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Local Girl Scouts Earn Girl Scout Gold Award

CICERO, NY – Nine local Girl Scouts will be recognized for earning the Girl Scout Gold Award during a Young Women of Distinction ceremony on May 30 at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva.

The Girl Scout Gold Award is the highest achievement girls can earn in Girl Scouting.

This award challenges girls to change the world – or at least their corner of it – and be eligible for college scholarships. In order to earn the award girls participate in activities of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, and spend 80 hours working on a community service project that has a sustainable impact on their communities.

The following nine girls are part of the Gold Award Class of 2015, comprised of 36 girls from the 26-county jurisdiction served by Girl Scouts of NYPENN Pathways.

Local girls being recognized for earning the Girl Scout Gold Award:

Elizabeth DiGennaro and Cortney Vaughn of Dewitt; Ava Giglio of Manlius; Michelle Huffaker of Phoenix; Marsaili Jane Knapp and Sarah Mandanas of Oswego; Hannah Morris of Cortland; Christina Sikes of Cicero; and Amanda Van Allen of Central Square.

Elizabeth is a senior at Jamesville-Dewitt High School and will continue her education at Princeton University. To earn the Gold Award she addressed the issue of hair loss in women. She held a Hair-a-Thon for her project where people were able to donate their hair to the American Cancer Society to provide wigs for women going through cancer treatments.

Cortney is a senior at Jamesville Dewitt High School and will continue her education studying international relations. Courtney’s project, “Leaving Behind a Legacy” honors veterans by keeping their stories alive. She interviewed veterans and their families and created biographies for them. She also organized a Memorial Day picnic for the veterans and their families.

Ava is a senior at Fayetteville-Manlius High School and will be majoring in mathematics at Dartmouth College in the fall.  For her take action project she addressed physical fitness and health in the elderly. She taught a weekly dance and exercise class while seated in chairs. She created videos of her program that can be found on her website, www.dancercisewithava.org.

Michelle is a homeschooled senior and plans to attend Le Moyne College in the fall majoring in accounting. For her Girl Scout Gold Award project Michelle designed and constructed a new foot bridge across a creek in her community. Prior to the project the foot path was not usable and residents could not access the Three Rivers Wildlife Management Area. She also created a video documenting the steps in the construction of the project and posted it on YouTube. It can be found under the “Girl Scout Gold Award Take Action Project: Building the Nature Path Bridge.”

Marsaili is a graduate of Oswego High School and currently attends Jefferson Community College. Marsaili’s project addresses the issue of dealing with a loved one going through cancer. She told of her experience as she watched her mother battle breast cancer and worked with a team to share the message through information sessions. She also produced a brochure that can be found in various health facilities in Oswego County.

Sarah is a senior at Bishop Ludden High School and will attend SUNY Geneseo in the fall. Sarah wanted to raise awareness of how climate change affects living creatures on the Earth for her take action project. She did this with a micro study of hummingbirds. She created a demonstration hummingbird garden at the Derby Hill Observatory. Her garden serves as a way to draw birds in so that the Audubon Society members could observe and count the birds and therefore help them survive.

Hannah is a senior at Christian Brother’s Academy and will be attending the Cornell University School of Engineering in the fall. For her Gold Award take action project Hannah addressed the need for healthy food choices in her community, particularly among children. Her project, entitled “Kinder-Garden,” aimed to teach children how to grow their own garden and enjoy the produce for themselves to help create healthy eating habits. She also donated produce to the local Catholic Charities.

Christina is a senior at Career Academy. Her project, “Hugs of Love,” addresses the loneliness and sadness that often occurs with the loss of a loved one. Christina and her team made dozens of blankets for Hospice to give to people of all ages that experience a loss. Her service unit and the Eye Consultants of Syracuse have agreed to continue the project for at least the next five years in the name of Hugs of Love.

Amanda is a senior at Paul V. Moore High School and plans to attend Onondaga Community College in the fall. For her take action project Amanda encouraged positive behaviors and teamwork through the creation of the Central New York FTC Team (First Tech Challenge). She saw a need in her community to have productive activities for kids to do after school. She combined this need with her interest in robotics to achieve this.

Join the adventure, fun and friendship of Girl Scouting. Contact the Girl Scouts’ Cicero Service Center at (315) 698-9400, visit www.gsnypenn.org, become a fan at facebook.com/GSNYPENN, follow twitter.com/GSNYPENN and pinterest.com/gsnypenn, or read the blog at www.gsnypenn.wordpress.com for more information.