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 Shannon Batt, Alyssa Biondo, Stephanie Biondo, Danielle Corradi, Megan Hayes, Jennifer Imbrogno, Taylor Loesch, Emily Reisert, Sundra Sisalli, and Daniella Tompkins of Massapequa 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.”
Shannon Batt sought to educate teenagers about the dangers of drinking and driving for her Gold Award project. By connecting with local police, fire personnel and AAA, she was able to bring a wealth of information to her audience. Ms. Batt created and presented a documentary and interactive skit about the topic, including statistics, pictures, and interviews with those affected by the issue. Ms. Batt is a junior at Massapequa High School, where she is on the High Honor Roll and a member of the soccer team and art club. She is also a member of the Massapequa Junior Fire Department, a soccer referee and a camp counselor.
Alyssa Biondo and Stephanie Biondo teamed up for their Gold Award project that focused on teen unemployment. The girls created a video presentation, which included original skits, tips on interviewing and advice on how to “dress to impress.” They also created brochures to help teens in the job interview process by discussing resumes, body language, interview attire, etc. In addition, the girls organized and executed an event that showcased all of the information that they gathered in an interesting and instructional way to help teens find a job. Alyssa Biondo and Stephanie Biondo recently graduated from Massapequa High School. Alyssa Biondo participated in SADD, robotics, the school newspaper and the volleyball team. Stephanie Biondo participated in SADD, High School Heroes, and Science Olympiads. They were both members of the National Junior Honor Society and plan to attend The University of Scranton in the fall.
Danielle Corradi’s goal for her Gold Award project was to inform and educate her community about issues that teenagers deal with on a daily basis. By collaborating with various local counseling and human services organizations, she was able to plan and run an event for teens and their parents that provided important information and resources. She also created educational brochures for the attendees and was able to help people talk about issues that often go unaddressed. Ms. Corradi recently graduated from Massapequa High School, where she was a member of SADD club. In her spare time, she was on Force All-Stars cheerleading team and volunteered at an animal shelter and at local soup kitchens. Ms. Corradi will attend St. Thomas Aquinas College in the fall, where she has received an annual $2,000 grant for earning her Gold Award.
Megan Hayes’ Gold Award project was designed to help young children deal with their fear of hospitals and medical procedures. To address the situation, she used her creative and artistic talents to write a comforting short story in a coloring book format. As children read her story about a puppy that goes to the hospital, it helped to alleviate their fears. She distributed her books along with security blankets that she had made and was able to make a difference for many young patients. Ms. Hayes recently graduated from Our Lady of Mercy Academy, where she was a member of the lacrosse, equestrian, and cheerleading teams. She also was also a member of the SADD club and the chorus. She will attend Villanova University in the fall as a student in their nursing program.
Jennifer Imbrogno wanted to show kids how much fun science could be. For her Gold Award project, she engaged a group of younger students with exciting demonstrations and hands-on activities. She also developed a how-to manual outlining her workshop activities. The AP Scholar Society at her school will continue to offer her program in the future. Ms. Imbrogno recently graduated from Massapequa High School, where she was a member of the chorus, chamber chorus, orchestra, pit, and chamber orchestras. She also competed on the rifle team, mathletes, and science Olympiad teams. She is an active member of her church. She will study chemical molecular engineering at Stony Brook University in the fall.
Taylor Loesch addressed the importance of proper nutrition, physical fitness, and making healthy choices for a healthy life for her Gold Award project. By collaborating with a local church, she was able to establish a new, innovative health program for children in Kindergarten through 3rd grade. Ms. Loesch further shared her information through a blog and brochure, which she created so that the children would have some specific tips to take home to share with their families. She recently graduated from Kellenberg Memorial High School, where she participated in Sodality, library service, PREP (Parish Religious Education Practicum) and band. She was also a member of the National Honor Society, and volunteered for a local afterschool recreation and tutoring program. Ms. Loesch will attend Mount Saint Mary College in the fall.
Emily Reisert wanted to address the issue of asthma for her Gold Award project. She knew that many students spent time receiving asthma treatments in the school nurse’s office. To make the experience more positive, Ms. Reisert created an activity booklet to help them pass the time, while also learning more about their condition. She also conducted classes for other students and the community to give them a better understanding of the disorder and tips for helping someone who is having an asthma attack. Ms. Reisert recently graduated from Plainedge High School, where she was a member of the National Honor Society, English Honor Society, jazz choir, robotics team, SADD, and the varsity bowling team. She will study nursing at SUNY Farmingdale in the fall.
Sundra Sisalli’s Gold Award project consisted of two parts: educating the community about pregnancy prevention and redecorating a room at Momma’s House, a home for young unwed mothers. Her goal was to lift the self-esteem of the young women staying at the home and support them as they raised their children. She also developed a brochure to educate the community and to hopefully prevent additional teen pregnancies. Ms. Sisalli recently graduated from Our Lady of Mercy Academy, where she played varsity soccer and was the captain of the sports night cheer team. She was a member of the Spanish, forensic, and Mercy Action clubs and volunteered at Winthrop University Hospital. She plans to attend Philadelphia University to major in Fashion Industry Management in the fall.
Daniella Tompkins wanted to educate the community about the importance of recycling for her Gold Award project. She found that the community would recycle at home, but not at the beaches or marinas. After speaking to town officials, she was able to have a large recycle igloo installed at the marina. Ms. Tompkins then worked with SPLASH, a volunteer cleanup group and the Jones Beach Power Squadron to help spread her message. Ms. Tompkins recently graduated from Kellenberg Memorial High School, where she was a varsity cheerleader and participated in Blue and Gold. She was on the Board of the INN and volunteered for Winthrop University Hospital and SPLASH. She is an assistant catechist at her church and will attend Catholic University 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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