Margaret Pardee earns 2021 Girl Scout Gold Award

Girl Scouts of Western New York is proud to announce Margaret Pardee of Pittsford, NY, as a 2021 Gold Award Girl Scout. Margaret is from Troop 60982 and has been a member of Girl Scouts for 12 years.

What Margaret said about Girl Scouts

I have learned a lot about leadership and how to work with others through Girl Scout service projects, and I’ve been able to make a plan and stick to it because of the Girl Scout Gold Award. Most of all, however, I’ve made lifelong friends that I will always treasure.

Project: The Beauty of Butterflies

The monarch butterfly population has been rapidly decreasing over the past thirty years, and it is up to us to change that. I have always been invested in environmental awareness, so I decided to work within the Pittsford and Fairport communities to educate children on the issue and install butterfly gardens filled with native plants.

I built three butterfly houses and planted two gardens: one at Mendon Center Elementary (MCE) School and the other at Fairport United Methodist Church. I also spoke with the 4th graders at MCE and gave them instructions on how to plant their own gardens.

The goal of my project was to bring awareness to these environmental problems, and also to provide monarchs and other butterflies with habitats that support every part of their lifecycles. I’ve gotten feedback from teachers that the children are enthusiastic about starting their own gardens. By this spring, I hope to see an increasing number of monarchs in both locations.

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Julia Wasley earns 2021 Girl Scout Gold Award

Girl Scouts of Western New York is proud to announce Julia Wasley of Sanborn, NY, as a 2021 Gold Award Girl Scout. Julia is from Troop 70059 and has been a member of Girl Scouts for 14 years.

What Julia said about Girl Scouts

Being in Girl Scouts has taught me how to be a leader, how to go outside of my comfort zone and learn new things, and has led me to choose my career path of being a teacher by working with young kids.

Project: Craft Cupboard at Intandem

For my Gold Award Project, I made directions for crafts and gathered all of the supplies and organized them in bins. I did this project for Intandem, an organization located in Niagara Falls for adults with disabilities that has workshops and a day program. I chose this project because my aunt is an attendee at Intandem. She would come home with crafts that she made so I wanted to give them some fun and easy crafts to do.

The purpose of this project was to give the attendees some fun crafts to do and to take some pressure off of the care providers and staff. The project has given Intandem crafts to do, especially during the pandemic where they are closed and are trying to reach out to their participants to help them stay stimulated and active. I made directions for 50+ crafts, gathered all of the supplies, and packaged the supplies into bins.

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Hannah Kenefick earns 2021 Girl Scout Gold Award

Girl Scouts of Western New York is proud to announce Hannah Kenefick of East Aurora, NY, as a 2021 Gold Award Girl Scout. Hannah is from Troop 31130 and has been a member of Girl Scouts for 13 years.

What Hannah said about Girl Scouts

Girl Scouting has allowed me to have experiences that are one-of-a-kind and given me a set of skills that are very unique. I can now say I am first aid certified, know how to build a stretcher in the woods out of t-shirts, and can lead others around me to making the best decisions in an emergency situation. Girl Scouts has led me to loving the outdoors and a yearning to always learn more. Being in Girl Scouts has not only given me skills that I will always keep with me, but hundreds of memories and relationships I built throughout the years.

Project: ACL/Sports Injury Prevention

For my Gold Award Project I created a program that educated people on what an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is, how it gets injured, and how to prevent such injury. This project was located in East Aurora, and I collaborated with my Orthopedic Surgeon at UBMD Orthopedic’s and the East Aurora High School Athletic Director. This project had a place close to my heart because I suffered two ACL tears throughout my 4 years of high school and I was never given information, such as: women have a higher chance of tearing their ACL because of their body shape.

The purpose of the project was to show people there are ways to prevent injuries, such as avoiding specific cleat patterns, doing an in-depth warmup, strengthening your core, and stretching. My project affected my community by giving parents, students, athletes, and coaches information on how to keep everyone injury-free. Compared to 2 ACL injuries in my school in 2019, and one in summer 2020, our school currently has no people who have torn their ACL this year.

For my project I reached out to local sports teams to present to them my information including the summer soccer league in East Aurora, and due to COVID I was restricted to making my presentation over Zoom with many groups, including a Girl Scout troop from my Service Unit. To reach the maximum amount of people I contacted my school’s athletic director to find a safe way to reach more people. We came up with the idea of making a video presentation on our athletic page!

Finally as I became more and more immersed in the project I decided to create an injury prevention Instagram to share with others the key exercises to preventing any injury, in addition to the original cleat patterns to avoid in my informational packet. This Gold Award has led me to be able to adapt to changing situations and opened my eyes to the love of medicine.

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Sarah Cumming earns 2021 Girl Scout Gold Award

Girl Scouts of Western New York is proud to announce Sarah Cumming of Tonawanda, NY, as a 2021 Gold Award Girl Scout. Sarah is from Troop 30981 and has been a member of Girl Scouts for 13 years.

What Sarah said about Girl Scouts

Girl Scouts has taught me that girls of all ages do have power in this tough world. We can work together and build each other up, as well as work together to make the world a better place (like the Girl Scout Law says). I’ve made some of my best friends through Girl Scouts and I’ve been on so many adventures.

The most important thing that I’ve learned is that even the smallest bit of kindness can make all the difference in the community and the world. Girl Scout troops might change members a lot but what’s evident is that every member takes something good with them from the troop after their Girl Scout journey ends. I take a lot with me and even wish I was able to still be a Girl Scout because it was so fun being able to help others and the community and to make everlasting connections with other people.

Project: Hand in Hand for Literacy

My Gold Award project features one of the things I love most: books. Books have always been a huge part of my life. Since a very young age I’ve had the privilege of owning as many as my little heart desired. I had never realized how fortunate I was to have these resources at my fingertips, not knowing that some kids don’t have the privilege of owning books. That’s how I decided to do “Hand in Hand for Literacy.”

The idea is that bi-annually a book drive will be run through my old highschool, Sweet Home Senior High, and books will be collected and given to a school that needs them. Each year a new school will be picked. The first school I had the opportunity to collect 1,500 books for was Native American Magnet School PS 19, a school whose students generally didn’t have books at home and needed more in school. I worked with my mom’s college friend Miss Kate Kinney who is a teacher at the school. I had donated before and knew that the kids there would benefit from the books greatly. The reason I knew this was due to the fact that Miss Kinney had told me upon receiving a book from my previous donation a little girl had said to her, “I can keep this book?” She was shocked as she hadn’t owned any books of her own beforehand.

The book drive took place in Amherst, as well as Buffalo where the Native American Magnet School was located. I worked with the whole English department at Sweet Home High, as well as Mrs. Hannah Schultz and Mrs. Krista Stephan who are English Teachers as well as book club advisors (the book club being where I got my team and where I ran the book drive through). I also worked with Mr. Day, the superintendent of schools. I also worked alongside my friends Nat Tombak, Crystal Plourde, and Heather Plourde. Finally, I also worked with my family: my stepdad, mom, dad, sister, aunt, and grandma.

The impact made on the community is that I was able to give a vital piece of education to kids who were missing it. I was also able to bring the whole district together to try and bring in books basically uniting everyone to work together to help kids who don’t have the same opportunities as them. I ran a book drive, counted every book by hand, and sorted them by grade level, and then took them to the school for distribution.

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Amelia Alexander earns 2021 Girl Scout Gold Award

Girl Scouts of Western New York is proud to announce Amelia Alexander of Rochester, NY, as a 2021 Gold Award Girl Scout. Amelia is from Troop 60825 and has been a member of Girl Scouts for 12 years.

What Amelia said about Girl Scouts

Girl Scouts has helped me embrace diversity and has made me a more well-rounded and confident person.

Project: Mural About Teen Issues

In the town of Greece, I collaborated with the Principal and Assistant Principal at my high school to paint a mural depicting the top three teen issues and ways to help remedy them. I noticed that there is a lack of awareness in both parents and teens about teen issues, and that is what I wanted to address.

First, I conducted a school-wide survey to figure out which teen issues I should highlight and the results were: stress, body image, and depression. I chose to paint the mural on a piece of plywood instead of a wall so it could be easily transported or mounted, which also made it possible to continue working after the school closed due to COVID-19.

My goal was to increase awareness of these teen issues and provide a foundation for parents and teens to start to address them, so I included a written summary of each issue and its solutions after I finished painting.

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34 Girl Scouts receive $36,000 in scholarships at Girl Scouts of WNY’s 2020 Gold Award Celebration

WESTERN NEW YORK (July 28, 2020) – Girl Scouts of Western New York is proud to announce that 34 Girl Scouts from the Western New York area have received a total of 38 scholarships worth $36,000 at the annual Girl Scout Gold Award Celebration.

Thirty-one Girl Scouts received $1,000 each from the Educational Scholarship Fund. To earn this scholarship graduating girls were required to have completed their Silver Award and/or Gold Award along with a combination of academic achievements as well as Girl Scout involvement and accomplishments.

Education Scholarship Fund Recipients:

  • Danielle Bellis, Akron
  • Rachel Bernstein, Honeoye Falls
  • Shauna Blochwitz, Akron
  • Annabella Bogart, Amherst
  • Sophia Braithwaite, Webster
  • Rachel Burt, Webster
  • Diega Ciraolo, Niagara Falls
  • Justine Cole, Livonia
  • Jessica Dawson, Macedon
  • Maeve Devine, Lancaster
  • Elizabeth Fairchild, Honeoye Falls
  • Christy Faller, Sanborn
  • Zaria Gibson-Stevenson, Rochester
  • Angelina Gonzalez, Buffalo
  • Caeley Harsch, Akron
  • Kaylin Hoffman, Williamsville
  • Kaitlyn Hoitt, Fairport
  • Amber Hornquist, Glenwood
  • Elizabeth Humphrey, Wilson
  • Olivia Kisiel, Lewiston
  • Zoe Lucyshyn, North Chili
  • Morgan Mahoney, Hamburg
  • Hope Marshall, Jamestown
  • Rylee Penders, Honeoye Falls
  • Leah Rosen, Rochester
  • Olivia Rosen, Rochester
  • Isabella Sherron, Rochester
  • Alexandra Snow, Buffalo
  • Nicole Spiegel, East Amherst
  • Julia Wasley, Sanborn
  • Renee Wright, Holland

Four Girl Scouts received the Kim Welsh Memorial Scholarship awarded at $500 each. The Kim Welsh Memorial Scholarship Fund was established in 1998 through the generosity of Carol and Allan Welsh in memory of their daughter, Kimberley, to be awarded to Girl Scouts who completed their Girl Scout Gold Award.

The Kim Welsh Memorial Scholarship Recipients:

  • Danielle Bellis, Akron
  • Annabella Bogart, Amherst
  • Zaria Gibson-Stevenson, Rochester
  • Hope Marshall, Jamestown

Hans and Charlene Schoenenberger offer one $1,000 scholarship to a girl receiving her Girl Scout Gold Award. All girls who were receiving their Gold Award in 2020 were entered in the pool of candidates. The recipient was awarded the Hans and Charlene Schoenenberger Golden Opportunity Scholarship.

Hans & Charlene Schoenenberger
Golden Opportunity Scholarship Recipient:

  • Alexandra Wilczek, Kenmore

The Ralph and Mary McLean Wilson Scholarship offers two $1,000 scholarships to Girl Scouts receiving the Girl Scout Gold Award. All girls who were receiving their Gold Award in 2020 were entered in the pool of candidates.

Ralph & Mary McLean Wilson Scholarship Recipients:

  • Jessica Breth, Orchard Park
  • Aniyiah Harris, Buffalo

All 2020 Gold Award Girl Scouts from across Western New York received acknowledgment of their achievements at the virtual Gold Award Celebration on June 16. All the 2020 recipients will be included in the 2021 in-person ceremony next June. The Girl Scout Gold Award is the most prestigious award in the world for girls.

The Gold Award project is the culmination of all the work a girl puts into “going for the Gold.” A Girl Scout’s project should be something that a girl can be passionate about—in thought, deed, and action that encompasses organizational, leadership, and networking skills. The project should also fulfill a need within a girl’s community (whether local or global) and create change that has the potential to be on-going or sustainable. Approximately 80 hours of community service are involved in the project. Completion of the Gold Award also qualifies the Girl Scout for special scholarship opportunities and she can enlist in the military at a higher starting pay grade.

The Girl Scout Gold Award, the most prestigious award in the world for girls, acknowledges the power behind each recipient’s dedication to not only empowering and bettering herself, but also to making the world a better place for others. These young women are courageous leaders and visionary change makers.

The Gold Award requires a Girl Scout to identify an issue and investigate it to understand what can be done to address the problem. The girl then forms a team to act as a support system, including a project advisor close to the issue who is not a troop leader or family member, while she leads the project. The Girl Scout creates a plan to ensure they know what steps they must tackle while working on the project. The Girl Scout submits a proposal for her project to her local Girl Scout council. After acceptance, the girl begins to work through the steps of their plan utilizing the assistance of her support team where necessary. Lastly, the project is used to educate and inspire others about the cause they are addressing.

To learn more, visit gswny.org.

Girl Scouts of WNY announces all 2020 Gold Award Girl Scouts

Girl Scouts of Western New York is proud to announce all WNY Gold Award Girl Scouts. All 2020 Gold Award Girl Scouts will receive the option to be a part of the 2021 in-person Gold Award ceremony next year to receive their Gold Award pin. The Girl Scout Gold Award is the most prestigious award in the world for girls.

Click on the girls’ names below to be directed to the press release for their specific Girl Scout Gold Award project.

ERIE COUNTY

Name Hometown Project Title
Danielle Bellis Akron First Kicks: A Teen-Led Preschool Soccer Program
Jessica Breth Orchard Park Totes for Turtles
Ava Giangrasso Clarence Music and Memories
Angelina Gonzalez Buffalo Trees of Hope
Aniyiah Harris Buffalo Let’s Get School Supplies!
Bridget Hersee North Tonawanda Fort Niagara Naturalization Ceremony
Amber Hornquist Glenwood Lothlorien Feed Bins and Organizing
Nora Klipfel North Tonawanda Happy Caps
Caroline Kowalski Orchard Park Therapy and Rehabilitation Garden
Corrine Lapp Amherst Miracle Masks
Morgan Mahoney Hamburg Game Time!
Madison Rettig Hamburg The Importance of Healthy Nutrition and Exercise for Female Youth
Alexa Sass Hamburg Pollinator Garden
Nicole Spiegel East Amherst Daycare Project
Sarah Stuhr Orchard Park Spiritual Murals
Arielle Tyrpak Orchard Park Saving the Unborn
Alexandra Wilczek Kenmore Backpacks for Foster Kids
Renee Wright Holland Reading Garden

LIVINGSTON COUNTY

Name Hometown Project Title
Justine Cole Livonia American Flag Education

MONROE COUNTY

Name Hometown Project Title
Rachel Bernstein Honeoye Falls Benches and Sign for Community Garden
Sophia Braithwaite Webster Titan Ambassador Program
Rachel Burt Webster Promoting Water Safety
Mikaela Campbell Honeoye Falls Soccer Field Seating
Audrey DeVault Penfield Bats and Butterflies
Mallory Edgell Fairport Inspiring Through Art: Perinton Pedestrian Bridge Mural
Ellie Fairchild Honeoye Falls STEM in the Library
Zaria Gibson-Stevenson Rochester Inspire You
Lauren Gulick Fairport Art Day at Gilda’s Club
Audrey Huff Fairport Girls on the Run 10-Hour Relay
Emma Nelk Pittsford Grief is Different for Everyone: A Teen’s Point of View
Elizabeth Newell Webster Educating People on Owning Exotic Birds
Carmen Ponce Pittsford Improving the Display of Fallen Law Enforcement Officers’ Pictures & Information
Avery Roberts West Henrietta Park Benches at Martin Road Soccer Park
Emma Smith Pittsford Mural for the Children at the Monroe County Visitation Center
Bridget Taylor Rochester Mercy Morsels: A Cookbook to Benefit Bethany House
Isabell Timm West Henrietta Breese Park Birdhouses

Girl Scouts of WNY announces Sarah Stuhr as a 2020 Gold Award Girl Scout

Girl Scouts of Western New York is proud to announce Sarah Stuhr of Orchard Park, NY, as a 2020 Gold Award Girl Scout. Stuhr’s project, Spiritual Murals, involved creating murals at St. James UCC in the town of Hamburg.  

Stuhr said “I chose my project because I wanted to communicate happiness in the church’s community, in hope that anyone who looked at my murals would leave feeling better than before. The project impacted my community by giving my audience a newly gained positive attitude.”

Stuhr purchased the materials needed, got her designs approved by the Church Board, and got to work. After she finished sketching, she painted the walls to create the final image she pictured in her head and sketches. Stuhr’s artwork pieces will now be a staple in the St. James UCC facility.

Stuhr said, “Girl Scouting has allowed me to give back to the community, make new friends, and to grow in confidence and character. I have learned so many life skills just by being around the people in my troop and through the organizations in which we worked with. Girl Scouts has helped me to become a better version of who I am today.”

By earning her Gold Award during the 2020 Girl Scouting year, Stuhr will be included in a virtual acknowledgment this June. All 2020 Gold Award Girl Scouts will receive the option to be a part of the 2021 in-person Gold Award ceremony next year to receive their Gold Award pin. The Girl Scout Gold Award is the most prestigious award in the world for girls. 

The Gold Award project is the culmination of all the work a girl puts into “going for the Gold.” A Girl Scout’s project should be something that a girl can be passionate about—in thought, deed, and action that encompasses organizational, leadership, and networking skills. The project should also fulfill a need within a girl’s community (whether local or global) and create change that has the potential to be on-going or sustainable. Approximately 80 hours of community service are involved in the project. Completion of the Gold Award also qualifies the Girl Scout for special scholarship opportunities and she can enlist in the military at a higher starting pay grade.

The Girl Scout Gold Award, the most prestigious award in the world for girls, acknowledges the power behind each recipient’s dedication to not only empowering and bettering herself, but also to making the world a better place for others. These young women are courageous leaders and visionary change makers.

The Gold Award requires a Girl Scout to identify an issue and investigate it to understand what can be done to address the problem. The girl then forms a team to act as a support system, including a project advisor close to the issue who is not a troop leader or family member, while she leads the project. The Girl Scout creates a plan to ensure they know what steps they must tackle while working on the project. The Girl Scout submits a proposal for her project to her local Girl Scout council. After acceptance, the girl begins to work through the steps of their plan utilizing the assistance of her support team where necessary. Lastly, the project is used to educate and inspire others about the cause they are addressing.

To learn more, visit gswny.org.

Girl Scouts of WNY announces Renee Wright as a 2020 Gold Award Girl Scout

Girl Scouts of Western New York is proud to announce Renee Wright of Holland, NY, as a 2020 Gold Award Girl Scout. Wright’s project, Reading Garden, involved building a custom reading nook for the Toddler Room of Orchard Park Wesleyan church in Orchard Park.

Wright’s project combined her passions for her church community, reading, and working with children and gave the children at her church a safe and productive space to read and play in. This process involved designing and creating a custom cubby unit, safety gate, and bookshelves that were themed to match the rest of the space.

Wright explained, “Every week I see the children work and enjoying the Toddler Room and using my Reading Garden during their story time. I learned how to use power tools to complete this project as well as created several new relationships within my church. I built, painted, and assembled all these pieces myself, as well as coordinated all the project donations, communications, and volunteer meetings. After the project was completed, I hosted several question and answer sessions for parents and other church members, as well as wrote an article that was included in the church’s electronic newsletter.”

“I am happy to promote early literacy within a community that is so important to me and appreciate the support from everyone who helped me during this process,” stated Wright.

Wright is the first in her community to earn her Gold Award in the last decade. As a Girl Scout Ambassador, she often aids younger troops, and hopes that the completion of her project will inspire the girls she works with to continue to serve their community as well.

By earning her Gold Award during the 2020 Girl Scouting year, Wright will be included in a virtual acknowledgment this June. All 2020 Gold Award Girl Scouts will receive the option to be a part of the 2021 in-person Gold Award ceremony next year to receive their Gold Award pin. The Girl Scout Gold Award is the most prestigious award in the world for girls. 

The Gold Award project is the culmination of all the work a girl puts into “going for the Gold.” A Girl Scout’s project should be something that a girl can be passionate about—in thought, deed, and action that encompasses organizational, leadership, and networking skills. The project should also fulfill a need within a girl’s community (whether local or global) and create change that has the potential to be on-going or sustainable. Approximately 80 hours of community service are involved in the project. Completion of the Gold Award also qualifies the Girl Scout for special scholarship opportunities and she can enlist in the military at a higher starting pay grade.

The Girl Scout Gold Award, the most prestigious award in the world for girls, acknowledges the power behind each recipient’s dedication to not only empowering and bettering herself, but also to making the world a better place for others. These young women are courageous leaders and visionary change makers.

The Gold Award requires a Girl Scout to identify an issue and investigate it to understand what can be done to address the problem. The girl then forms a team to act as a support system, including a project advisor close to the issue who is not a troop leader or family member, while she leads the project. The Girl Scout creates a plan to ensure they know what steps they must tackle while working on the project. The Girl Scout submits a proposal for her project to her local Girl Scout council. After acceptance, the girl begins to work through the steps of their plan utilizing the assistance of her support team where necessary. Lastly, the project is used to educate and inspire others about the cause they are addressing.

To learn more, visit gswny.org.

Girl Scouts of WNY announces Madison Rettig as a 2020 Gold Award Girl Scout

Girl Scouts of Western New York is proud to announce Madison Rettig of Hamburg, NY, as a 2020 Gold Award Girl Scout. Rettig’s project is called The Importance of Healthy Nutrition and Exercise for Female Youth. Madison Rettig created a curriculum, website, and worksheets to help younger Girl Scouts learn to lead healthy lifestyles.

Rettig teamed up with younger Girl Scouts to present them with research she had done on exercise and nutrition. She also prepared worksheets to help them earn a badge. Rettig didn’t stop there and created a website called “HelloFit” using Wix.com for girls to use as a trustworthy resource for information on a healthy diet and exercise, because she personally knows how challenging it can be to find good information on the subject.

While in Girl Scouts, Rettig said, “I’ve learned how important it is to have a group of friends that I can rely on and how rewarding hard work can be.” By earning her Gold Award during the 2020 Girl Scouting year, Rettig will be included in a virtual acknowledgment this June. All 2020 Gold Award Girl Scouts will receive the option to be a part of the 2021 in-person Gold Award ceremony next year to receive their Gold Award pin. The Girl Scout Gold Award is the most prestigious award in the world for girls.

The Gold Award project is the culmination of all the work a girl puts into “going for the Gold.” A Girl Scout’s project should be something that a girl can be passionate about—in thought, deed, and action that encompasses organizational, leadership, and networking skills. The project should also fulfill a need within a girl’s community (whether local or global) and create change that has the potential to be on-going or sustainable. Approximately 80 hours of community service are involved in the project. Completion of the Gold Award also qualifies the Girl Scout for special scholarship opportunities and she can enlist in the military at a higher starting pay grade.

The Girl Scout Gold Award, the most prestigious award in the world for girls, acknowledges the power behind each recipient’s dedication to not only empowering and bettering herself, but also to making the world a better place for others. These young women are courageous leaders and visionary change makers.

The Gold Award requires a Girl Scout to identify an issue and investigate it to understand what can be done to address the problem. The girl then forms a team to act as a support system, including a project advisor close to the issue who is not a troop leader or family member, while she leads the project. The Girl Scout creates a plan to ensure they know what steps they must tackle while working on the project. The Girl Scout submits a proposal for her project to her local Girl Scout council. After acceptance, the girl begins to work through the steps of their plan utilizing the assistance of her support team where necessary. Lastly, the project is used to educate and inspire others about the cause they are addressing.

To learn more, visit gswny.org.