Garden City, NY July 10, 2012 – While some high schools now require a few hours of community service for graduation, none go as far as the Girl Scouts who earn the Gold Award. This year Samantha Bishop, Kelly Callahan, Carmela Cavallo, Julianna Cavallo, Danielle Jackson and Anna Zervas of East Meadow join the record number of 121 Girl Scouts in Nassau County that have woven a minimum of 80 hours of community service into their busy schedules. These young women developed Gold Award community action projects that address social issues in their community or promote acts of kindness and goodwill throughout Nassau County. Their efforts earned these girls the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor that a young woman can achieve in Girl Scouting.
"We are so proud of all the young women who earned their Girl Scout Gold Award this year,” said Donna Ceravolo, Executive Director of the Girl Scouts of Nassau County. “Through their projects, these women have changed the lives of others and improved their communities in significant ways. We couldn’t be happier that 121 girls chose to take this rigorous path towards earning their Gold Award and succeeded in accomplishing their goals.”
Samantha Bishop wanted to create a stronger relationship between the church and its younger members. For her Gold Award project, she created an active youth group for children in grades 3 through 8, where she was able to be a positive influence and instill values that would keep them connected to the church. Ms. Bishop also felt that by fostering friendships among the youngsters at an early age, they would want to continue growing their faith as teenagers. Ms. Bishop recently graduated from W. Tresper Clarke High School, where she was a member of the Jazz Choir, Red Cross Club, and Peer Mentoring. She was also a member of the National Honor Society and honor societies for music, math, science, and English. Ms. Bishop is an active member of her church and will attend Molloy College in September.
Kelly Callahan’s Gold Award project was designed to give students valuable tips as they made their transition from elementary to middle and eventually high school. She spoke to many high school students to gather ideas and also did online research to develop a brochure and a presentation for students in 6th grade and 8th grade. She wanted to better prepare them for their new school environments. Her brochures will continue to be distributed to all incoming freshmen at her high school. Ms. Callahan recently graduated from East Meadow High School, where she was a member of Model Congress and peer leaders, and was on the field hockey team. She will be attending Nassau Community College for one year before transferring to SUNY Oneonta.
Carmela Cavallo used her love of tennis to address the issue of childhood obesity for her Gold Award project. Since one of the contributing factors is lack of exercise, she decided to teach younger children, ages 7 to 12, some basic tennis skills. Her workshops consisted of a mix of tennis and information on healthy eating. She wanted to encourage the children to stay fit and to eat healthy. Ms. Cavallo is a junior at East Meadow High School, where she plays varsity tennis. She is also a member of the National Honor Society and honor societies for music, business and Italian. She also covers sports for the school newspaper and plays clarinet for her church’s youth mass.
Julianna Cavallo designed her Gold Award project to address the issue of self-esteem in girls. She focused on the portrayal of girls in the media and used magazine advertisements and photos to launch discussions with younger girls. From images of women to implied messaging about “women’s jobs” vs. “men’s jobs,” she helped her discussion groups realize that they could build their self-esteem and follow their dreams, regardless of negative media influences. Ms. Cavallo is a junior at East Meadow High School, where she is on the varsity tennis team and is a sports writer for the school newspaper. She is also a member of the National Honor Society, as well as honor societies for music, Italian, and business.
Danielle Jackson noticed a problem with the proliferation of feral cats in her neighborhood, which led her to develop her Gold Award project. To educate the community about this issue, she developed literature about the importance of spaying and neutering pets and about the benefits of pet ownership. She partnered with a local animal shelter and built them a feral cat shelter, as well as some furnishings that would give prospective adoptive families a comfortable place to meet and greet their new pets. Ms. Jackson is a senior at East Meadow High School, where she is a booster of the sports teams. She is also an active member of her church, an avid skier and writes about animal rights and veganism.
Anna Zervas wanted teens on Long Island to be aware of the community service opportunities available to them. She did research into various community agencies and organizations in her area and created a guide and PowerPoint presentation. She presented her information at local schools and churches. Ms. Zervas then distributed her guide to the local library, school and church so that students could have information about community service available and be able to choose the service that is most meaningful to them. Ms. Zervas recently graduated from East Meadow High School where she was a member of the Italian Honor Society and the environmental club. She also is a volunteer at St. Brigid’s Church, where she teaches Sunday school. She plans to attend LIU Post in the fall.
On June 12th the Girl Scouts of Nassau County honored Girl Scouts Seniors and Ambassadors between the ages of 15 and 18 at a special ceremony held at Adelphi University in Garden City. In addition to the Girl Scout ceremony, on June 21st, Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano will present the girls, along with their Eagle Scout counterparts from Boy Scouts, with certificates for their achievements at the Theodore Roosevelt Legislative Chamber in Mineola. Town of Hempstead Supervisor also honored Girl Scout Gold Award recipients and Eagle Scouts on June 3rd in an event at Levy Preserve.
"Girl Scouts Gold Award recipients are ambitious and dedicated individuals with strong time management and organizational skills. They have joined an elite group of American women, who are part of the Girl Scouts of the USA's Gold Award Alliance," said Ms. Ceravolo.
The Gold Award project helps high school-aged Girl Scouts develop leadership skills and explore various career paths. Overall, the Gold Awards require up to a three-year commitment from each young woman. It affords the teen the opportunity to learn about arts and humanities, cultural and global relations, personal well-being, technology and science, environmental concerns and many of the innumerable issues facing young women and the world today.
Girl Scouts of Nassau County builds girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place. Girl Scouting in Nassau County creates an accepting and nurturing environment, which gives girls a chance to build character and develops leadership skills for success in the real world. In partnership with committed adult volunteers, girls develop qualities that will serve them throughout their lives, like strong values, social conscience, and conviction about their own potential and self-worth. With almost 21,000 girl and 7,000 adult members, Girl Scouts of Nassau County has become the preeminent organization and leading authority for girls. The organization, now in its 100th year, continues to make the world a better place one girl at a time.
For more information on the Girl Scouts of Nassau County call Donna Rivera Downey 516 741-2550 at ext. 260, or visit www.gsnc.org.
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