“Girl Scout Gold Award recipients are part of an elite group of women who embody community leadership leaving behind a sustainable legacy.” Girl Scouts org.
Larissa K. Barnes, a resident of Smithtown and a 2014 graduate at Smithtown HSW, has received Girl Scouts highest recognition the Gold Award.
To receive the Girl Scouts’ Gold Award a Girl Scout must complete a challenging project. The focus of a Girl Scouts’ Gold Award project is identifying and researching a community issue that the scout is passionate about, developing a plan to address it in cooperation with her team and community members, establishing a global connection with others and providing sustainability for the project. For her Gold Award project, Larissa set out to create awareness on the hunger problem that exists on Long Island. The first part of the project had Larissa working closely with the Island Harvest, which is the largest hunger relief organization on Long Island.
Larissa helped create an online food pantry directory that listed all the available resources in the geographic area. From the online version, she created a pamphlet that listed an individual area’s resources. The pamphlet included local food pantry addresses, nutritional information and recipes in English which were then translated into Spanish. The second part of the project was to create and maintain a sustainable large food producing garden. Due to hurricane Sandy, maintaining the garden was a challenge, but it still managed to produce some vegetables. The last part of the project was a food drive that Larissa organized in her community which yielded 328 pounds of nonperishable items as well as the produce that was harvested from the sustainable garden.
Of the skills learned through Girl Scouts’ Highest Awards, leadership, organization and critical thinking are the fundamentals of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Larissa has demonstrated exceptional commitment in taking action to make the world a better place through her community service.
This fall Larissa will be heading off to Johnson and Wales University in North Carolina where she will be majoring in Restaurant, Food and Beverage Management. When Larissa heads off to school at the end of August she will be leaving behind avery proud parents David and Tara and brother Alex and a Smithtown community that is a little bit better because of this young woman’s efforts.
Kudos to Larissa Barnes!