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Four earn top Girl Scout honor

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Four participants in Evanston Girl Scout programs have received the organization's Gold Award, its most prestigious national honor for girls.

They were among 102 Girl Scouts from the Chicago region honored earlier this month at an award ceremony at the Hilton Rosemont Hotel.

Madeleine McGonigle, a 2010 Evanston Township High School graduate, received her Girl Scout Gold Award after completing a complex series of requirements, including the implementation of a major community service project called “100 Ways to Green Up Your Life”.

This project focused on educating the Evanston community about environmentally friendly practices that are easily integrated into every day life.  Through working with various venues such as schools, carnivals, and summer camps, McGonigle helped educate the youth in Evanston about the environment and environmental issues in ways children can understand versus the scientific data and facts presented in a pamphlet she created.

McGonigle gave out her pamphlet, “100 Ways to Green Up Your Life”, at school-sponsored events and local social gatherings.  McGonigle attends St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota.

Darcy Miller, now a senior at ETHS, earned her award by creating and being entirely in charge of all aspects of the program called “Teen Performers” at Presbyterian Homes Westminster Place retirement community in Evanston.

Over the course of a year, Darcy recruited and scheduled teens from ETHS and the Evanston community to use their talents to perform for the residents of Westminster Place. Darcy scheduled a variety of performances, including piano players, a flute/cello duet, a singer with guitar, a flutist, several storytellers, sing-along leaders, and even a Santa Claus.

Devoting over 100 hours to executing this project, Darcy scheduled a total of 15 performances which benefited 234 residents in groups as small as 6 and as large as 30.

Jasmine and Latrice Tripp, members of Evanston Troop 40011, together created a project called “Caring for Young Mothers with Babies.”

With the increase in teen pregnancies, the Tripp sisters developed a program to help teens. Latrice and Jasmine, Chicago residents, planned a series of meetings for young teen mothers and their children.  They provided a place for mothers to meet other mothers and gain information about jobs, careers, health, and education of young children.

The meetings also provided a social outlet with the final meeting of their project including a neighborhood sing-along.  Epworth United Methodist Church, which sponsors Troop 40011, is continuing the project in the fall with Latrice and Jasmine’s assistance.

Both scouts are graduates of Mather High School in Chicago. Latrice is currently a student at Eastern Illinois University studying Education for Special Ed Students. Jasmine will be attending Moody Bible College in the fall.

Only about five percent of Girl Scouts earn the Gold Award which recognizes their leadership and organizational skills, and the sense of community and commitment whicht is designed to set the foundation for a lifetime of active citizenship.

Top: Jasmine and Latrice Tripp, in left photo, and Darcy Miller and Madeleine McGonigle.

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