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ALBANY, NY (05/24/2013)(readMedia)– On Sunday, May 19, 2013, eighteen (18) Girl Scouts earned their Gold Award from Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York. The Girl Scout Gold Award represents the highest achievement in Girl Scouting. Open only to girls in high school, this prestigious award challenges girls to solve a community problem in a sustainable way. The seven step process- which in total can take all four high school years to complete – involves: 1. Identifying an issue 2. Investigating it thoroughly 3. Getting help & building a team 4. Creating a plan 5. Presenting the plan & gathering feedback 6. Taking Action 7. Educating & inspiring. A committee of five volunteers and two staff review each girl’s final report and make the determinations as to whether or not the award is earned.

Gold Award recipients are part of an elite group of women. Starting in 1916, the best and brightest undertook projects that improved their communities-and the world. The Golden Eaglet insignia, the highest award in Girl Scouting from 1916 to1939, marked the beginning of a long tradition of recognizing the extraordinary efforts of extraordinary girls. From 1940 to 1963, the Curved Bar Award was the highest honor in Girl Scouting. From 1963 to 1980, the highest award was called First Class. And since 1980, the Gold Award has inspired girls to find the greatness inside themselves and share their ideas and passions with their communities.

2013 Gold Award Recipients from Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York

Samantha Aierle – Dannemora, NY (Independent Girl Scout). Provided beautification of pediatric unit at CPVH Medical Center in Plattsburgh, NY.

Samantha Atchinson – Alplaus, NY (Troop 2473). Established sustainable math tutoring program at a middle school in the Schenectady Central School District.

Samantha Brewer – Hoosick Falls, NY (Troop 1313). Established a comprehensive volunteer opportunities resource for the Hoosick Falls area.

Katelynn Brewster – Stillwater, NY (Troop 1059). Created a book lending program tied to a food pantry in the Stillwater area.

Rebecca Clauder – Granville, NY (Troop 3240). Worked with SUNY Cobleskill to create a comprehensive NYS Wildlife Rehabilitation website.

Christine Darrah – AuSable Forks, NY (Troop 4028). Created a collection & distribution center for relief supplies as well disaster plan for future disasters in her town as a result of Hurricane Irene.

Carolyn Gibbons – Galway, NY (Troop 2407). Designed and managed a program around blue bird populations with houses and kits for her community.

Kristin Houghton – Galway, NY (Troop 2426). Created an anti-bullying club in her school.

Mackenzie Kiefer – East Durham, NY (Troop 1423). Developed a basketball and soccer camp for kids grades 3-6 in her community.

Nikki Kirby – Castleton, NY (Troop 1163). Designed and implemented outdoor beautification of a memory care center for people with Alzheimer’s.

Meghan Luft – Niskayuna, NY (Troop 2216). Developed a comprehensive animal care & pet adoption education program.

Samantha Pappalau – Ballston Spa, NY (Troop 2407). Worked with Ronald McDonald house & high school Key Club to create programs so families would not be forgotten during holiday seasons.

Kelly Phillips – Middle Grove, NY (Troop 2407). Developed and hosted a comprehensive, age-appropriate, fire safety program for preschoolers.

Mursal Naderi – Northampton, MA (Troop 1008). –Began a Girl Guide/Girl Scouting program for her community in her home country of Afghanistan.

Ella Sciocchetti – Niskayuna, NY (Troop 2216). Designed, planned & carried out large scale project targeted at how middle school age students are affected by youth targeted advertising, particularly tobacco products.

Jenn Scuderi – Clifton Park, NY (Troop2532). Developed and implemented an inner city (Schenectady) reading & writing skills improvement program for elementary students.

Pascale Stain – Delmar, NY (Troop 1112). Created and implemented meaningful summer hands-on learning opportunities for local refugee children ages 12-13.

Elyse Wohl – Schenectady, NY (Troop 2216). Refurbished a community playground that was unsafe and provided materials supporting healthy play activities.

About Girl Scouts:

Girl Scouts is the largest girl-serving organization in the U.S. and is focused on leadership development for girls grades K-12. Having celebrated 100 years in 2012 of building girls of courage, confidence and character to make the world a better place, Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York serves 11,000 girls and 5,000 volunteers throughout 15 counties: Albany, Clinton, Columbia, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Greene, Hamilton, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Warren & Washington. Offices are located in Albany, Halfmoon, Queensbury and Plattsburgh. For more information: GSNENY.ORG or (518) 489-8110.

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