Ridgewood’s Golden Girls

Five Ridgewood girls will be receiving their Gold Girl Scout Awards this month. This is the highest award you can receive as a Girl Scout and takes a lot of hard work and dedication. To receive this award, the young women must find an issue they feel passionately about and create and fulfill a project to help combat the issue. These 5 girls made a difference in their communities and I need to share their amazing work! Congratulations to them all!

Jennifer with a group of happy students that she introduced the Paterson Music Academy to.

Jennifer Lee, Bergen County Academies, Troop 152
Jennifer created the Paterson Music Academy which is a nonprofit program bringing classical music education to underprivileged students grades K-3 in Paterson. Jennifer has been playing the violin for six years and knows the impact music can have on somebody’s life and the importance of introducing music at a young age. She found that music programs are often weak and the first to be cut in less fortunate areas. Her program engages Paterson students in classical music and teaches them to love music and explore it now and in the years to come. In the future, Jennifer wants to continue helping people and doing work she feels this passionately about.

Dana with her stand of delicious vegan treats at the Earth Day Fair!

Dana Salta, Ridgewood High School, Troop 60144
Dana informed the community on the benefits of a Vegan lifestyle. Dana attended the Earth Day Fair in Ridgewood and gave out vegan baked goods and flyers with a link to a website she created about veganism. She was able to change many people’s opinions on veganism and gave people suggestions for vegan-friendly restaurants. Her inspiration came from learning about how positively veganism changed people’s lives. Dana went vegan two years ago after learning about the poor treatment of animals in the food industry and how beneficial a plant-based diet can be. In the future, Dana hopes to reach more people with her message about the benefits of veganism. She also started a Vegan Club at school which she hopes will be a great success.

Jackie Lutz, Ridgewood High School, Troop 144
Jackie started a Music Mentor Program at the BF and GW middle schools. Members of the Ridgewood High School band would visit the middle schools and sit in with the band classes and help the students with their music and offer advice on the transition to high school, as well as joining the music program. Jackie’s program helped give the middle school students someone to look up to and to provide them with comfort as they prepare to transition into high school. Her inspiration came from her love of music and her knowledge that entering high school can be scary. Jackie hopes that her mentor program will continue long after she graduates!

Hayley standing with her Gold Award advisor and the director at CareOne.

Hayley O’Marra, Ridgewood High School, troop 60144
For Hayley’s project she visited and talked with residents at CareOne at the Cupola. She met with the individual residents and asked them about their childhood, interests, hopes, goals, etc. After gathering all of this information, Hayley created welcome packets titled “Getting To Know You” and she gave each resident a packet. Her goal was to help the residents open up and connect with one another since most of them did not receive many visitors. Hayley’s inspiration came from both of her grandmothers who had stayed at CareOne. While visiting her grandmothers she noticed many of the residents did not have visitors and that there was not much socialization amongst the residents. Hayley wanted to help the residents get to know each other and create friendships. Hayley wants to continue helping people in the future, connect with others, and form long lasting relationships.

Sophia surrounded by several performers and student organizers from ArtBeat 2017.

Sophia Swanson, Ridgewood High School, Troop 152
Sophia’s project was called Ridgewood ArtBeat 2017 which aimed to showcase the artistic and musical talents of high school students while bringing a younger audience to the Kasschau Memorial Bandshell. Sophia created the Ridgewood ARTBeat Committee who worked throughout the school year to coordinate with village officials, recruit student performers and artists, create marketing materials,  and prepare for their big event in June. ArtBeat 2017 was a big success and Sophia and the committee have continued their work, held more events, and will be hosting their 2nd ArtBeat next Tuesday, June 12th. Sophia says that the three main things that inspired her were her experience as a student artist, the beauty of the Kasschau Memorial Bandshell, and the younger artists and musicians in her village. Sophia hopes to continue her passion for the arts throughout college and her career.

Let’s give these girls a round of applause for all the awesome work they have accomplished!


2nd Annual Ridgewood ArtBeat


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