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Girl Scouts of Connecticut congratulates all of our 2011 Gold Award recipients! Find out more about the girls and their projects below. You can click on a name to jump to that project description.

Kimberly Adamski Jennifer Cole Constancia Malahias Kristie Osborne Rebecca Talamini
Jordana Adler Carolyn Dugas Elizabeth Maloney Katie Palmer Olivia Tempesta
Nicole Arrato Lauren Fernandez Tess McCurdy Allison Perlman Chelsea Tuttle
Natasha Babchak Kelly Fraser Sarah McLarty Aimee Roberge Kiersten Utegg
Amanda Ballassi Alexis Grevers Stacey Miner Alyssa Rodriguez Monica Vandehei
Erin Biron Julia Kannam Ava Rose Molnar Stephanie Roma Olivia Waite
Jennifer Bourque Ashlyn Kersten Ashleigh Monroe Erin Sibley-Jett Lindsay Warner
Jenna Brousseau Rebecca Liebman Katie Morgan Molly Sperduti-Matesevac Evelyn Widham
Sarah Cinquemani Elise Luzzi Sarah Murray Emily Steindl Angela Zaffetti

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 Kimberly Adamski
Kim’s Gold Award project was an educational children’s program at the Oxford Library.
The program taught children about different cultures through stories, crafts and food. Kim left a collection of multicultural materials with the library as well as her curriculum and supporting materials so others could enjoy them in the future. In the fall, Kim will be attending the University of Connecticut for business with a minor in Spanish.

 Jordana Adler
Jordana helped to beautify the Dorothy Hamill Skating Rink for her Gold Award project. She led a group of volunteers in painting a 6-foot x 8-foot mural in the rink’s sitting area. Jordana also produced an informational video about the rink and the kinds of skating programs it offers. The rink’s program leaders will be able to use the video as a public relations tool for years to come. Jordana plans to attend college and keep community service an important part of her life.

  Nicole Arrato
For her Gold Award project, Nicole started The Traveling Sunshine Chorus. Under Nicole’s direction, this chorus of girls in grades 4 – 8 brought the gift of vocal music to local nursing homes and hospitals. Nicole also created a binder with lyrics, music and other information for others to continue spreading sunshine and cheer. Nicole’s future plans include pursuing a career in law.

 Natasha Babchak
The public can enjoy a completed walking trail at the Woodcock Nature Center thanks to Natasha’s Gold Award project. Natasha created a new trail connecting two ends of a trail to form a complete walking trail. Natasha also created a brochure to educate people on invasive species in the area and a trail map to ensure the safety of future hikers. She is going to The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a business major.

 Amanda Ballassi
Amanda’s interest in boating inspired her Gold Award project. She created a boating safety class encouraging people to enjoy water sports while staying safe. Amanda wrote the educational programming for the class and worked with Sea Scouts to implement and continue the class for future boaters. Amanda will be attending Massachusetts Maritime Academy where she will study marine engineering.

 Erin Biron
Erin’s Gold Award project focused on teaching children to treat nature with respect. She conducted a workshop highlighting the importance of trees and created a Girl Scout badge-earning program fi lled with fun and educational activities about plants and animals. Erin’s project helped to change the way many members of her community think about their environment. Erin wants to become an agricultural teacher and teach conservation in high school.

 Jennifer Bourque
With hard work, planning, digging and landscaping, Jennifer created a lovely nature/butterfly garden for the West Haven High School community. In completing her Gold Award project, Jennifer learned to work well with others, increased her leadership skills, better understood important environmental issues, and effectively assisted members of her community. Jennifer’s future plans include working with kids.

 Jenna Brousseau
Jenna created a sun garden at McGee Middle School for her Gold Award project. Jenna used time management, organizational skills, and lots of hard work to create a warm and welcoming garden for the school. She worked closely with the school’s garden club to create the garden and ensure that it is maintained. Jenna’s future plans involve studying physical therapy.

 Sarah Cinquemani
Sarah’s Gold Award project consisted of a community children’s book drive. She collected many books and donated them to the book shelf in her local food pantry. In addition, Sarah organized reading sessions at a local elementary school for the students to meet twice a week with volunteers from the high school for six weeks. Sarah plans to pursue her interest in environmental studies.

 Jennifer Cole
For her Gold Award project, Jennifer redecorated the Discovery Room at the Wilton Episcopal and Presbyterian Church to create a warm and welcoming environment for the church community. She transformed the room with a rainbow mural, a handprint collage, and other special pieces such as pressed leaves and flowers. Jennifer is attending Rice University to study psychology.

 Carolyn Dugas
Children who visited the Lutz Museum learned how to “Go Green” during their school vacations thanks to Carolyn’s Gold Award project. Carolyn’s classes covered a wide range of ecological topics while promoting environmental awareness and conservation. Carolyn and her volunteers helped to educate community members about the impact they have on the environment. Carolyn will attend Duke University in the fall.

 Lauren Fernandez
For her Gold Award project, Lauren created a garden at a local school complete with a frog pond habitat and hand-made stepping stones. She taught the school’s first graders about frogs and made a workbook to go along with her lessons for the kids to keep. Lauren is currently attending the University of New Haven as a marine biology major.

 Kelly Fraser
For her Gold Award project, Kelly started a reading and writing enrichment program for 1st and 2nd graders at Robertson Elementary School in Manchester. She organized lesson plans each week and held class after school. She helped her students write a class book and had copies made for each of them. Kelly plans to pursue a college degree and master’s degree in nursing.

 Alexis Grevers
Alexis developed and implemented a virtual foreign exchange program between students in Ridgefield and students in San Rafael, Argentina. Her Gold Award project helped to bridge cultural and linguistic gaps, foster diversity and international relationships, and enhance classroom learning. Alexis created presentations for the students, ran classroom discussions, and hosted live interactive video exchanges. She plans to attend college, followed by law school.

 Julia Kannam
Julia refurbished the media room at the “I Have a Friend” Youth Center in Middletown for her Gold Award project. The new room is now a place where children can develop essential computer skills. Julia hopes the room will help to motivate kids to integrate technology into their education. Julia will graduate this year and hopes to become an elementary school music teacher.

Ashlyn Kersten

 Rebecca Liebman
Rebecca started a paper at her town’s middle school to help the students, faculty and the community become more informed. The students learned how to interview people, write stories, use proper grammar, and produce a newspaper. Rebecca learned she could accomplish anything by using her time and resources wisely. She would like to have a career in communications or environmental policy.

 Elise Luzzi

Elise created a science enrichment program for six weeks at three locations including Robertson Elementary School, Squire Village housing complex, and Manchester Area Conference of Churches Charities. She helped foster a love for science and learning with all of her students while providing an educational after-school program. From this experience, Elise learned that she loves working with children, and hopes to become a neonatal nurse practitioner.

 Constancia Malahias
Constancia’s Gold Award project was an extension of the Williams School Cross Country trail. She created new trails for home meets and added to existing trails. She said she learned perseverance from her project, and hopes the trail improves the quality of training for team members and the school community. She attends Embry Riddle Aeronautical University.

 Elizabeth Maloney
For her Gold Award project, Elizabeth created a tennis clinic that paired teen athletes with teens with special needs in one-on-one coaching pairs. Additionally, she wrote and produced a pamphlet for others who may be interested in organizing a similar program. Elizabeth plans to become a neuroscientist.

 Tess McCurdy
Girls entering Berlin High School had an easier time transitioning thanks to Tess’ Gold Award project. She implemented a club which paired incoming freshman with “big sister” mentors who helped the younger girls prepare for high school, focusing on self-esteem and bullying. She says this helped cut down on bullying between upperclassmen and new students. Tess hopes to become a magazine journalist.

 Sarah McLarty
Sarah’s Gold Award project enhanced and revitalized the informational displays at Rocky Neck State Park Nature Center in Niantic. Sarah added interpretive signage and additional educational displays to increase both the hands-on enjoyment and scientific experience of the Nature Center for its many visitors. Sarah plans to pursue a career in pharmaceuticals and will attend the University of Connecticut’s prepharmacy program in the fall.

 Stacey Miner
For her Gold Award project, Stacey decided to redo an abandoned greenhouse in her community. She created a place where the community can come to see what agriscience is all about. Stacey plans to pursue a career in marine science.

 Ava Rose Molnar
Ava created Theater in a Box kits for her Gold Award project. The kits were distributed to after-school programs and provided kids with materials to put on their own plays. Ava also conducted a theater workshop series where kids learned to create sets and costumes, write, and perform plays. In the future, Ava wants to continue her work in theater and working with children.

 Ashleigh Monroe
Ashleigh helped girls in her town learn about softball by running an opening day workshop for the Pomperaug Youth Softball League, creating brochures about equipment care and sports safety, and renovating the dugouts at Pomperaug High School. Ashleigh wants to pursue a career in physical therapy, sports medicine, or physical training.

 Katie Morgan
Katie’s Gold Award project connected the older and younger generations of her community and raised awareness of Alzheimer’s and Dementia diseases. A rewarding experience for both her high school volunteers and the seniors, Katie’s project will be carried on by the Key Club at the Senior Care Center as a volunteering option each year. Her future plans involve studying finance and economics.

 Sarah Murray
Sarah put on a community service fair for her Gold Award project. The fair showcased a variety of local community service opportunities for the students at Sheehan High School. She also created a board with all of the information from the fair for people to reference. Sarah will attend Saint Michael’s College in the fall and is interested in becoming a guidance counselor.

 Kristie Osborne
For her Gold Award project, Kristie photographed the Burr Sisters’ paintings and sketches and compiled them into a presentation and a hard bound book for her town’s Historical Society which is housed in the library. Thanks to Kristie’s project, the important art created by the Burr Sisters is more accessible to the public. Kristie plans to become a clinical psychologist, with a doctorate in psychology.

 Katie Palmer
Katie created a Cake Pan Program at the Bethel Library for her Gold Award project. She assembled kits with cake pans and decorating instructions for people to be able to check out from the library. Katie also led classes on how to decorate cakes and created a website with more tips and instructional videos. Katie hopes to pursue a career in education or marine biology.

 Allison Perlman
Allison’s Gold Award project helped to increase the awareness of the Molly Ann Tango Memorial Foundation, an organization dedicated to helping families of children with special needs. She organized a special reception to connect foundation board members with the families and children the foundation helps. She recruited sister Girl Scouts and other students to help and also distributed information about the foundation so more families can be helped.

 Aimee Roberge
Aimee led a group of volunteers in renovating a fire pit and sitting area at Camp Newhoca, in Vernon. By working with the town’s parks and recreation department on this project, she was able to improve an area that can be used yearround and is now handicap accessible. Aimee will be attending the University of Connecticut this fall.

 Alyssa Rodriguez
A member of two orchestras, Alyssa was inspired to bring string instrument students together for a Newtown String Jam-Fest. This event helped connect Newtown’s younger and older music students for a night of fun and collected donations for the Newtown Food Pantry. Alyssa’s Newtown String Jam-Fest will continue to be held annually sponsored by the Newtown Orchestra Parents Booster Club. Alyssa plans to study music composition at Ithaca College.

 Stephanie Roma
For her Gold Award project, Stephanie worked with the Monroe Historical Society to make the Burr Family letters and diaries accessible to the community. She transcribed letters from the Burr Family then compiled them into an easy to read binder for the public to utilize. She also produced a play about the Burr Family, organized an event for children featuring relevant Burr crafts, and held a community event to share her research on the Burr Family and their impact on Monroe. Stephanie plans to become an occupational therapist.

 Erin Sibley-Jett
Erin’s Gold Award project, Dolls for Anajali, connected children from Africa with local Girl Scout troops through pen pals. She wanted to bring hope and courage to kids and create awareness of poverty in Kenya by making dolls and collecting health items. Erin will graduate high school in 2012 and hopes to become an accountant or financial planner.

 Molly Sperduti-Matesevac
Molly’s Gold Award project was a Creative Craft Corner for Seniors. She recruited 70 volunteers to conduct nine one-hour sessions at a local nursing home and she secured donations of all of the craft supplies. She created ten different craft bins which remain at the nursing home for continued use. Molly is interested in engineering, political science, and early child development.

 Emily Steindl
Emily hosted A Day of Fun with Fife and Drum, for her Gold Award project. Members of the community were invited to come learn about fifes, bass drums, and snare drums and the historical significance of fifes and drums in the Ivoryton area. She also compiled a reference binder for the Museum of Fife and Drum to use in training museum guides. In the future, she wants to study child therapy.

 Rebecca Talamini
For her Gold Award project, Rebecca organized a photo contest for middle school kids. She presented two workshops to introduce digital photography to those interested in entering the contest. The contest theme was “What makes East Windsor, East Windsor — How Middle School Students See Their Town.” The town plans on continuing this contest for years to come changing the theme as needed. Rebecca plans to attend college after graduation.

 Olivia Tempesta
Olivia created Westbrook High School Hall of Fame as her Gold Award project in honor of the 50th anniversary of Westbrook High School. She created the hall of fame to honor the school’s alumni who have made a signifi cant impact in the community since graduating. Olivia plans to attend college after graduation and she is interested in music education, teaching, or becoming a pharmacist.

 Chelsea Tuttle
Chelsea’s Gold Award project, A Trivia Game Night, helped incoming freshman and their parents to learn about their new school and opportunities to become involved. Chelsea also created a notebook with all the trivia and game information for the school to reference and use every year with incoming freshmen. Chelsea hopes to be involved in helping others and is interested in mathematics and chemistry.

 Kiersten Utegg
For her Gold Award project Kiersten recruited volunteers to help revitalize the Westbrook Historical Society’s building. She relabeled the artifacts on display and made a photo album with descriptions of the objects for easy reference. She also helped organize a successful event to honor the Historical Society and increase public awareness of the contents of the Historical Society Building. Kiersten is looking forward to attending college.

 Monica Vandehei
Pieces of Art from the Heart is the title of Monica’s Gold Award project. She had 4-6 graders illustrate pictures to go along with motivational poems by local high school students. The resulting artwork was presented at an art show where representatives from local nonprofits selected pieces to be displayed at their locations. Monica’s future plans include studying film and music production.

 Olivia Waite
Olivia’s Gold Award project focused on promoting physical fitness and educating children about healthy eating habits. She worked with the Ridgefield Recreation Center and members of her community to teach children about the importance of proper nutrition and the value of daily exercise. She advocated healthy eating choices and taught dance and aquatic exercise to give her students the skills they need to keep healthy. Olivia plans to go into the health field.

 Lindsay Warner
Lindsay’s Gold Award project sought to increase awareness of the Greenwich Youth Cheerleading League and the importance of getting girls involved in the sport. She created a website, brochure, and hosted two “Introduction to Cheerleading” events. She also encouraged those attending the events to bring canned food items and donated over 400 cans to the local food bank. Lindsay plans to become a teacher.

 Evelyn Widham
For her Gold Award project, Evelyn renovated the Garde Arts Center Greenroom. She created a clean, attractive and welcoming atmosphere for guest artists to get ready for their performance. Evelyn recruited volunteers and worked with donors and the arts center staff to complete the project. She is interested in many opportunities involving teaching.

 Angela Zaffetti
Angela’s Gold Award project addressed the issue of reckless teen driving. She created and conducted a survey for teens about driving and used the information she learned to create a presentation for new teen drivers about the importance of safe driving. Angela also created a website to share all the information she gathered about reckless teen driving. Angela is interested in becoming a teacher and hopes to one day have a daughter in Girl Scouts so that she can become her Troop Leader!

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