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Girl Scout Gold Award


Girl Scouts of Connecticut honored its 2010 Gold Scouts during a special ceremony on June 6 at Saint Joseph College. The Girl Scout Gold Award is the highest achievement a girl can earn in Girl Scouting. An award with national standards, it represents a girl's accomplishments, leadership, commitment, creativity, and personal contributions to making her community a better place to live. 

This year, 50 young women from around the state earned their Gold Award and learned that one girl in a leadership role can truly make a difference. 

The 2010 Gold Award Recipients:

Rachel Berger Christina Garbarino Katherine Kasacek Amanda McAllister Amanda Smith
Rebecca Borton Michaela Giovannoli Anna Kraft Shannon Miller Anna Sobanski
Jillian Brooks Teresa Giovannoli Katie Lamb Hope Notaro Karalyn Stauffer
Gina Capoccia Antonya Gonzalez Jamie Lembo Rebecca Paquette Jeanne Theleen
Kousanee Chheda Mallory Guillemette Mary Mackie Shelja Patel Katherine Vandrilla
Melissa Chmielewski Maria Haidinger Faith Mangiafico Gwendolyn Pfetsch Holly Walker
Christina diMarzio Kimberly Halpin Carrie Mantis Kelsey Plate Gabriella Wang
Elizabeth Duffy Bonnie Heller Kathryn Marsh-Soloway Amy Polderman Christine Wengloski
Rosalie Edelston Monica Herzog Kassandra Martinchek Madeline Sachs Celina Whitmore
Ariel Ekblaw Rachel Hyland Maria Maydan Samantha Santoro Antonina Williams


Sherman, CT

Rachel worked hand-in-hand with the Sherman Historical Society to create a coloring book and Teacher's Guide on the life of Roger Sherman that are suitable for grades 2-5. The books will be used in school curriculum at the end of this year. Through this project, Rachel learned patience, communication skills, people skills, printing/graphic skills, and time management. She is attending Stony Brook University in the fall in hopes of becoming an engineer. 




Chester, CT

For her Gold Award project, Rebecca created a winter sports club at Valley Regional High School that makes five after school trips a year to a local ski mountain. In order to ensure the program's ongoing existence, Rebecca put a special emphasis on training faculty members and students to run the club. She also worked with school administrators to provide students with fun, chaperoned activities. Rebecca is attending American University and hopes to go into the International Service field.


Glastonbury, CT

For her Gold Award project, Jillian created and ran a free safety workshop for girls ages 13-18. The workshop taught the girls how to protect themselves physically, verbally, and online. Jillian partnered with a local female police officer to give the girls who participated in her workshop, the life skills and confidence they need to protect themselves. Jillian plans on attending Manchester Community College to earn a degree in dietary studies.  


Riverside, CT

For her Gold Award project, Gina mapped out a running trail at Greenwich Point. She first measured the running/walking coastal trail at Greenwich Point and constructed and installed wooden marker posts spaced at ½ mile intervals. She then created a map of the trails located at the park entrance and wrote a brochure on wellness and running tips for the community. Gina currently attends Greenwich High School and hopes to study liberal arts in college. 


Storrs, CT

For her Gold Award project, Kousanee taught Indian dance to 80 people in her community ranging in age from 4 to 40 years. She also choreographed 10 dances and taught them to various workshop participants based on their ages. She then created a DVD of the dances and distributed it to several libraries. This is an inexpensive way for community members to experience the world of dance. Kousanee will attend the University of Connecticut.



East Lyme, CT

Melissa's Gold Award project was designed to teach children safety skills, stranger danger, crosswalk safety, bike safety and traffic safety while providing an optimum play area for students in the Flanders area. Melissa designed a grid to mimic the Flanders Four Corners and made a DVD to help with instruction. Melissa's Flanders Safety Town Village is available to everyone in the community to help mentor good safety practices. Melissa is attending the University of New Hampshire. 


Bethel, CT

Christina chose a project that would provide students at Bethel High School with an opportunity to create colorful artwork with a positive message. The result was an 8 x 18 ½ foot wall mural at the school that depicts different life lessons and can be enjoyed by many future generations. People enjoyed the unusual artistic aspect of the mural and it was a very positive experience for everyone. Christina is attending the Culinary Institute of America to become a chef.



Ridgefield, CT

Elizabeth's Gold Award project is called, "Fun with Health and Fitness". She designed a preventive care program which demonstrated the importance of healthy eating, exercise, and taking care of your body for elementary students. She used games, activities, and take-home packets to teach the children about staying healthy and preventing health problems. Elizabeth currently attends Ridgefield High School and hopes to one day have a career in Physics and Biology.



Cos Cob, CT

For her project, Rosalie wanted to brighten up the Jewish Family Services in Greenwich -a place where people go when they're in need of assistance. So, she led workshops for adults and senior citizens to make paintings and created an inspirational painting of her own. All of the paintings were framed and donated to the Jewish Family Services to be shared with future visitors. Rosalie is attending McDaniel College.



New Fairfield, CT

Ariel created a program called, "Got Science?" for her Gold Award project. She enlisted the help of National Honor Society volunteers and developed math and science tutorials and experiment enrichment for children in grades 4-7. The tutoring included both remedial help and advanced topics. Over 25 children participated in the hands-on experiments. Ariel currently attends New Fairfield High School and in the future, she hopes to have a career in either biotechnology, genetics, pharmaceuticals or theoretical physics.



South Windsor, CT

Christina worked with a sewing circle group of refugees through the Institute of Community Research in Hartford for her Gold Award project. She taught them about the American craft of quilting and worked to combine their native crafts into a multicultural quilt. The quilt will go on display at various venues across Connecticut. Christina also ran a successful craft supply drive, enabling her to donate sewing and craft supplies to refugees. Christina currently attends South Windsor High School.



Ridgefield, CT

For her project, Michaela sewed curtains for the Women's Center of Greater Danbury, an emergency shelter for women facing domestic abuse. She also partnered with the National Charity League to help promote awareness about domestic abuse through an informational meeting and handouts she created. Her project raised awareness about domestic violence and provided comfort to the women staying in the shelter. Michaela attends Ridgefield High School and aspires to have a career in health services.



Ridgefield, CT

Teresa created an informational brochure about emergency pet preparedness for her Gold Award project. She shared the brochure with Girl Scout Troops, the local library, vet offices, and the town's recreation center. Her project helped to inform her community on the importance of having precautionary measures in place to protect pets in the event of an emergency. Teresa is currently a student at Ridgefield High School and hopes to become an engineer.



Ridgefield, CT

For her Gold Award project, Antonya constructed a theater for the Ridgefield Boys and Girls Club. This project involved designing a blueprint, applying for a permit, collecting materials, coordinating volunteers, and finally constructing the theater. This theater is a useful addition to the Boys and Girls Club because it now allows them to host performances outdoors for years to come. Antonya is currently attending Washington University in St. Louis.



Bozrah, CT

For her Gold Award project, Mallory worked to improve the recognitions within the High Hope Therapeutic Riding Center's Memorial Garden and established the Sis Gould Walkway of Hope. Thanks to her work, participants, family, and friends now have a peaceful and restful place to relax and remember past horses. Mallory is currently attending the University of Connecticut and is studying to become a veterinarian.



Greenwich, CT

Maria planted a perennial deer-resistant garden at the Parsonage Cottage Senior Residence in Greenwich for her Gold Award project. She researched, sought recommendations, contacted and received plants and flowers from local nurseries, recruited volunteers and with their help, planted the garden. The result was a beautiful, low maintenance garden that can be enjoyed by residents and the community year after year. Maria is currently attending Greenwich High School.



Glastonbury, CT

For her Gold Award project, Kimberly hosted a 5k run/walk in her community to raise awareness about ovarian cancer. She also had booths at other local events, including the Apple Harvest Festival held in her town and the Girl Scout event, Mall Madness. Kimberly had a representative from an ovarian cancer support group come to the events and hand out flyers. Kimberly currently attends Glastonbury High School, plans to attend college in the fall to study English and one day become a publisher.



Westport, CT

Bonnie created educational and fun activities for the Caroline House Pre-school in Bridgeport for her Gold Award project. She designed the activities to help the children connect with their parents, learn to speak English, and get ready for Kindergarten. She also updated the school's Learning Room with new paint and organized it to assist the staff and volunteers and allow for more focus on the children. Bonnie is attending Connecticut College.



Monroe, CT

Monica created lesson plans for the 3rd and 4th grade levels to use at the Webb Mountain Discovery Zone. The lessons and activities were focused on geology and food chains. The students can now apply these class lessons to real life in their community. Monica was also able to teach a lesson about frogs to a first grade class. Monica is attending Bucknell University and hopes to work with the government or a private firm to complete research in the field of physics.



Wallingford, CT

For her Gold Award project, Rachel went to her local senior center to inspire a celebration of different cultures. She used slideshows, food, dancing, music and foreign films to educate the seniors on French, Italian, Spanish, and German cultures and involved high school language clubs. She also created a scrapbook about the different countries for the senior center residents to reference in the future. Rachel is currently attending the University of Connecticut and aspires to become a French teacher.



Norfolk, CT

For her Gold Award project, Katherine learned about bats and the challenges they face.  She assembled the materials needed to build 23 bat houses and enlisted the help of a local carpenter and neighborhood friends to construct them. Katherine also set up an educational bat program to inform members of the community about the declining bat population and provide them with ways to help the under-appreciated animals. Katherine plans to attend Hartwick College in the fall.



Orange, CT

For her Gold Award project, Anna made curtains and paintings for the changing room at the cancer center at the Hospital of St. Raphael's. The project created a more positive environment and made getting in and out of the changing stalls easier for the elderly. Anna is currently attending Springfield College and is studying to become a Pathologist Assistant.



Lebanon, CT

For her Gold Award project, Katie completed interviews on the histories of six local farms, transcribed the interviews, and created videos. She presented the final piece to the public as a 20-minute video and discussion panel. The event brought the community together to share and discuss farming traditions. The video will remain at the Lebanon Historical Society. Katie is a student at Lyman Memorial High School and hopes for a career in criminal justice or the film industry.



Orange, CT

Jamie's Gold Award project involved starting a new field hockey clinic through her town's Parks and Recreation Department. The clinic, a field hockey starter program, taught young girls basic skills and rules of the game. Girls were given the opportunity to interact in a team situation and receive personal attention and advice. The program involved teamwork, fitness, and hard work. Jamie is attending Cornell University in the fall to study Animal Science.



Canton, CT

Mary's Gold Award project was entitled, "Remembering Canton's Finest". She created a booklet for her town which included biographies and pictures of prominent Canton citizens. Mary donated copies of the booklet to the local library, historical society and schools to preserve her town's history. She also shared the project with younger Girl Scouts in her town at Girl Scout meetings. Mary currently attends Canton High School.



Newtown, CT

For her Gold Award project, Faith created and introduced the Mayflower/Pilgrim Education Program for elementary school students. She researched and created a replica pilgrim costume to be worn while she taught the students about the Mayflower Pilgrims and Wampanoag People. She also made program boxes to leave with the school for future lessons. Faith is a student at Newtown High School. In the future, Faith hopes to major in economics and possibly work in the bonds market.



Glastonbury, CT

Carrie addressed the need to publicize programs offered to children at Youth and Family Services for her Gold Award project. She designed a mural presenting the different activities offered at the center and created a brochure describing the programs. She enlisted the help of her peers to maintain ongoing quotes and assistance in the mural. Carrie is currently a student at Glastonbury High School and plans to attend a four-year university, major in advertising, and continue her community service activities.



Canton, CT

For her Gold Award project, Kassie went to a local senior center and led a program that focused on helping the residents learn about health, diet, and exercise. She gave them information about staying healthy and conducted an activity. At the end of the program, she gave them a DVD about dance. Kassie will attend Allegheny College in the fall and plans to major in International studies. She would love to work in foreign policy or pursue a career in government.



Ridgefield, CT

For her Gold Award project, Maria visited Caritas Felices, a home for abused girls in Peru and put together a broad based academic enrichment program in math, English, health, and recreational activities for the girls. She created workbooks in each subject that the girls could continue to use in the future and supplied them with packages of toiletries to encourage proper hygiene. Maria currently attends Ridgefield High School and hopes to one day have a career in Foreign Service.



Ellington, CT

Amanda's Gold Award project focused on providing emergency medical equipment to her church. She updated and restocked the First Aid Kits in the church as well as purchased new ones. Amanda also compiled a list of medically trained church members in case of an emergency. Finally, she was able to donate and install a defibrillator in the church. This project made her church a safer place. Amanda is attending Northeastern University and majoring in Graphic Design with a minor in Photography.



South Glastonbury, CT

For her Gold Award project, Shannon researched the life of Glastonbury residents, Julie and Abby Smith. She wrote a mini-play that outlined their lives and their accomplishments specific to women's suffrage. The performances were videotaped and the script and DVD were donated to local libraries. This project educated the community on the impact the sisters had on the women's suffrage movement. Shannon attends Glastonbury High School and hopes to go to law school one day.



North Haven, CT

Hope's Gold Award project was to make a booklet of all the girls' sports that are available in her town's high school. The booklet is a reference tool for 8th grade girls to use before entering high school. Hope created the booklet to help young girls feel more confident about entering the high school sports community. Hope plans to attend Lesley University and major in Art Therapy.



Glastonbury, CT

Rebecca addressed the need to enrich elderly leisure time and alleviate loneliness by teaching piano lessons to senior citizens and engaging them in musical activities and games. Rebecca held a holiday musical program for the seniors featuring teenage performers as well as one of the senior residents who took Rebecca's piano lessons. Rebecca plans to attend the University of Connecticut School of Nursing and plans to work towards a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing and an RN license.



Brookfield, CT

For her Gold Award project, Shelja created free science workshops at her local library for elementary school children. These workshops consisted of hands-on experiments and activities focused on a variety of science concepts. The project benefited area school children by creating an enthusiasm for science and by exposing them to science concepts that they will see again in upcoming school years. Shelja is a student at Brookfield High School and is aspiring to become a doctor.



Riverside, CT

For her Gold Award project, Gwendolyn started a dance team at the Eastern Middle School in Greenwich. She choreographed and taught dances to middle school girls for them to perform at the school's talent show and at the boys and girls basketball games. Gwendolyn created a manual with tips on how to run the dance team and one of her students plans to continue the team next year. Gwendolyn is currently a student at Greenwich High School.



New Fairfield, CT

For Kelsey's Gold Award project, she sewed two period-style dresses and a cape reflecting the early 1800's, to be used by a local historical society, Preserve New Fairfield Inc., for events such as the Cemetery Tour and parades throughout the year.  Kelsey used materials reflective of the 1800's to appropriately reflect the time period, yet withstand use today throughout the community.  Kelsey is a graduate of New Fairfield High School and her project inspired her for a potential career in fashion.


Barkhamsted, CT

For her Gold Award project, Amy reorganized the music library for the Greater Waterbury Youth Symphony. She sorted through over three hundred pieces of music and alphabetized them. She then presented the Board with an online database to help keep the organizational system current and up to date. Amy is a student at Northwestern Regional 7 High School and plans to study education in college to one day become a music teacher.



Greenwich, CT

For her Gold Award project, Madeline took 2,175 photos of headstones from 3 graveyards around Greenwich. She uploaded them, sorted them, and created CD's for the town of Greenwich. Her community now has an easy reference tool containing accurate records of the town's headstones. Madeline is attending Northwestern University to study Art Theory and Practice with a minor in Economics.




Ridgefield, CT

For her Gold Award project, Samantha created a Shingles Education Manual for the Ridgefield Visiting Nurse Association to raise awareness of, and provide education for, Shingles disease and the Zostavax vaccine for prevention. She attended clinics and health fairs to further inform the public about Shingles and to hand out her manual. Her efforts helped members of her community make informed decisions regarding Shingles disease and the vaccine to prevent it. Samantha is currently a student at Ridgefield High School.



Manchester, CT

Amanda's Gold Award project contained two components. The first portion of her project was teaching 1st graders at St. James School how to be responsible pet owners in hopes of reducing the number of abandoned animals. The second portion of her project was to beautify the Town of Manchester Animal Pound and construct a cover that would create a shady place for the animals. Amanda plans to attend Eastern Connecticut State University and major in Early Elementary Education.



Glastonbury, CT

The focus of Anna's Gold Award project was to provide entertainment for patients at the Connecticut Children's Medical Center. Anna directed, recorded, produced, and edited two audio books on CDs, two audio plays on CDs, and one play on DVD to help comfort sick children. She made master copies of the discs so more copies can be made in the future and delivered them to the Medical Center. Anna plans to attend Eastern Connecticut State University.



Woodbridge, CT

Kathryn's "Animal Awareness Rescue Program" strove to raise awareness about the over-breeding of horses in order to collect PMU (pregnant mares' urine) for use in pharmaceuticals. She created a website, gave speeches, and contacted the press about the issue to inform the community about what can be done. Kathryn is attending Washington and Lee University and believes that the leadership and time management skills that she acquired from her Gold Award project will help her in whatever career path she chooses.



Ellington, CT

Kara created, organized, planned and led a recess program for 1st and 2nd grade boys and girls at the 3 elementary schools in Ellington. "1-2-3 I Am Me" focused on building self-esteem and self-confidence, as well as skills in conflict resolution, communication, and managing anger and emotions. She also created a curriculum binder so that the program can be continued next year. Kara is attending The Catholic University of America with a major in Education studies.



Southbury, CT

"Get Up, Get Out, and Get Moving in Southbury" is an exercise and fitness guide that Jeanne designed for her Gold Award project. She created a brochure that outlines several walking and running routes available to the public. Community members are now aware of the wide variety of trails available within their town. Jeanne is attending the University of Connecticut and hopes to become an Elementary School teacher or a school Guidance Counselor.



Kensington, CT

For her Gold Award, Katherine worked with Berlin High School's library to create a database for the fiction section. She catalogued each book by hand and transferred the information to the computer. Katherine is attending Saint Joseph College and is aspiring to become a science teacher.



Ridgefield, CT

Holly's "Stop the Violence" program advocates for the continued development of women's equal rights. Holly held five workshops that each explored a different form of violence against women. She also created informational pamphlets to distribute at each workshop. Holly produced binders containing guides on how to repeat her workshops and gave them to local women's charities and her high school. Holly is currently a student at Ridgefield High School.



Wilton, CT

For her Gold Award project, Gabriella rebuilt a trail at Cherry Lane Park in Wilton and also built a trail at Woodcock Nature Center. At both places, she made two 24 x 24 inch trail maps as well as ten informational signs about indigenous trees located in the Northeast. This project gave the people of Wilton two safe and educational walking trails. In the future, Gabriella hopes to work for the FBI or CIA.



Lebanon, CT

Thanks to Christine's hard work, there is now a 66-stone, heart-shaped pathway surrounding a garden dedicated to the Blessed Mother, Mary, located near the Parish House at St. Francis Church. This pathway is open to anyone who wants to use it and provides an opportunity for spiritual growth and learning among adults and children in her community. Christine currently attends Lyman Memorial High School and plans to eventually earn a degree in psychology.



Bridgeport, CT

Celina's Gold Award project, "One Bottle, No Big Deal", is designed to educate her community on the importance of recycling. She wrote, directed, and cast a play about recycling and held a Recycle Week project in her school. Her efforts encouraged her town to be greener and educated people of all ages about the importance of recycling. Celina is currently attending Central Magnet High School and would love to become a physical therapist and a part-time dancer.



Groton, CT

Antonina's project honored veterans and raised awareness of homeless veterans in CT.  Through information booths, she educated the public on homeless veterans' needs and where veterans can go to find help.  She also organized a flag retirement ceremony with local veteran organizations to educate local scouts.  Antonina would like to become a massage therapist. 


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