Cadettes of Girl Scout Troop 1402 Allison Corcoran, Amanda Joa and Gabrielle Petriello said they knew that they wanted to give back to their community, so they thought, what better place to start than their roots?
Corcoran, Joa and Petriello earned their Girl Scout Silver Award, the second most prestigious award in the organization, on June 11 at the Elk Lodge in New Hyde Park by Mayor Lawrence Montreuil and North Hempstead Town Councilman Angelo Ferrara.
The ninth graders volunteered at Atria Assisted Living in Great Neck, interviewing residents and creating biographies to help caregivers know more about the residents.
Four sessions lasting hours and a total of nine months later, the scouts created 22 in-depth biographies.
According to Girl Scout Troop Leader Aileen Corcoran, teamwork and cooperation were the most important lessons the girls took away from the entire experience.
“Sometimes if it was just one resident, all three would be doing it together. Or if three different residents were there, the girls would take up their own interview,” said Aileen Corcoran. “Even all the planning and some of the work afterward they split up as well. One had supplies, one had finances, another sent out emails and videos,” she said.
The girls used laptops, iPads and a printer to create the biographies. The biographies were then inserted into acrylic frames for display in residents’ rooms.
The scouts also made kits at the end of the project for residents to create their own biographies, including pens, a template for the biography, instructions and acrylic frames.
The girls came up with this idea because of their own family experiences. “A couple of them have older family members that have been in nursing homes or assisted living, so based on that they thought the idea would be a good project to work on,” explained Aileen Corcoran.
“I learned that I enjoy helping others and getting to know new people. I also learned how to work together in order to get something done,” said Allison Corcoran.
All three of the girls will continue with Girl Scouts next year and are already showing interest in pursuing their Gold Award, the highest ranking award in Girl Scouts.