Elora Aclin and Amanda Ma of the Great Neck Association were among the recipients of the 70 Gold Awards the Girl Scouts of Nassau County recently distributed during a ceremony hosted at Adelphi University.
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. Each girl spent more than 80 hours during the past year planning, executing and presenting the results of her project, which aimed to make the world a better place for others as well as herself.
“We are extremely proud to celebrate so many local young women earning the prestigious Girl Scout Gold Award,” 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 these girls part of an exclusive group of women with the tools to become leaders in the 21st century.”
The recipients each tackled a project that held a deep significance to them. Through her project Body Image and Social Media, Aclin took on the challenge of promoting positive body image to young girls who are heavily influenced by social media’s unrealistic standards. Aclin teamed up with her school’s health teacher and psychologist to hold educational programs to shed light on the unattainable body standards portrayed in the media and the dangers that are associated with constantly being exposed to such images. She also educated her peers on the dangers of eating disorders. Each audience member was given an informational pamphlet and, to help build their self-esteem, all participants left with personal notes containing compliments about themselves.
With a great passion for science, Ma held a series of classes filled with fun science experiments at a local summer camp. Through her project Daily Science, Ma was able to help the children understand how much science matters in their daily lives. She designed lesson plans that contained simple experiments that the children could complete. Ma made a Prezi presentation containing all the learning materials and experiment instructions so the local summer camp is able to continue the Daily Science program in the future.
Gold Award projects have positively impacted girls’ lives, their communities and the world for more than 100 years. Approximately one-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.
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.
To volunteer, reconnect, donate or join the Girl Scouts of Nassau County, visit www.gsnc.org or contact Donna Rivera-Downey at 516-741-2550.