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 Kirsten Brandenburg, Jacqueline Hausner, Pauline Janeo, Linda Mulé and Jessica O’Connell of New Hyde Park 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.”
Kirsten Brandenburg wanted to educate her community about prevention and detection of various forms of cancer for her Gold Award project. After gathering research on the disease, she created handouts that contained information to educate the public. She spread her message even further by using her public speaking and communication skills to talk to attendees at a local Relay For Life event. Ms. Brandenburg recently graduated from Sacred Heart Academy, where she participated in the Jones Beach Strides Walk, usherettes, guiding at open house tours and was captain of the golf team. She also volunteered at Winthrop University Hospital. Ms. Brandenburg will attend Fordham University in the fall.
Jacqueline Hausner and Jessica O’Connell teamed up for their Gold Award project to address the issue of elderly loneliness. They created a “Friendly Visitor Program,” in which teenagers from their parish visited and formed bonds with local senior citizens, many of whom cannot easily leave their homes. By pairing up the teens and the seniors, both parties benefitted through the new relationships they developed. Ms. Hausner recently graduated from Sacred Heart Academy, where she participated in Red and Gold, softball and was a member of the National Honor Society. She also volunteered at Winthrop University Hospital. She plans to attend the University of Delaware in the fall to study nursing. Ms. O’Connell recently graduated from Holy Trinity High School, where she volunteered for the respite program at St. Anne’s school and spent time with children with special needs. She also plays softball and is an active member of her church. She plans to attend University of Delaware in the fall.
Pauline Janeo’s Gold Award project was designed to inform girls in her community about the variety of careers available in the Math, Health and Technology fields. Through presentations to middle school students, she sought to encourage students to stay in school and to study these important subjects. By showing them the practical applications of these subjects and their possible career paths, she was able to show the connection to their future. Ms. Janeo recently graduated from New Hyde Park Memorial High School, where she was a cheerleader, a Peer Leader and a member of the Key Club. She volunteered for the Long Island Chinese Center Dragon Boats competition and for the American Cancer Society. She will attend Penn State University in the fall.
Linda Mulé addressed the issue of bullying in schools and in the community for her Gold Award project. She took national statistics and incorporated them into a presentation that she made at an elementary school assembly. She also presented the information to the middle school, the local library and initiated a bullying program in the health classes at the high school. The PowerPoint presentation that she created will be added to the anti-bullying curriculum. Ms. Mulé also initiated an annual bullying awareness day at her high school and wrote an article for the website teennewsnet.com. She is a junior at Herricks High School, where she is a member of student government, Justice League, Key Club, Model Congress, Student Action for the Environment and the Bullying in Schools Board. She also volunteers for many local organizations and at the Herricks camp and Saturday Recreation programs.
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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