Twelve young women from Glen Rock High School Girl Scout Troops 265 and 286 were honored today at a Bridging and Gold Award Ceremony held at St. Catharine’s Community Hall. Surrounded by family, friends and troop leaders Keiko Endo, Mindy Frangulova, Eileen Hillock and Rosemarie Hornak, the girls “crossed the bridge” into becoming adult scouts.
In addition four young women, Ayano Endo, Michelle Hillock, Sydney Hornak, and Jennifer Singh received the highest honor in Girl Scouts, the Glen Rock Gold Award. They each put in a minimum of 80 volunteer hours on their chosen projects (details below) and were recognized by Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey Regional Director Bonita Barnhart. Numerous public dignitaries including Glen Rock Mayor Bruce Packer, Glen Rock Police Chief Dean Ackermann, Commander Robert Steinberg of VFW Post #850, Vice Commander Ken Frank of American Legion Post #145, Mr. Frank Manziano of the Glen Rock Board of Education, and Mr. Jim Kapotes of the Yaw Paw Camp Foundation also presented recognition items to each Gold Award recipient.
GRVAC President Diane Herrlett presented a special acknowledgment to Gold Award recipient Michelle Hillock for her service to the Glen Rock Volunteer Ambulance Corp beginning at age 16 and currently serving Glen Rock residents after completing 240 hours worth of training classes.
All the girls, in turn, recognized current and past troop leaders with flowers and candles to convey their respect, admiration, and genuine thanks. They recognized each other with special flowers chosen for their unique and individual traits. At the conclusion of the ceremony, the girls noted some highlights of their years in Girls Scouts including trips to the High Line in NYC, serving meals as part of Family Promise at St. Catharine’s, zip-lining, visiting the Franciscan nuns in Tenafly, their volunteerism at the NJ Food Bank and so much more.
To learn more about the Girl Scouts of Northern NJ visit https://www.gsnnj.org
Gold Awards Troop 265
Ayano N. Endo – Ayano organized a cultural festival at Camp Acorn, a camp for children with special needs, to “bring the world” to the campers who cannot travel due to the severity of their special needs. Ayano also hosted a workshop to educate the public about what it’s like to have a mental or physical disability so that volunteers can better understand what the campers may be thinking and feeling, and be more responsive to their needs. Ayano hopes to work with people with special needs in the future as an occupational therapist.
Sydney Ann Hornak – Sydney taught pregnant teenagers how to crochet blankets for their babies. She chose pregnant teenagers because her mom is a midwife at St. Josephs Regional Medical Center in Paterson, NJ and works in the teen obstetrical clinic as well as the regular clinic. She also chose this target audience, because anxiety, depression, and disassociation unfortunately play a major role in teenage pregnancy. In her opinion, crocheting will always be the best form of relaxation, because it allows you to escape your own mind. The main goal for her project was to help the young Moms focus on happiness and help them build a positive relationship with their child. She can now proudly say that every one of the girls have become crochet addicts!
Gold Awards Troop 286
Michelle Hillock – Working with her AP Psychology teacher as an Advisor, Michelle created a Psychology Club at Glen Rock High School. This is the first psychology club ever offered and is open to all students in grades 9 through 12. The club meets for a variety of activities including discussions, watching psychology-related movies, and hosting events i.e. Brain Awareness Week. They recently held officer elections to ensure the club continues once Michelle graduates this year. Michelle plans on pursuing a career in the psychology/medical field in the hopes of becoming a psychiatrist.
Jennifer Singh – Jennifer’s Gold Award was refurbishing a courtyard for a Franciscan Convent in Tenafly, New Jersey, to show appreciation for the Sisters living there. Jen’s project consisted of taking the weeds out of the garden, putting in low maintenance river rocks, and planting flowers to liven up the area. She also hosted a rock painting event where each sister painted her own rock, and those rocks are now decorations in the garden. Jen wanted to give back to a group of people who have given up their lives for the benefit of others.
Gold Award Candidates Troop 286
Grace H. Cunningham – Grace’s project involves giving Alzheimer patients music from their past to hopefully bring back some memory for a short period of time. Each patient receives their own iPod with music that family members chose for them. Grace has received donated iPods from people in Glen Rock, so each patient has received an individual iPod to keep. In college Grace plans to continue research on Alzheimer’s disease so this project has been a great start for her.
Katerina Emma Frangulova – STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) is a really important field that is in desperate need of people to fill nearly 2.4 million jobs by 2018 (STEM Depiction Opportunities, 2016). However, there is a severe lack of female representation in STEM programs in colleges, only 45%, when women make up 70% of the people in college. Katya wants to help girls in Middle School and High School be more confident in their math and science abilities, so that they can dream of becoming scientists, doctors, engineers, or computer programmers. Katya created the STEM Sisters Tutoring program to match up high school female tutors with female students who want a little extra help in the STEM subjects, and will submit her project for final approval at the end of the month.