Going for Gold – Smart Cookies from Hollywood Troops Earn Prestigious Award

In early May, the organization held their annual Gold Award Ceremony honoring the 2019 class of Gold Award Girl Scouts. Among the eighteen Girl Scouts presented with their Gold Award this year were Hollywood residents Leyra Espino-Nardi of Troop 10794 and Baela Ferrigno formerly of Troop 10155 and current Adult Member of Girl Scouts. The level of commitment to complete a Gold Award project is so great that less than 6% of all Girl Scouts in the world earn it.

Leyra Espino-Nardi

Leyra’s project titled Riding the Waves: Hydrocephalus Help Kits was designed to help families affected by a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid builds up within the ventricles the brain and may increase pressure within the head. First, she created “Help Kits” to distribute to parents when their children were diagnosed. She further went on to present an educational seminar to those with children in a hospital’s NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit), and then focused on teaching teenagers how to take care of their medical needs. Finally, she created a blog with updated and correct information and insights.

“I think the most successful part of my project was the direct giving of the kits to the parents. It is incredibly rewarding to help parents. The website will have the longest impact, and I know it will be remembered far after my project is completed. The kits are only a starting point. In a sense, with my project, I lit the Olympic torch, it is up to the others to pass along the torch to the final destination,” stated the ambitious scout.

Baela Ferigno

Baela’s Gold Award project titled Save the Bees focused on raising awareness about the disappearance of wild bees from the environment and showing others how to get involved to make a difference. During the first of two components of the project, the insightful scout introduced a comprehensive educational series explaining the ecosystem, why bees are in decline and what can be done to help save them. In the second component of the project, she demonstrated and taught volunteers how to build a bee condo. 

“Even just using a minimal amount of insecticides or calling a beekeeper for bee removal instead of an exterminator, makes all the difference. I learned that while leadership positions can be stressful, it is very rewarding to see something you organized and planned come to life,” expressed Ferrigno. 

The Girl Scout Gold Award is the highest award a Girl Scout in grades 9 – 12 can earn. It is accomplished by completing a service project with a minimum of 80 logged hours. The project must fulfill a need in the community, create change, and be sustainable with long-term possibilities. Gold Award Projects demand the highest level of organizational, leadership, and project management skills.