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 Shannon Davis, Christina MacKay, Brittany Motis, Megan Simmons, Krystin Sinclair and Deirdre Stapleton of Wantagh and Seaford residents Corinne Lettieri and Melissa Suppe 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.”
Davis’ Gold Award project showed children in her community how they could take action to improve their surroundings. Targeting a neglected garden area at the , she developed a plan for its renovation. Davis, who just graduated from Wantagh High School also ran a series of workshops, at which children learned about gardening, both as a way to beautify the environment and as a means to grow healthy foods for their families.
Davis just graduated from where she was a member of the drama club, wind ensemble, National Honor Society and music honor society. David was also an altar server at her church, danced on a competition dance team, and earned a brown belt in kenpo karate. She wil attend Hofstra University in the fall, where she has received their Gold Award Scholarship.
Lettieri’s Gold Award project was focused on sports, both as a pastime and as a career. She taught younger girls about various career opportunities in sports. In addition as part of her workshops, she collected used sports equipment, which were then distributed to children who may not be able to afford the equipment needed to participate in organized sports.
Lettieri graduated from Sacred Heart Academy in 2011, where she participated in theater tech, speech and debate, media, and Sacred Heart Academy Morning News clubs. She recently completed her freshman year at St. Bonaventure University.
MacKay designed her Gold Award project to teach younger children the importance of knowing first aid. She ran a series of workshops that taught basic skills and then provided the students with ahandout that would help them remember what they had learned.
MacKay recently graduated from Wantagh High School, where she participated as a Class of 2012 representative and was a member of the French club. She was also a member of the Explorers, and played PAL basketball and CYO volleyball. She plans to attend LIU Post to study secondary biology education in the fall.
Motis' Gold Award project involved for special needs children that met at . The Wantagh Special Education PTA will run the playgroup in years to come, ensuring that children with special needs will continue to have a place to play together. Motis is a junior at Wantagh High School, where she has been a member of the varsity dance team since freshman year and is now captain of the color guard.
Simmons focused on preparing students for their upcoming school year over the summer vacation for her Gold Award project. Knowing that children can lose some of what they have learned over the past year, she designed tutoring sessions, which she delivered to students over the summer. To ensure that her work will continue, she has left her lesson plans and materials with future volunteers, so that children can return to school better prepared.
Simmons recently graduated from Sacred Heart Academy in Hempstead, where she was a member of SADD, Key Club and National Honor Society. She also served as a Eucharistic Minister, taught religious education and played CYO volleyball. She will attend Villanova University in the fall.
Sinclair’s Gold Award project was a series of healthy living workshops, which were presented to children at the Long Island Children’s Museum in East Garden City. At each workshop, the children learned about the components of the USDA My Plate plan for healthy eating and about the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. To continue the learning, she created a poster and pamphlet that were shared with local schools.
Suppe's Gold Award project addressed the issue of declining membership in school and community choirs by educating children about the importance of music in their lives and encouraging them to attend the Summer Musical Workshop in her community. She created an itinerary of daily events and a list of performance guests for the musical director to use forfuture reference. Suppe also created an informative brochure about the summer workshop and advertisements to raise awareness of her church’s music ministry and encourage Girl Scouts to join the GSNC chorus.
Suppe graduated from St. John the Baptist Diocesan High School in 2011 and was an active member of St. William’s Music Ministry. She is currently a freshman at Marist College studying psychology, elementary special education, and music. She is a Lifetime Member of Girl Scouts.
Sinclair recently graduated from Wantagh High School, where she was president of the Key Club and a member of National Honor Society and honor societies for foreign language and music. She was also on the varsity tennis and track teams, and the varsity academic team. Outside of school, Sinclair, who plans to major in applied mathmatics at Bryant University in the fall, played CYO volleyball and volunteered at Vacation Bible School and the Long Island Children’s Museum.
Deirdre Stapleton wanted to create a fun-filled day of physical activities for a group of special needs children at Camp Anchorin Lido Beach for her Gold Award project. She researched games and activitiesthat would build endurance, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, accuracy and balance. The field day had an Olympic theme and was a“golden” experience for all who competed, attended or volunteered and her project will become an annual event at the camp for years to come.
Stapleton graduated from Wantagh High School in 2011, where she was a member of the National Art Honor Society, the yearbook committee, and the Leaders Club. She recently completed her freshman year at Scranton University, where she is in the Student Education Club and is a tour guide in the Royal Ambassadors.
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.
What do you think of the work the girls have done? Tell us in the comments.