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.
"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.
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 sixth and eighth grade.
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.
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.
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.
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.
On June 12, 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 21, Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano presented the girls with certificates for their achievements. Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray also honored Girl Scout Gold Award recipients and Eagle Scouts on June 3 in an event at Levy Preserve.
What do you think of the work the girls have done? Tell us in the comments.