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FROM THE DESK OF THE CEO Dear Girl Scout Gold Award Class of 2018: Congratulations on earning the achievement of Gold Award Girl Scout! In addition to accomplishing a personal goal, you have joined an elite group of Girl Scouts who have earned the most prestigious award in the world for girls. While fewer than 6 percent of Girl Scouts earn the Gold Award, those that do leave a lasting legacy of impact—locally, nationally, or even globally. You are in a league of your own, and I have no doubt that you will continue on a path of success. Your vision, your commitment and your leadership throughout the Gold Award process will continue to carry you to new heights—whether it helps you distinguish yourself on college and scholarship applications, allows you to enter the military at a higher rank, or simply expands your network of mentors and professional leaders. Becoming a Gold Award Girl Scout also marks an important milestone in your Girl Scout career. After countless hours spent in amazing programs, camping, selling cookies, building leadership skills and so much more, you have reached the pinnacle as a girl member. It is an exciting time! Don’t forget to enjoy it, to take it all in. I hope that in the years to come, when you reflect on your time in Girl Scouts, you will recognize the important role that these years played in helping shape the woman you have become. As you continue on your journey—whether it is to college, into the military, into the workforce or on some other amazing adventure, please continue to engage with Girl Scouts. Reach out to the local Council wherever you are. Become a volunteer and share your time and talent with girls who need you. Please keep in touch with us too, because we want to celebrate all of your successes along the way. Connect via social media and let us know what you are up to. Once a Girl Scout, always a Girl Scout. Thank you for brightening our world with your project. I can’t wait to see what you do next. Yours in Girl Scouting,

Lisa Y. Johnson


AGENDA 8:00 a.m. Registration, Shopping and Photography

Lorna Brown-Burton Board Chair

9:00 a.m. Welcome Presentation of Colors, Pledge of Allegiance and Girl Scout Promise Flag Ceremony conducted by Troop 24538 (Kaylin Bowe, Joyce Seigler, Hannah Silverstone, Lindsey Silverstone, Sophie Silverstone & Mikayla St. Amand)

America the Beautiful sung by Linda Saraniti, Troop 20570

Lisa Y. Johnson Chief Executive Officer

Breakfast Buffet Opening Remarks Recognition of the Gold Award Advisors Presentation of the Gold Awards Invitation to Daisy’s Circle Presentation of the Barbara Ann Turner Scholarship

Heather Hileman Vice President Mission Delivery

Presentation of the Kathryn C. Vecellio Scholarship Special Thanks Closing Remarks Group photos

TAKING PHOTOS DURING TODAY’S CEREMONY? Share them on social media and use #GSSEFGold18

Sara Nunez Chief Development Officer

THANK YOU TO OUR SPECIAL EVENT VOLUNTEERS Laura Thorsen, Kathryn Thorsen & Emily Cooper

Tami Donnally Vice Chair


ABOUT THE GIRL SCOUT GOLD AWARD The Girl Scout Gold Award is the highest award that a Girl Scout in grades 9-12 may earn. Someone once described the Gold Award as being “what you really want to be remembered for” in Girl Scouting. For many, the leadership skills, organizational skills and sense of community and commitment that come from “going for the Gold” set the foundation for a lifetime of active citizenship.

ABOUT THE GOLD AWARD PROJECT The Gold Award Project is something that a girl must be passionate about—in thought, deed and action. The project fulfills a need within a girl’s community (whether local or global), creates change and will become sustainable. If it is an event, the event should be something that people will continue for the next year; if it is a service, it should be something that creates change or action with longterm possibilities; if it is something tangible, it should come with a plan for use and maintenance within the community. Undertaking a Gold Award Project is far more than just a nice service project. Gold Award Projects demand the highest level of organizational, leadership and project management skills.

OUR GOLD AWARD ADVISORS Karyl Bertram Rae Ann Brewer Debra Byrne-Mathews Sandra Clutter Julia Dourvetakis


Paula Fontaine Sophie Gutierrez Merribeth Manning Dr. Nazly Nardi Deborah Perez

Kimberly Schnitzius Elena Schultz Rebecca Schultz Joyce Shraim Emily Zarzycki


TROOP 40404

Project Title: Building Pavilion Safety Gold Award Advisor: Karyl Bertram Hometown: Port St. Lucie Service Unit: Gemini Emilee’s project addressed the serious safety concern of preventing heatstroke and heat exhaustion in young children during school recess. Children’s body temperatures heat up three to five times faster than an adult, putting them at a higher risk of heatstroke or serious injury. Once the elements of the brutal Florida heat are added to a group of energetic preschoolers, the results can be tragic. Key preventive measures for kids include drinking water and seeking shade. Aware of the danger, Emilee partnered with St. Andrew Christian Academy in Port St. Lucie to revitalize the outdoor play areas. Her team’s work included refurbishing a gazebo with a new roof, balusters and railings – and adding a garden. Additionally, Emilee launched an education campaign to inform educators and families about the signs of dehydration in children, the dangers of heatstroke and heat exhaustion, and how to avoid these issues with awareness and simple life-saving tips.


Emilee Blum

TROOP 10885

Project Title: Buzzing Away Gold Award Advisor: Sandra Clutter Hometown: Lighthouse Point Service Unit: Sandy Beaches Samantha’s project addressed the issue of bees killed by insecticides that are intended to eliminate mosquitos. Bees are critical pollinators; in fact they pollinate 70 of the 100 crop species that feed 90% of the world today. Moreover, honey bees are responsible for $30 billion a year in crops. Samantha partnered with the staff and campers at Everglades Youth Conservation Camp in West Palm Beach. During the summer of 2017, Samantha led daily nature hikes where she explained the importance of bees and bee preservation. Additionally, she taught staff and campers about sustainable planting for pollinators and led weekly presentations on bees and bee preservation that included distribution of flower seeds for attendees to plant when they retuned home.


Samantha Bolduc

TROOP 10424

Project Title: Bee Mindful Gold Award Advisor: Debra Byrne-Mathews Hometown: Davie Service Unit: Kowechobe Marie’s project addressed the rapid decline of the bee population since the 1990’s and the devastating impact this is having on our environment. Education was critical for Marie once she found that she had to explain why the bee population is so important and what positive things bees do for our environment. In order to advance the position of limiting, or eliminating, pesticides and insecticides that hurt the bee habitats – as well as encouraging the purchase of organic and bee-farming friendly products – she launched a wide range of informative platforms. She partnered with Secret Woods Nature Center in Fort Lauderdale to grow outreach and education. Marie built a beehive, taught audiences about bee-friendly plants, hosted booths at local events, gave presentations, and created a blog and YouTube videos.


Marie Brooks

TROOP 40098

Project Title: Edymar’s Outdoor Guide to Family Unity Gold Award Advisor: Paula Fontaine Hometown: Port St. Lucie Service Unit: Gemini Edymar’s project addressed the issue of family disconnection due to the distraction of today’s technology. Sometimes adults worry so much about raising a “successful” child that they can overlook the importance of spending time interacting personally with children. Interactive time is that spent with both child and parent fully engaged in an activity together; but today’s technology is a serious distraction. Edymar decided to address this with the creation of an outdoor family day highlighting the opportunity to communicate face-to-face instead of screen-to-screen. Focusing on Hispanic families, she led a full outdoor experience with lots of hands-on involvement and no-tech allowed, all to inspire better family connection and an appreciation of nature too. Many families in attendance committed to making camping a regular event in their households.

Edymar Colon-Class




TROOP 10451

Project Title: Growing Smarter Gold Award Advisor: Sophie Gutierrez Hometown: Fort Lauderdale Service Unit: Sunny River Marissa’s project was creating a sustainable structure as an educational tool, teaching generations of students about hydrobiology and the many benefits of Aquaponics. Marissa built an aquaponics unit and donated it to her high school, which has already incorporated it into its year-round science curriculum. Aquaponics is a water-based biological ecosystem that incorporates both plants and fish with a frame, pump and pipe system that allows plants to grow in the circulating fish water. The unit is self-sufficient, the produce is organic, and it provides more food per square foot than any other farming method. Marissa also worked with the Technology Student Association, who has used it to conduct water-based agriculture research.

Marissa Gailitis



Project Title: Spread the Love of Reading Gold Award Advisor: Emily Zarzycki Hometown: Jupiter Service Unit: Jupiter Keelie’s project addressed the very limited availability of educational and entertaining books in Belle Glade schools. As our nation progresses in the areas of technology, she saw that the appreciation for literature and vocabulary use was greatly diminishing. With a passion for reading, books and education, Keelie created a group called Literacy Advocates with the purpose of gathering and getting books into the hands of those who live and work in Belle Glade. She partnered with the staff librarians at Pioneer Park Elementary and Glades Central High School. Her expansive campaign brought in more than 1,000 books for Glades Central and her group’s next goal is to expand to serve schools in Pahokee and Rivera Beach.

Keelie Hanley



Project Title: Digging for Gold Volleyball Camp Gold Award Advisor: Paula Fontaine Hometown: Jupiter Service Unit: Jupiter Rileigh’s project addressed the serious issue of bullying in the sports environment. Sometimes referred to as “smacktalk,” bullying can be often overlooked when students play team sports. Rileigh was confronted by this issue on her varsity volleyball team and saw the toll it takes on and off the court. She wanted to raise awareness and provide an alternative, so she partnered with her school’s Head Coach and created a free volleyball camp for 4th – 8th graders. Rileigh’s camp was filled with skill-building in the sport she loves, but included strong lessons about motivation, success through adversity, leadership and team work so all participants can gain skills and confidence. So popular, Rileigh’s camp will be offered again next year at her school – perhaps even twice, so boys might have a session to participate in as well.

Rileigh Hanley


TROOP 10115

Project Title: Katie’s Quilts Gold Award Advisor: Dr. Nazly Nardi Hometown: Hollywood Service Unit: Atikah Katie’s project addressed the issue of preterm labor and the comfort newborns need when going home following a NICU stay. The vast majority of NICU patients are premature babies. Premature birth leads to a wide range of serious health challenges that affect the child and parents for the short and long term – and often is entirely unexpected. As a former NICU baby, Katie felt a strong bond with other NICU patients, staff and families. She partnered with Joe DiMaggio’s Children’s Hospital in Hollywood and then set out to create team of volunteers who would join her in making blankets that give a personal touch that facilitate connections for patients and families. Katie taught sewing and quilt-making to others and helped more than 100 NICU families.

Katherine Haynick




TROOP 10424

Project Title: Eradicating the Air Potato Gold Award Advisor: Karyl Bertram Hometown: Plantation Service Unit: Kowechobe Allison’s project addressed the harm that the air potato can cause to the environment. The air potato is an invasive species that is slowly strangling and killing many plants in the South Florida area as it competes with native plants for nutrients, water, sunlight and space – plus costs millions of dollars to control. She targeted an audience of environmental activists, youth and individuals interested in learning more about keeping the local environment free from invasive plants. Allison educated hundreds of people with live presentations at NatureScape, the Ann Kolb Nature Center, Tree Tops Park – as well as members of 4-H, nature clubs, high school AP environmental science students, gardeners, homeowners, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and lots of YouTube viewers.


Allison Jimenez

TROOP 10425

Project Title: Ashley’s Chemo Care Package Gold Award Advisor: Karyl Bertram Hometown: Cooper City Service Unit: Magnolia Ashley’s project addressed the need for ongoing care and comfort for those patients receiving chemotherapy as part of treatment for cancer. Partnering with Cleveland Clinic in Weston, she learned from the staff how emotional support and loving acts for patients aid in their treatment by improving their overall mental state. While mobilizing a team of other Girl Scout Troops, including one Junior Troop working toward the Bronze Award, Ashley expanded her reach through the use of social media, too. Additionally, she brought her local community into the package, creating printed materials for local businesses and neighborhoods. She coordinated with her employer, Karate America, to implement seven individual drop-off locations. In all, Ashley’s project raised awareness about patient care and reached more than 100 cancer patients.


Ashley Klement

TROOP 20140

Project Title: Raise Awareness About Blood Cancer Gold Award Advisor: Karyl Bertram Hometown: West Palm Beach Service Unit: Tri-Star Skylar’s project created awareness about childhood blood cancers in order to share understanding and increase sensitivity for those facing the disease. She partnered with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to bridge a gap and facilitate understanding about the causes of Leukemia, how it is treated, the types of Leukemia – and early warning signs of the disease. Her project involved creating educational materials in print, blogs and YouTube videos. Skylar also made a variety of live presentations at local businesses and events. In addition to her education campaign, Skylar organized a volunteer group, meeting 1-2 times per week to make blankets for those receiving treatment, with collaboration through the Pediatric Oncology Support Team and St. Mary’s Hospital in West Palm Beach.


Skylar Ladd

TROOP 20100

Project Title: Cubbies for Cancer Gold Award Advisor: Sandra Clutter Hometown: Wellington Service Unit: Phoenix Casey’s project addressed a safety concern for visitors of the Kids Cancer Foundation in Royal Palm Beach. Children of all ages visit the space regularly and she immediately identified a potentially dangerous situation in these spaces with the storage and access to toys. Accidents commonly occur as small children climb shelving to gain access to toys and games. Casey knew she could build and provide a safer option. She and her team set out to design, build and install custom storage options in the space that was designed for children, in order to keep the space free of clutter and safe from falling. The space was reconfigured and reorganized with the new units.

Casey Mangini



TROOP 10424

Project Title: Write Your Heart Out Gold Award Advisor: Kimberly Schnitzius Hometown: Plantation Service Unit: Kowechobe Jillian’s project addressed the trend of young people opting for technology as a coping tool and communication outlet, rather than writing. She developed a creative writing class for tweens and partnered with the Helen B. Hoffman Library in Plantation to offer the classes. Jillian noticed how the over-use of technology was limiting tweens’ ability to express themselves. She taught creative writing as an outlet for challenges they may be facing and to understand writing as a form of expression that technology simply cannot provide. Jillian’s project is available through her website and her original STEAM kits – that add the art of creative writing to science, technology, engineering and math – have been adopted at the library and at the Jack and Jill Children’s Center in Fort Lauderdale.

Jillian Meloro


TROOP 10268

Project Title: To The Light Of Our Lives Gold Award Advisor: Julia Dourvetakis Hometown: Coral Springs Service Unit: Blazing Star Briana’s project addressed educating Floridians about taking measures to protect themselves from the harmful effects of the sun. The sun’s harmful rays cause short and long-term negative effects to the skin and eyes that lead to major health issues. Briana set out to decrease the number of people who will suffer from dehydration, heat exhaustion, heat stroke, cancer and retina burns. To expand her reach, Briana added a dedicated website, a leave-behind brochure and created videos she hosted on a Facebook page. She took her “show on the road” with presentations at a City of Coral Springs Commission Meeting, the Coral Springs Farmers Market and events at the Coral Springs Rain Garden Event.

Briana Ng


TROOP 20589

Project Title: A Splash of Safety Gold Award Advisor: Paula Fontaine Hometown: Lake Worth Service Unit: Sunchariot Allie’s project addressed the critical issue of drowning in South Florida. Drowning is the fourth leading cause of injury and deaths to children and still commonly occur in swimming pools, while drowning incidents for adults occur most often in natural water (like oceans and lakes). Even with many drowning prevention messages in the area, Allie wanted to do more and get attention to this problem. Through research and evaluation of other resources, Allie decided to cast, direct and produce a safety video hosted on YouTube. With social media as the primary platform, she knew she could offer an approachable format to gain a wider reach and educate those families and individuals who do not have the financial resources (or time) to access in-person safety courses or swim lessons.

Alexandria Pizzino


TROOP 10424

Project Title: The Umbrella Project Gold Award Advisor: Sandra Clutter Hometown: Plantation Service Unit: Royal Palm Emily’s project was the production of an awareness campaign about mental health issues facing teenagers. She partnered with the National Alliance on Mental Illness in order to host a variety of events with Broward County’s West Regional Library and South Plantation High School. Additionally, Emily created signage filled with the signals of a potential mental health issue, key resources for teens to get help and tips on managing stress. Emily created and promoted a website detailing the common mental health issues teens experience – with hotlines, links to local support resources and articles written by teenagers in the community who have faced these issues too.

Emily Pollio





Project Title: Learning For All

Gold Award Advisor: Rae Ann Brewer Hometown: Margate Service Unit: Orange Blossom Emily’s project addressed the issue of education, reaching beyond the classroom experience, and into the “after school hours” at home or elsewhere. Educational opportunities that supplement the in-class day, and involve student’s families, can boost academic performance, reduce risky behaviors, promote physical health, and provide a safe environment for curiosity of unfamiliar areas of study. Knowing these important benefits, Emily partnered with Atlantic West Elementary School in Margate, to create a brand new resource center. The center was designed to keep the ‘love of learning’ going all day and showed parents how to get involved, too. Emily filled the room with books, materials and furnishings – and launched a campaign to inform school families about the new space through social media and hosted an ‘opening night’ event. The school’s PTA has already adopted the center and committed to sustain and manage the center.


Emily Puia

TROOP 30420

Project Title: R.E.A.C.H. For the Stars Gold Award Advisor: Paula Fontaine Hometown: Stuart Service Unit: Sea Star Emily’s project addressed support for non-profit afterschool programs in her community, offering free or low cost aftercare for young children. She partnered with the R.E.A.C.H. Program (Residents Empowering All Children’s Hope) in Stuart to improve the space and activities for the children who are served there every day. Limited funding meant that materials had dwindled and toys had been broken long ago, leaving staff little to work with. Emily launched an expansive revitalization to bring hundreds of books, games and movies to these young students. Additionally, she acquired chairs, desks, storage units – even a television and video gaming system for the center. To keep support for this non-profit going, Emily mobilized her school’s Artist for a Cause Chapter to continue to work with R.E.A.C.H. and replenish supplies and materials.


Emily Smith

TROOP 41133

Project Title: Nocturnal Neighborhood Gold Award Advisor: Merribeth Manning Hometown: Port St. Lucie Service Unit: Gemini Catey’s project addressed the dangerous issue of disease-spreading mosquitos. She wanted to make an impact on behalf of the animals affected by this problem – like bats. Mosquitos carry Zika and other illnesses like West Nile virus. Bats are important; in fact, one small brown bat can eat more than 1,000 mosquitos in one night. Catey partnered with Creature Safe Place in Fort Pierce to create and install multiple bat houses there. Bat houses are a great way to provide shelter for the wildlife and provide cover for bats to raise their young. To expand her reach, Catey joined with Order Sons of Italy in Port St. Lucie for an event and added a Facebook page to educate even more people about this issue.

Catey Wooten-Paulhamus


BARBARA ANN TURNER SCHOLARSHIP Girl Scouts of Southeast Florida is honored to award the “Service From the Heart” Scholarship in memory of Barbara Ann Turner, a dedicated volunteer. Barbara had many interests in her life, but nothing was as dear to her as Girl Scouts. She served as a leader, Council trainer, service unit manager, and women’s history committee member. She shared her enthusiasm and commitment to the Girl Scout volunteer spirit in the many service projects she organized. Her wish was that an ongoing scholarship be established to recognize exceptional community service. This dream was realized when the first scholarship was awarded in 2008 to one Girl Scout in the amount of $500. Girl Scouts of Southeast Florida has been extremely pleased that, thanks to the generosity of ongoing donations, the scholarship has been increased to $1,000. In this spirit, the “Service From the Heart” Scholarship will continue to be awarded annually to a high school age Girl Scout, who is currently registered in this Council who has given exceptional service in her community.

KAYLA SANSEVERINO TROOP 10 216 2018 Barbara Ann Turner Scholarship Recipient Kayla Sanseverino is in 11th grade at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. Kayla’s cross-country coach, Scott Beigel, lost his life as a hero during the mass shooting that occurred on February 14, 2018. In his memory, Kayla organized a project entitled “Run for Coach Beigel.” It was a way to honor his life and join together for a time of healing – and she organized the event in under five days. The run brought more than 800 people to Pine Trails Park and, because of her tech savvy and tireless efforts, people around the country and globe ran, too. Participants came from Chile, England and Australia – as well as dozens of U.S. States. Kayla did a multitude of media interviews to gain support, created all of the publicity materials, managed the social media, created t-shirts, organized donations be sent to the Scott Beigel Memorial Fund and even booked live music to perform at the run in Parkland. Kayla plans to study psychology in college and says she feels called to this field so she can work with children who may struggle with issues. She is committed to becoming a positive and proactive force in her community, and do her part to prevent school shootings, like the one she survived.


KATHRYN C. VECELLIO SCHOLARSHIP In 2016, Kathryn C. Vecellio endowed a Scholarship Fund to Girl Scouts of Southeast Florida that would annually recognize the outstanding efforts of a local Girl Scout who has earned the Gold Award and who exemplifies the values of the Girl Scout Mission to build girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place. In order to be considered for this scholarship, a Girl Scout must: • Have earned the Girl Scout Gold Award (current year recipients will also be considered);  a senior in high school who has already been accepted to a college or university, or is a currently • Be enrolled undergraduate student; •  Have a Grade Point Average of 3.0 or higher (on a 4.0 scale); and •  Exemplify the Girl Scout values of courage, confidence and character. Proceeds from the endowment are awarded each year to one recipient. The amount of the scholarship may vary from year to year. This year, the recipient of the Kathryn C. Vecellio Scholarship will receive $1,200 toward her studies at the college or university she is attending.


2018 Kathryn C. Vecellio Scholarship Recipient

Sophia Meloro is currently a student at University of Florida, working toward her degree in Biological Engineering. Sophia credits her determination to become an engineer to the life-changing experiences she had as a Girl Scout with Girl Scouts of Southeast Florida. Sophia received her Gold Award in 2016 with a project called Liquidate Lionfish, during which she educated hundreds of people at Biscayne National Park and at a Youth Conference hosted by the National Marine Educators Association. Sophia will spend her summer this year working as an Environmental Stewardship Intern with Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, where she will help cruise ships reduce plastics and become more environmentally friendly.


On my honor, I WILL TRY: to serve GOD and MY COUNTRY, to HELP people AT ALL TIMES,

and to live by the GIRL SCOUT LAW.

The Girl Scout Promise

The Girl Scout Law

I will do my best to be





RESPONSIBLE for what I SAY and DO, and to




make the WORLD a BETTER PLACE, and

be a SISTER to every GIRL SCOUT.

Girl Scout Mission


courage, confidence and character , who make the

world a better place.

girls of


Profile for Girl Scouts of Southeast Florida

2018 Gold Award Program  

Gold Awardees info and project descriptions.

2018 Gold Award Program  

Gold Awardees info and project descriptions.

Profile for gssef