shine Great Neck South High School, where her favorite activity is the Science Olympiad. As the team’s vice president and treasurer, she is proud that they reached second place re¬gionally and eighth in the state. Other activities include Academic Outreach, a tutoring program, and Greek Orthodox Youth of America.
Faith’s “Anti-Bullying Project” was created to make people realize what an epidemic bullying has become, resulting in suicides and depression among children and teens. Faith has set up a website where visitors can view antibullying videos, educate themselves about the long term effects, and information on how to get help. Additionally, Faith arranged an antibullying fair to further educate those interested in the effects of bullying. During the course of the project Faith learned that she is strong and capable of speaking about what she went through personally. As she gained confidence she was able to offer advice to others. A healing process for Faith and those who she taught, she gained confidence through giving advice to others.
A senior at Martin Luther High School, Faith will attend St. Francis College in the fall. She plays volleyball and softball at school, is involved in her church, Notre Dame in New Hyde Park, and has been a shadow teacher for children in a special education program.
Gabrielle’s project, “Mad Science!” was an offshoot of her love of science and how it plays a part in our everyday lives. She brought the experience of fun and interactive science to underprivileged children in her community, along with other children who wanted to enhance their knowledge beyond the classroom. Through this project, Gabrielle taught children that science is all around us, and that we must have knowledge of it to benefit us in our futures. By doing this project, Gabrielle honed her organizational skills and served as a role model and leader in her community.
A senior at South Side High School who will attend the University of Pittsburgh in the fall, Gabrielle is a member of the Photography club, SADD, Context (a writing club), the Gay- Straight Alliance, the National Honor Society and the Spanish Honor Society. She also tutors other high school students and works at Carvel.
Stephanie’s Gold Award project was designed to address the fact that dance is just as beneficial a physical activity as is soccer, football or any other sport, and can be used as a means to maintain a healthy weight, decrease blood pressure and increase strength and balance. By offering a series of dance workshops to students at local after school programs, Stephanie taught them a variety of dance moves, set to a range of musical accompaniments. By showing the students that they could learn specific dances, or just make up their own dances, she allowed them to have fun, and has given them a tool that will help them to a healthier life.
A 2011 graduate of Division Avenue High School, Stephanie was in National Honor Society, Science Honor Society, and the SADD club. An active Girl Scout volunteer, Stephanie also volunteers at Garvies Point Museum and for her Chamber of Commerce. She has completed her freshman year at SUNY Old Westbury.
Jane’s project, “Students and Technology: The Beginning,” provided a gateway for students to learn how to use technology to improve their performance in school. Through a blog, Jane was able to teach students how to use technology to best benefit their education. Whether the skills learned were how to use technology or what programs to use within the technology to increase productivity while in school, Jane taught them how. While conducting her program, Jane learned that she is a problem solver, a capable teacher and someone with good organizational skills, which directly benefitted her students.
Jane, a senior at Massapequa High School, is headed to Siena College in the fall. She participates in the SADD club; the French club, where she is treasurer; and The Music/Drama department, where she is stage manager. A member of the Thespian Honor Society, Jane is involved with St. Williams Church, works at Waffle House and went on a People to People trip as an ambassador for New York.
Jenna set out to promote sports safety when she created her project, “Operation Equipment.” In a program presented to soccer players ages eight to 16, she showed young athletes the techniques and stretches that would keep them on the field rather than sidelined with an injury. Through her website and meetings with multiple soccer teams, Jenna showed the girls that safety is extremely important when playing any sport, but also to always remember to have fun. As a result of the project, Jenna learned how to make her voice heard.
At Great Neck South High School, Jenna is a senior who is a member of the varsity bowling team and the Italian club. Outside of school, she volunteers with TOPSoccer, a program that allows special needs children to play the sport. She is also a referee and works at a day camp on Long Island in the summer. Jenna will be attending Iona College in the fall.
Joanna created “You and Your Community,” an original pilot program that gave teens with disabilities from Massapequa High School an opportunity to complete three leadership projects by working with community organizations. These collaborations allowed the teens to gain the skills that they needed in a leadership project and for many more projects in the future. In addition to benefitting the students who participated, Joanna found that she perseveres in the face of obstacles and she can aid those in her community.
Joanna is a member of the National Honor Society, a National Merit Scholarship Finalist and a senior at Massapequa High School. She participates in the Best Buddies club, Chief’s Challenge club, SADD club and chamber orchestra. Her other activities include dance, soccer and the NASA’s WISH (Women in STEM High School Aerospace Scholars) Program. She will attend the University of Alabama.
Kacy shared her desire to eliminate cyber-bullying with the students in the fourth and fifth grades at Northside Elementary School in Farmingdale with her “Cyber-bullying” project. Kacy’s project was presented in the form of group discussion, which aided the students in doing their small group project on cyber-bullying. By presenting this program, she learned that she was capable of keeping the youngsters’ attention and that she could teach about a serious subject.
Kacy is a senior at Farmingdale High School who is going on to college in the fall. She is a member of the Farmingdale Dalettes Kick Team, a competition team for kickline. A favorite Girl Scout memory is “outdoor day,” for the fun activities, along with Camp Tekakwitha, which her entire Troop enjoyed.
Kaitlyn established “Adoption Option for Teens” to provide young adults with information relative to the process of both domestic and international adoption. Her goal for the project was to inspire other teens to consider adoption in future family plan¬ning and to understand that the benefits can be far reaching for young people around the world. Through the use of her website, Kaitlyn provided multiple links to adoption agencies, along with detailed information about adoption. During the project, Kaitlyn learned how to network, collaborate with adoption agencies, and how to share her own adoption story with others.
A senior at Lynbrook High School, Kaitlyn plans to attend SUNY New Paltz in the fall. She is active in the Student Kindergarten Internship Program (SKIP) and is a member of the cook¬ing club. Through Girl Scouts, she participated in the take action project, cooking at Ronald McDonald House in New Hyde Park.
“Time Capsule for Floral Park Businesses–Commercial Establishments 2013” fulfilled a need for the Floral Park Historical Society that had gone unanswered for an extended length of time. With her project, Kaitlyn provided a place for a central record for the present commercial business owners of Floral Park using photographs. Kaitlyn hoped to educate the residents and visitors to the Floral Park Historical Society Museum of the history of Floral Park and all of the current commercial businesses. Her project benefitted both the community at large and the entrepreneurs involved.
A junior at Floral Park Memorial High School, Kaitlyn is president of the Model UN club and a member of the Key Club and the Future Business Leaders of America. In addition to her Girl Scout activities, she assists a second grade religious class. Kaitlyn relishes the time she spent volunteering at a nursing home and is looking forward to participating in Habitat for Humanity this summer.
An accomplished vocalist, Kara created “Young at Heart” to share her music with senior citizens who attend senior day programs or reside in assisted living residences. The program was created to address the lack of entertainment in an elderly person’s life. Her goal was to increase the quality of their life. By creating this program Kara learned that she is capable of planning and executing a complex project. As Kara stated, “Seeing the joy on the faces of my audience made it worth the effort.”
Kara is a senior at Wantagh High School who will attend the Boston Conservatory of Music in the fall. She is the founder and president of the Wantagh H.S. Literary Society; a member of the drama club and ensemble; and is the French Trustee of the Foreign Language Honor Society. She performs with Kidz Theater in NYC and is a vocalist with the Metropolitan Young Orchestra.
Karishma’s project is titled, “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Paper where her goal was to raise awareness about reducing, reusing and recycling paper, thereby minimizing waste and the extent of global warming. To address the issue at hand, Karishma created a workshop, pamphlet, and an educational paper. These factors allowed for community engagement and action to take place. Those who reaped the benefits of her project were Karishma’s workshop audiences and people in her neighborhood.
A senior at Syosset High School, Karishma will attend Harvard University in the fall. At school, she is president of the Diversity Group, vice president of the Ken Literary Magazine, entertainment section editor of The Pulse newspaper, captain of the Color Guard and first clarinetist. She is also involved in acting and modeling, dance, tutoring and volunteer work.
Kelly established her project, “Saint Thomas Fellowship Café,” with the goal of bringing together community members, to have a good meal and to socialize. Once a month Kelly held a brunch for the less fortunate so they would get a healthy meal; they were also offered to-go boxes of food to eat later on. Additionally, Kelly provided the attendees with names of other organizations who provide similar services. Through this endeavor, she learned that she could make a difference in the lives of people by doing something simple. An unanticipated outcome of Kelly’s project has been the startup of other similar programs in the Episcopal Church community.
Kelly is a senior at Farmingdale High School who will attend Nassau Community College in the fall. She is a member of her high school’s bowling team and marching band, as well as a vol¬unteer at Nassau University Medical Center, a Sunday school teacher and an acolyte.
Kelsey’s project “Adventures in Reading” had the goal of pro¬moting education that continues throughout the summer. She encouraged children ages ten through thirteen at a local youth day camp to read in the summer so they would be better prepared for school in the fall. Also, through research Kelsey recognized that children who read over the summer gain one month of reading development, whereas students who do not read lose approximately two months. This encouraged Kelsey to start a reading program and book club at a local camp for future reading development. By conducting this program, Kelsey improved her communication skills and learned how to effectively interact with the campers.
Kelsey participates in basketball, swimming and plays varsity lacrosse at Manhasset High School, where she is a senior. She is a member of the Math Honor Society, Science Honor Society, National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society and the school orchestra. She is a member of her church youth group and the Manhasset Junior Coalition Against Breast Cancer. She will attend Georgetown University in the fall.
Laura created “Senior Buddies” to bring joy to senior citizens in her community and address the loneliness that they may experience. Her goal was to show the seniors that they could improve their outlook on life and be happier as a result of friendships with teens. The issue was addressed through a project Laura had run, which she called “Adopt a Grandparent.” Volunteers from the school then came and spent time with the senior citizens talking and getting to know one another. Everyone involved benefitted from the experience, including Laura, who learned that she can be a leader, even in challenging situations.
A senior at W.C. Mepham High School, Laura will attend Nassau Community College in the fall. She is involved in Fragments, her school’s magazine; Open-Mic Night; and has an internship at the Belair Nursing Home. Additionally, Laura is a Sunday school teacher at Grace Lutheran Church.
Marisa’s project “Let’s Include Instead of Exclude” focused on children dealing with food allergies and other restrictions. In her project, Marisa spent time working with families dealing with food issues, along with other allergy groups that work on the condition. Through seminars and a jamboree, Marisa introduced new products and expressed to her audience that they are not alone. Additionally, Marisa provided information to parents and children on how to live a life free of the worries of food allergies through the use of allergen free foods at her events.
A senior at New Hyde Park Memorial High School, Marisa will attend Adelphi University in the fall. She participates in softball, volleyball, the Italian club, Key Club and Varsity club, and is a member of the Junior Honor Society, National Honor Society, Foreign Language Honor Society and Leaders PE. Her many activities include Challenges Special Ed Softball, Knights Special Ed Basketball and the Help Special Ed Talent Show.
“Fun at the NICU,” Mary’s project, had the goal of teaching the siblings of infants being treated in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Using play as the means to educate, Mary communicated to the youngsters the rules and regulations of the NICU. This instilled proper behavior in the children that was based on their environment and the situation in which they were in. While providing this information to the children and their parents, Mary learned that she enjoyed working with children in a hospital setting. She has now decided to pursue a career in medicine, specializing in pediatrics.
At New Hyde Park Memorial High School, Mary is a junior who participates in the marching band, Gay-Straight Alliance, Foreign Language Honor Society and concert band. She also volunteers at Cohen’s Children Medical Center and is a member of the junior choir at her church.
Melissa’s project, “Group Home Beautification” turned a neglected property in her community into something with “curb appeal.” By enlisting volunteers and receiving donations, Melissa was able to help a family that was not able to fix the property themselves. Not only did it benefit the family tremendously, it had a positive impact on the surrounding neighborhood. Melissa said the project made her stronger and more of a leader than she imagined she could be.
A senior at H. Frank Carey High School, Melissa will attend LIU Post in the fall. She is an acolyte at her church and assists in the daycare program. Melissa enjoys playing the piano and viola; her interests also include horseback riding, and she plans on becoming a member of Post’s equestrian team.
Sabrina’s project, “Story Time – Child Safety,” educated children and parents on different safety tips in a story time setting. Through reading and activities, Sabrina engaged the children in a way that was fun and entertaining. This way, the children were more likely to listen and comprehend the information being provided to them. Parents were also provided handouts to reinforce the issues that were addressed concerning safety. In addition to providing useful information to her participants, Sabrina gained the knowledge that will help her be successful as a teacher.
A student at Concordia College, Sabrina graduated from Bethpage High School. Her fondest Girl Scout memory is the overnight trip to the New York Hall of Science taken by her Troop.
Sara tapped into her community’s large Italian population with her project, “Fun with Italian.” Recognizing that younger children learn languages with greater ease, and that they do not learn a second language until the seventh grade sparked the idea to educate children about Italian culture and language. The blog that Sara created has additional materials available if the participants are interested in learning more. She enjoyed teaching and realized that she has the ability to lead a group of children in learning activities.
Sara participates in band, chorus, pit orchestra and marching band at H. Frank Carey High School, where she is a senior headed to Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the fall. She also belongs to Poseidon, her school’s literary magazine, the varsity golf team, Mathletes and the art club. Among Sara’s other activities are the Women and Minorities Summer Engineering Program and Queen of Sons of Italy America Lodge.
The goal of Sarah’s project, “Dependable Drivers”, was to educate teens on distracted driving, and promote its prevention. Her project helped increase teen knowledge of the responsibility of driving through educational seminars, presentations, and a documentary to spread awareness. While this benefitted the entire community and her peers, it also showed Sarah that her strongest traits are her voice, her ability to advocate change and that she could naturally lead and inspire others.
Planning to attend Drexel University in the fall, Sarah is a senior at Farmingdale High School, where she is a member of the varsity swim and dive teams, DECA business club, symphony orchestra, student government and the French club. She is also a swim coach and lifeguard at the Plainview Swim Club.
“Nutrition, Swim, Fitness and Hygiene Awareness” brought all of these activities to the forefront for the campers at St. Anne’s Day Camp in Webster Springs, West Virginia. Sarah created her project with the goal of educating the campers to make good choices as they go forward in life, since those decisions are in their hands. The younger campers were engaged through pictures and coloring, while the older campers were engaged through discussion. While her project seemed difficult at first, Sarah learned that she could use her determination to focus and achieve a successful finish.
A junior at Manhasset High School, Sarah is on the varsity swim team, varsity crew team, Math Honor Society and Key Club. She is a member of St. Mary’s Youth Ministry, tutors children in the Math Express Club and also enjoys swimming. Her favorite Girl Scout memory is celebrating her birthday at the Pinegrove Dude Ranch.
New York has become the largest point of entry and distribution for shark fins on the East Coast. Sarah’s project “Sharks: A World Misunderstood,” provided her with a platform to educate the community on upcoming legislation to put an end to the practice of shark finning. She informed local residents about the then-pending legislation and how they could help the effort to stop this global problem. On a local level, that legislation has since been passed by the New York State Assembly.
A senior at Massapequa High School, Sarah is a member of the National Honor Society, the art club and the Key Club. She is also a member of the Volunteer Fire Department Junior Post 630, tutors other students in math, and babysits. She has enjoyed hosting events for local Brownie and Junior Girl Scout Troops. Sarah will attend Hunter College in the fall.
Sarah has taken her love of photography to the senior citizens who reside at Brookside Gardens in North Baldwin. Sarah got approval from the Town of Hempstead to set up a photo gallery in a community room at Brookside Gardens. Her photography project has created a connection between the photographers who attend Baldwin High School, whom are displaying their work in the gallery, and the members of the Brookside Gardens community. The project proved to be mutually beneficial to both groups involved and stimulated Sarah to further pursue her interest in photography.
A graduate of Baldwin High School who currently attends Syracuse University, Sarah participated in photography, the band, Relay for Life, stage crew/drama, dance and Sports Night while a high school student. She warmly recalls her time at Camp Blue Bay, where she made some of her best friends and where she grew as a person.
“Discovering the Full Symphonic Sound” informed elementary and middle school band students of the possibility of switching to underrepresented instruments like bassoons, bass clarinet and French horns that are missing from many band settings. Sarah hoped to increase the sound of the band’s music to a more “full” sound. These instruments are being introduced to school bands now, thanks to Sarah and her drive to create a better sounding band. Sarah’s project had an impact on her high school band director, the band directors of the schools involved and the students who attended her presentations.
Sarah will attend George Mason University Honors College in the fall, where she will pursue music education in her undergraduate career. As a senior at Lynbrook High School, she is involved in the wind ensemble, pit orchestra, Tri-M Music Honor Society, jazz band, concert choir, National Honor Society and leadership club. She is also a member of the St. Raymond’s Folk Group and the Nassau-Suffolk Performing Arts Wind Ensemble.
As a participant in Habitat for Humanity, Victoria chose the creation of a new homeowner manual as her project, named “Helping Hands”. These homeowner’s manuals were provided to the homeowners of newly built homes by Habitat for Humanity. She provided information that informs new homeowners of the key tasks that should be done to maintain a home. Those at Habitat for Humanity benefited from Victoria’s project, along with the purchasers of the newly built homes. Victoria learned critical thinking and problem solving skills, as well as time management.
Victoria is a senior at W.C. Mepham High School who will attend the University of Tampa in the fall. She participates in the student government, travel soccer, Tuesday’s Children and Camp Haze.
Ensuring that the dogs in her community were properly registered and licensed was the focus of Catherine’s Gold Award project. While dog licensing is required in most states across the country and is a New York State law, many individuals in Catherine’s community were not aware of the law. Catherine held work-shops to educate community members, created a brochure and designed a website about dog licensing. Catherine even created a coloring book to educate very young children on the importance of her project.
Catherine attended Manhasset High School and is currently a student at Southern Methodist University in Texas.
To address how cyberbullying has become more prevalent in our society, Laura created “Cyberbullying and Internet Safety”. This program was presented to teens and young adults through seminars and a website created by Laura. During the seminars, Laura addressed the issues at hand, which consisted of internet safety, cyberbullying prevention, and assistance for the victims of cyberbullying. Laura felt empowered by sharing this information and having a positive impact on others.
A senior at Holy Trinity Diocesan High School, Laura will attend Fordham University in the fall. She is a member of the jazz band, pit orchestra, select choir, and varsity swimming, National Honor Society, Math Honor Society and the leadership group LIGHTS. Laura also teaches religious education, baby sits, is a camp counselor and attends service retreats in West Virginia and Georgia.