Manhasset Girl Scouts awarded highest honor

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Girl Scouts of Nassau County recently hosted its annual Gold Award ceremony at Adelphi University.

During the event, more than 70 local Girl Scouts earned their Gold Awards, including Molly Alpert, Mackenzie Alpert, Maggie Cannatella, Lexi Costello, Laura Ferraris, Kate Miller, Annie Miller and Lindsay Ryan of Manhasset.

The Gold Award program recognizes the power and dedication shared by an elite group of young women who earn the highest honor a Girl Scout can achieve.

Each girl spent more than 80 hours over the past year planning, executing and presenting the results of her project, which aimed to make the world a better place for others as well as herself.

“These young women are among an exclusive group of leaders who have earned the highest honor a Girl Scout can earn. I commend each and every one of them for the countless hours they have spent dedicated to their project — not only to empower and better themselves, but to make the world a better place,” said Rande Bynum, chief executive officer, Girl Scouts of Nassau County. “Gold Award projects have positively impacted girls’ lives, their communities and the world for over one hundred years.”

The Gold Award Girl Scouts each tackled a project that held a deep significance to them. Their projects are described below. 

“De-stress to Re-assess,” was a program Molly created to help children and teens understand the importance of stress management.

She held hands-on sessions at the Head Start summer camp where children learned how to manage stress through healthy eating habits, exercise, music, art and meditation.

The teachers at the Head Start program will be able to pass on the information to new students each year with the instruction manual Molly created and donated.

Molly is a recent graduate of Manhasset High School where she was a member of the Junior Coalition Against Breast Cancer. She was also an active member of her church youth group. Molly will be attending Loyola University in Baltimore this fall. Her favorite Girl Scout memory is completing the Sow What Journey because it gave her troop the chance to visit a farm for a weekend.

Mackenzie’s project “Soaring with STEM” helped elementary school students explore their curiosity for science, technology, engineering, and math.

She spent time at the educational center, Adventures in Learning, teaching children about the STEM field through lesson plans that included activities and hands-on exercises. Students and teachers will be able to continue the experiments and activities with the instruction booklet and box of materials Mackenzie donated to the Adventures in Learning center.

A recent graduate of Manhasset High School, she was an active member and leader of the Junior Coalition Against Breast Cancer.

Mackenzie also spent time as an active member of her church’s youth ministry group. She will be attending Loyola University in Baltimore this fall. Mackenzie’s fondest Girl Scout memory is spending time at Camp Blue Bay with her troop learning how to cook and indulging in a spa night with her Girl Scout sisters.

Maggie’s project, “Juniors Hanging with Seniors” helped to bridge the generation gap between youth and senior citizens. In establishing social events at the Manhasset Valley Residence, Maggie gave youth and senior citizens the chance to interact and socialize.

She recruited several different groups from her community to spend time with senior citizens helping them socialize and be active.

Maggie also organized a “junior/senior” prom for the youth of her community and the residents at the nursing home. Each group from the community has committed to return to the Manhasset Valley Residence helping to add a lively note to the residents’ social calendars.

Maggie is a recent graduate of Kellenberg Memorial High School where she was an active member of the National Honor Society and cross country and track team.

This fall Maggie will be attending St. Louis University to study athletic training. Her favorite Girl Scout memory is her Girl Guides trip to Adelboden, Switzerland.

Lexi created her project “Deaf Culture Awareness and American Sign Language,” to educate her community and bring awareness to deaf culture. 

Over a three-month period, she taught children in an after-school program the American Sign Language alphabet, numbers, and colors.

Lexi also helped teach the children about deaf culture including common phrases and rules within the community.

After the three months were finished, Lexi established an ASL club at Adventures in Learning center so that the children there could continue to learn about ASL.

Lexi is a rising senior at the Glenholme School where she is involved in the Theater Arts program and an active member of the Running club and Tennis team.

While she has one year of high school left, Lexi hopes to fulfill her dream of becoming an ASL interpreter. Her favorite Girl Scout memory is the trip her troop took to Switzerland where they went hiking.

Laura’s project “Steward of the Land” addressed the issue of poor water quality in Orient, New York. Her project consisted of two parts; first Laura grew her own oysters at an oyster farm measuring how much they grew over the course of three months.

Laura then released the data to the public through several informational sessions featuring ways community members can help keep the waters cleaner.

Laura worked to show her community the importance of water quality and the steps they could take to reverse the damage.

As a recent graduate of Manhasset High School, Laura was the captain of the varsity soccer team, a member of the National Honor Society and a leader in Key Club. Laura will be attending Boston College in the fall.

Her favorite Girl Scout memory is going to Hershey Park with her troop during the summer.

Kate created her project “Sparking Kids’ Love of Math,” to help boost elementary school students’ confidence when it comes to math.

Kate created a dynamic, hands-on curriculum consisting of math review and basic computer science concepts for students at the Adventures in Learning center.

The children not only gained better math skills, but they also learned that they can be good at whatever they set their mind to. Kate donated the learning materials to Adventures in Learning where they continue to be used today.

Kate is a rising senior at Manhasset High School where she is a member of the Math and National Honor Societies. She is also an active member of the crew team and serves as an advisory board member for the One

World Girl Foundation. Her fondest Girl Scout memory is the unforgettable sleepover at the Museum of Natural History with her troop.

Annie took on the challenge of educating elementary school students about the importance of STEM programming through her project, “Science Fair Fun at Adventures in Learning.” Knowing that STEM fields have a positive impact on the world, Annie wanted to show young students just how important science, technology, engineering, and math really are. Annie created a program that allowed students to get hands-on experience in the field that peaked their interest the most. She created interactive activities and lesson plans for the students. The materials are now being used by Adventures in Learning and all the materials are available on her project’s Facebook page.

A rising senior at Manhasset High School, Annie is an active member of Model United Nations and the Science Honor Society. Annie is also a member of the crew team. Her fondest Girl Scout memory is sleeping over at the National History Museum with her troop.

Lindsay’s project, “Travel the World Outside Manhasset” combined her passion for travel and helping others to inspire the youth of Manhasset to get out and explore the world. She created lesson plans that transported children to various countries, teaching them all about each country’s sites, food, people, and language.

Lindsay also helped the kids make travel journals so they could return to any destination they’d like.

A rising senior at Manhasset High School, Lindsay is captain of the golf team and member of the National Honor Society. Lindsay is also an active member of the Interact Service club at her school. Lindsay’s fondest Girl Scout memory is sleeping over at the Museum of National History with her troop.

Approximately 1 million Girl Scout alumnae have developed Gold Award projects that addressed local or global issues.

After identifying an area of interest, a successful Gold Award recipient performs hours of research and prepares a project proposal to be submitted for feedback and approval to the Girl Scout Council before embarking on her project.

The Girl Scout presents her final conclusions as the last step of the journey. 

Lifelong value comes with having earned a Gold Award.

According to the Girl Scout Research Institute, Gold Award Girl Scouts display more positive life outcomes pertaining to sense of self, life, satisfaction, leadership, life success, community service and civic engagement.

Recipients of the award who enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces may receive advanced rank for their achievements and can receive scholarships or other recognition from most colleges or universities.

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