Great Neck Girl Scout Grace Fong’s venture into making tutoring more accessible to local students recently reached a new milestone, 100 students and teachers, and its third school as it continues expanding to help all students achieve their academic goals. The program, which has received significant regional accolades, has continued to grow since its launch in 2021 as a Girl Scouts of Nassau County Gold Award project. Grace anticipates the program to reach 200 students over the next few years.
“My passion for education and learning inspired me to pursue this topic. I have always wanted to pursue education as a career, whether within secondary teaching, university professorship, or working in education policy. I have always felt propelled to impact people’s lives and believed that education would give me the most direct way to pursue this goal,” said Grace Fong.
Gold Award Girl Scout Grace connected students from low-income families in grades 1-6 with tutors from grades 8-12 for her Gold Award project, “Step by Step Tutoring.” She started a nonprofit that provided free financial literacy tutoring for children from low-income families. Grace selected and trained other tutors to help reach a larger range of students. She then hosted Zoom tutoring sessions for students in kindergarten through sixth grade, and oversaw Zoom meetings held by other tutors. Today, Step by Step has reached students throughout Queens and Long Island, and has student-teachers from Great Neck North, Roslyn, Manhasset, Jericho and Syosset school districts.
For the extended Gold Award project, Grace has received Awards of Recognition by New York Assemblywoman Gina Sillitti and by the Rotary Club of Great Neck. Grace’s Girl Scouts Gold Award project was also a key contributing factor to her earning a $160,000 Leadership Scholarship at her university.
“Girl Scouts of Nassau County’s mission is to empower and inspire girls to both accomplish their dreams and help enhance the world around them. We commend Grace for her efforts to expand upon her Gold Award project and continue helping to make the world a better place,” said Randell Bynum, the CEO of Girl Scouts of Nassau County. “Girl Scouts who earn the Gold Award focus on an issue they care about deeply and put forth solutions to approach it. The work Grace has done exemplifies how to complete a successful Gold Award project.”
The Gold Award is the highest honor a Girl Scout can achieve. It is available to Girl Scouts in grades 9-12 and offers a platform to embark on a community service initiative addressing a civic or social issue about which they’re passionate. Like Grace’s Step by Step Tutoring service, Gold Award projects are sustainable, so that they can continue long after girls earn their award, publishing books to stock at school libraries, implementing classroom lessons to be taught for years to come or other initiatives to create lasting change.
For more information about the Girl Scouts of Nassau County and the programs offered, visit gsnc.org.
—Submitted by the Girl Scouts of Nassau County