The Girl Scouts of Nassau County recently distributed 101 Gold Awards during a ceremony hosted by the United States Merchant Marine Academy. Erin Moore and Jessica Nicole Bellomo of Glen Cove were among awardees. Now in its 100th year, 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. Moore and Bellomo spent more than 80 hours over the past year planning, executing and presenting the results of their projects, which aimed to make the world a better place for others as well as themselves.
“We are extremely proud to celebrate the achievement of over 100 local young women earning their Girl Scout Gold Award during its 100th year,” said Donna Ceravolo, executive director and CEO of the Girl Scouts of Nassau County. “On average, only five percent of eligible Girl Scouts successfully earn the Gold Award, making Erin and Jessica part of an exclusive group of women with the tools to become leaders in the 21st century.”
Gold Award projects have positively impacted girls’ lives, their communities and the world for 100 years. 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 Scouts Council before embarking on her project. The Girl Scout presents her final conclusions as the last step of the journey.
Both recipients each tackled a project that held a deep significance to them.
Moore’s Gold Award project, titled “The Effects of Music on Children,” focused on using music to help improve how students with disabilities learn. After doing some research, Moore created CDs teachers could use in the classroom for students to listen to. The music on the CDs helped the students concentrate and advance in learning skills.
Through her project, “Operation Pet Safety and Animal Cruelty Awareness (OPSACA),” Bellomo wanted to teach people how to properly care for their pets and to raise awareness about animal cruelty. Bellomo created brochures, a webpage, pet emergency kits and collaborated with various community partners to spread the word about treating our pets with care and respect.
Lifelong value comes with having earned a Gold Award. According to the Girl Scout Research Institute, Gold Award recipients 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.
Notable Gold Award recipients include Jan Hopkins, CNN financial news anchor, and Betsy Boze, senior fellow at American Association of State Colleges and Universities and president at Kent State University Stark.