Two Bellmore Girl Scouts awarded highest honor


The Girl Scouts of Nassau County recognized two Bellmore teens on July 10 for earning the Gold Award –– the organization’s highest award.

Bellmore’s Gold Award recipients were Sarah Massoni, who was a Kellenberg Memorial High School senior this past year, and Maria Schneider, a Mepham High School senior.

The Gold Award recognizes leadership excellence and is given to high school seniors who may have earned the “ambassador” Girl Scout rank. To receive the award, teens must have completed two Girl Scout “journeys” –– programs that challenge them to make a difference in their community and the world –– or have received the silver award and completed one additional journey.

Donna Ceravolo, executive director and CEO of the Girl Scouts of Nassau County, noted that less than 5 percent of all Girl Scouts throughout the nation obtain the award. “We are so proud of all the Gold Award recipients,” she said. “Earning the Gold Award is a huge accomplishment and takes a great amount of dedication.”

In addition to achieving particular ranks and/or completing journeys, scouts must spend 80-plus hours on “Take Action” leadership projects. Their work should make a sustainable and measurable impact on an important issue or need in the community, while educating and inspiring others.

Massoni’s Take Action project was called “Operation Healthy Eating.” The Bellmorite sought to tackle the issue of childhood obesity. Massoni gave presentations at public events and Scout meetings as well as organized classes at the North Bellmore Library that informed children about what constitutes a healthy diet and how to adopt healthier eating habits.

Schneider took on a project that she called “Sign Revitalization.” She strove to familiarize her community with events taking place at the Bellmore Presbyterian Church. To spread awareness about church programs, Schneider replaced old signs at Bellmore Presbyterian and made a brochure that was available to all guests. This led to an increase in the number of new church members and people participating in church functions, according to the Girl Scouts.

Gold Award winners who enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces may receive an advanced rank for their achievements, and many universities and colleges offer scholarships or other recognition to Gold Award recipients.

Notable Gold Award recipients include Jan Hopkins, CNN financial news anchor, and Betsy Boze, senior fellow at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities and president at Kent State University Stark.

Schneider and Massoni are among 20,000 Nassau County Girl Scouts. For more information, go to or contact Donna Rivera-Downey at (516) 741-2550.