http://pleasantonweekly.com/print/story/print/2012/06/15/girl-scouts-shine-with-gold-awards


Pleasanton Weekly

Arts & Entertainment - June 15, 2012

Girl Scouts shine with Gold Awards

Projects improve lives from Pleasanton to Tanzania

by Jamie Altman

Four Pleasanton girls prepared to take action in improving the world as, on June 1, they received the greatest recognition in Girl Scouts: the Gold Award. The award is a multi-step process that requires hours of research, a detailed plan and goal, and most of all, motivation to better the world.

* Sophomore Christina Mitine realized that these days teenagers and seniors are not always able to connect with each other.

"Having an amazing connection with my maternal grandma," Mitine explained, "I aimed to create a special bond between teens and the seniors."

In her project, Lasting Memories, teenagers and Parkview Assisted Living Home residents collaborated on a scrapbook that contains memories of each senior's life. Mitine shared that it was "incredible to see a warm-hearted connection between teens and seniors grow within a week of sharing photos and stories with one another."

* As part of her project, Safety Smarts, Rebecca Rodriguez used her love of martial arts to help teens become more aware of their surroundings and prepared to defend themselves.

"After starting martial arts," Rodriguez said, "I realized how much (safer) I felt wherever I went, knowing that I could defend myself."

Rodriguez said that she wanted to "share that confidence" with others, so she organized a safety awareness fair where she educated teens on the importance of self-defense, as well as fitness and first-aid.

* When Sri Muppidi learned that 50% of the Tanzanian population lacks access to sanitary drinking water, she started planning an African culture show, Taste of Africa, to educate others about these hardships and how to be part of the solution. She then went to Tanzania and helped build water retention systems.

"It's amazing to see how a small effort on my part was able to translate into such a big impact on the villagers," Muppidi said.

* In Alison Boswell's Gold Award project, she strived to include everyone in the Pleasanton community by planning a holiday party for underprivileged children in early December.

At the party, these kids got to take pictures with Santa and make gingerbread houses, ornaments and stockings. They also received goody bags containing school supplies, coats, fleece blankets and miscellaneous stocking stuffers.

The four girls of this Pleasanton Girl Scout Troop had diverse projects and goals, but one thing they all had in common was their devotion to Girl Scouts, and more importantly, in making the world a better place.

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