Out of 61 Girl Scouts of Connecticut honored with a Gold Medal – the National Girl Scouts’ highest honor are six Greenwich Girl Scouts: Rose Kristen Arezzini, Eliana Betzios, Elizabeth Budinoff, Lesley Nolan, Erin White, and Madeline Wolf.
To earn their Gold Medal, the six girls, who have attained the level of Senior and Ambassador Girl Scouts, and are either 9th, 10th, 11th or 12th graders must have spent at least 80 hours researching issues, assessing community needs and resources, building a team, and making a sustainable impact in the community. Their Gold Award reflects leadership and citizenship skills that set themr apart as a community leader.
Rose Kristen Arezzini created the Special Sisters Club at Greenwich High School. She paired girls with special needs with “sisters” to help them feel comfortable in their surroundings and provide opportunities for further interaction in their community. A student from Darien High School, with assistance from adult volunteers, will continue the club and its activities in the future. Rose plans to start a Special Sisters Club at Molloy College, where she is taking classes in music therapy and voice.
Eliana Betzios unified five cheerleading teams by leading practices with each one individually, then combining them into one large team for an exhibition. By building a foundation of teamwork, she prepared 8th grade girls for joining a unified team in high school. She created an instruction manual that the President of the Greenwich Youth Cheerleading League will use for the future. She is attending High Point University and majoring in business administration.
Elizabeth Budinoff created Elizabeth’s Cyber Café at a local retirement home in an effort to bridge the technology gap between generations. She taught the elderly how to use computers and utilize different programs so they could better connect to their families. She created booklets and DVDs that will be available for future use at libraries and other retirement homes. Elizabeth will attend Furman University this fall and major in Biology.
Lesley Nolan addressed a lack of resources for children seeking therapy by establishing a library at Family Centers in Stamford. The library was created in honor of two librarians who were tragically killed in a car accident. The resources now available at the Family Centers library will assist therapists and their clients in the future. Lesley will attend the Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis and study international business.
Erin White created a volleyball clinic for fifth through eighth grade students at the Greenwich Boys and Girls Club in order to give them playing experience before trying out in school. Erin also created a video about basic volleyball skills for the Boys and Girls Club and the Greenwich Library. Erin’s teammates will continue the clinic in the future. Erin will attend the University of Mary Washington and study anthropology.
Madeline Wolf developed a series of music lessons for elementary school children. Madeline recruited high school students to be assistant teachers for 24 courses over two years, hosted at the Boys and Girls Club of Greenwich. Madeline trained one of her assistant teachers to take over the program next year. Madeline is attending the University of California, Berkeley and studying biology.
For more information about the Gold Award or how to become a Gold Award volunteer or mentor, visit http://www.gsofct.org/pages/GoldAward.php.