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 Alexandra Ayvas, Kathryn Graham, Melanie Kramer, Jasmine Ruiz and Hannah Slavin of Rockville Centre 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.”
Alexandra Ayvas wanted to help senior citizens become more confident in using a computer and the Internet. For her Gold Award project, she worked with the residents of a local assisted living facility and designed and delivered lessons to give them the tools they would need to use a computer, surf the web and email their families and friends. Her instructional lessons were put in binders for the residents to refer to when needed and many of her “students” are now mentoring others in basic computer skills. Ms. Ayvas is a junior at Oceanside High School, where she is a member of the varsity cross country team, the recycling club, world language honor society, and social science research club.
Kathryn Graham’s Gold Award project was designed to help children unlock their creative potential. She designed a workshop for children that would allow them to brainstorm, write their ideas in a book, and then decorate it. Ms. Graham arranged to have her project posted online at her local library and created a Facebook page to share her ideas, thus ensuring that children would benefit from this project going forward. Ms. Graham is a junior at Sacred Heart Academy, where she writes for the school newspaper. She is also a member of the Speech and Debate team and plays varsity golf and tennis. She is on the CYO swim team, an active member of St. Agnes Church and serves on the Mayor’s Youth Task Force in Rockville Centre.
Melanie Kramer wanted to introduce elementary school students to the French language in hopes that an early start might awaken an interest and passion for another culture and create a further understanding of different countries. For her Gold Award project, she conducted a series of lessons in elementary French for students in a local elementary school. Her young students learned some basic vocabulary and a few phrases, enough for French language classes to become “de rigueur” in her school district. Ms. Kramer recently graduated from South Side High School, where she was very involved in the theatre department. Outside of school, she was an active member of the local chapter of the BBYO Youth Board. Ms. Kramer plans to attend the University of Richmond in the fall.
Jasmine Ruiz’s Gold Award project addressed the issue of overflowing landfills and the need to increase recycling. For her Gold Award project, she collected all types of shoes and footwear. Some of the shoes were donated to thrift shops, which are desired by low-income families. The athletic shoes were donated and recycled into sports surfaces, such as tracks, artificial turf, and rubber playground mats. Ms. Ruiz recently graduated from South Side High School, where she was a member of the varsity cross-country and spring track and field teams and played violin in the orchestra. She also did individual research in biology. She is also member of her church’s youth choir and youth group and is on the Rockville Centre Youth Council and Anti-Drug Community Task Force.
Hannah Slavin’s Gold Award project was designed to keep used bicycles out of landfills and instead recycle them to those in need of a bicycle. She created a publicity campaign to raise awareness of her project and to encourage people to donate their old bikes. She then did any necessary repairs that the bikes needed and brought together the members of her community to give and to receive the bicycles. Ms. Slavin recently graduated from South Side High School, where she was a member of the cross-country and spring track and field teams, military history club, art club, and environmental social awareness club. She was also in the wind ensemble and a soloist in the pit orchestra. Outside of school, she was president of Venture Crew 1 and a member of the youth group at her synagogue. Ms. Slavin plans to attend the University of Rochester 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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