2013-06-26 / Front Page

Girl Scouts earn Gold Award

The Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore presented 35 Girl Scouts from Monmouth and Ocean counties with the Girl Scout Gold Award during a special ceremony on May 30 at the Woodlake Country Club, Lakewood. Nationwide, only 5 percent of all eligible Girl Scouts earn this award, which is the highest achievement a teen Girl Scout can earn.

In addition to the Gold Award, each recipient received special commendations from President Barack Obama, their Senate and congressional representatives, Gov. Chris Christie, and in many cases, from their county and state elected officials.

In order to earn the Girl Scout Gold Award, girls must use the leadership skills learned through scouting to address and raise awareness of a specific issue or issues within her community.

Each recipient is required to complete at least 80 hours on a project that combines organizational leadership and networking skills with community service.

Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore shared the projects of local 2013 Gold Award recipients:

Kaitlyn Calogero, Morganville — Kaitlyn decided to donate First Holy Communion dresses and suits to churches in underprivileged areas. People donated their dresses and suits at a clothing drive, then volunteers helped sew and clean the dresses.

Kaitlyn provided a sewing workshop for volunteers to learn how to sew. When the suits and dresses were clean and fixed, they were donated to churches that needed them. Through this project, Kaitlyn learned how to plan a large event, organize and become an effective leader. She also developed better speaking skills and learned how to give back to others. Grace Huang, Marlboro — Grace created “Teaching Chinese Through Multimedia” as her project. She thought of this idea after she found the need for Chinese teachers in her community. She created videos because it would be more interactive with the audience. She then gathered volunteers to help come up with a curriculum, act out skits, film, draw and voice-record. Grace produced a total of five episodes that are currently available on YouTube. Grace learned a lot about herself as a leader through this project.

Maria Magg, Manalapan — Maria completed her project at CentraState Medical Center, where she helped nurses and doctors who work in the maternity ward by creating a serenity room where they could relax and de-stress. The new room is baby blue and has decorations like sailboats and seagulls. She provided two dry-erase boards so nurses can leave messages for one another.

Danielle Sakowitz, Marlboro — Danielle worked with the organization Family Promise, which hosts homeless families for a 12-week period. She focused on the lack of toys and games for the homeless children at the First Presbyterian Church of Freehold. Danielle conducted toy drives, installed new shelving and organized toys by their appropriate age group.

Danielle recruited new volunteers for Family Promise and helped increase awareness of the plight of the homeless in Monmouth County. Danielle believes this project enhanced her organizational skills and also gave her the opportunity to work on something about which she is passionate.

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