Local Girl Scouts to Receive Gold Awards May 21

Three dozen local Girl Scouts have earned the prestigious Gold Award, which will be presented to them at 4 p.m. on May 21 during ceremonies at Lanterman Auditorium. They include:

Caitlin Adams

For Caitlin’s Gold Award project she refurbished the LCHS Football Food Booth. During the football season, she witnessed the condition of the booth during the time that PTSA parents volunteer and fundraise. When her troop began to talk about possible Gold Awards she knew she wanted to do something for the school she had attended since seventh grade. She chose the football food booth because she had volunteered to work there in the past and knew the food sold in the booth was PTSA’s largest fundraiser. Caitlin’s project consisted of cleaning the area, painting the interior walls and cabinets, removing old and failing roll down shutters, organizing funding and replacement of new roll down shutters and lining the cabinets with linoleum. A used refrigerator was donated and transported to the booth and Caitlin made arrangements with Southern California Edison to recycle the old refrigerator and have it removed from the school.

At a recent LCHS Assembly, the LCHS PTSA presented her with the Very Special Person Award (VSP) for her work on the project. The VSP is given by a PTA organization to recognize an individual or group for their contributions.

Active in Girl Scouts since kindergarten, Caitlin felt that one of her most rewarding experiences was volunteering each Friday for several hours at Union Station Family Center where she cared for the children living there; allowing the children’s parents some free time. Since attending La Cañada High, Caitlin has been active in the LCHS Color Guard. She is active in St. Bede’s Youth Ministry Program and is currently a teen leader.

Caitlin would like to thank the Spartan Boosters Club (Funding), Lawrence Shutters (Steve Freeburg), Thomasridge Flooring (Linoleum), Dr. Michael Leininger (Paint), Mrs. Dawn Witte (Refrigerator), Home Depot (Cabinet Hinges), Troop Leader Mrs. Ratliff, and her family (assistance and support).


Emily Andersen

Senior Girl Scout Emily Andersen introduced the comforting properties of music to seriously ill children at the Pasadena Ronald McDonald House. Her Gold Award Project was entitled “Healing Harmonies.” When illness invades a child’s life, it can be very difficult for that child to express his or her feelings. Sometimes, a child’s emotions can become so overwhelming because they have no way of communicating their feelings. Music helps create pathways for children to express their thoughts and feelings. Emily had the opportunity to use her skills as a harpist and vocalist to engage children in the make-believe world of Camp Wha-Cha-Ma-Call-It complete with S’mores and SWAPs (Special Wha-Cha-Ma-Call-It’s Affectionately Pinned). Emily held nightly “singing around the campfire” in the tradition of Girl Scout Camping creating an atmosphere in which children could enjoy music and stories that addressed issues such as courage, fear, sadness and joy.

As a junior at Westridge School for Girls, Emily plays varsity soccer, track and field, and lacrosse in addition to Girl Scouts. She studies harp and voice and sings with the Chamber Chorus of the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus. Emily has sung numerous operatic and other choral works with the LA Opera, Master Chorale and the LA Philharmonic. She was honored to sing solo at the opening of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. She also is an active volunteer with the American Red Cross, San Gabriel Valley/ Pomona Chapter.

Although there are many people who helped tremendously in her Gold Award Project, Emily would like to thank her mom and dad for their support and encouragement. Holly Rundburg from PRMH helped make her project possible. She is also appreciative of the years of support provided by her Girl Scout Troop Leaders.

Natalie Burrows

Natalie’s Gold Award Project had two parts. First, she directed a volleyball and basketball clinic at the Los Angeles Christian School. On a Saturday morning, Natalie, her sisters and two other Girl Scouts led drills and games at the school. Then, she conducted a “give a ball, get a smile” collection drive where she collected sports balls to benefit the children at Los Angeles Christian School. She received generous contributions from troop members and friends.

Her project addressed the issue that many poor inner city kids don’t have the opportunity to exercise and learn how to play sports. She also provided them with a fun place to go on a Saturday morning, for most of them do not get out on the weekends, according to their teacher. When she started the clinic, only one girl could play volleyball, but by the end every child in the gym could pass and serve. Her biggest reward was in their smiles that morning!

Natalie is a senior at La Cañada High School where she is a member of the National Honor Society and the California Scholarship Federation, and is PTSA president. She enjoys singing in the La Cañada High School Chamber Singers, the school’s top auditioned choir. Natalie is currently rehearsing for the school’s production of West Side Story as a “Shark girl.” Natalie also loves playing volleyball and she was named to the all-league first team as a senior.

Natalie would like to thank her mother, Christine Burrows, her troop leaders, Sherry Kirchheimer and Gale Musker, and Michele Milburn, the principal at Los Angeles Christian School, for their support throughout her project.

Abigail Chang

Abigail’s project promoted community-wide reading appreciation by helping children enhance their reading skills, using something all children love, food! She held a weeklong reading clinic for the underprivileged children served by New Horizons Family Center. Abigail devised a program to help the children appreciate the importance of reading by reviewing recipes and nutritional information on food labels. The children “read” recipes and assembled fun, healthy snacks. The children took home booklets with the recipes and nutritional information learned. A presentation for the parents to help reinforce the importance of reading and good nutrition concluded the week. Abigail also helped collect over five hundred books for the New Horizons library providing the children with a continued incentive to read.

A sophomore at La Cañada High School, Abigail enjoys serving on the Associated Student Body and is a member of National Honor Society and California Scholarship Foundation. Abigail is also a member of National Charity League, where she is currently serving as her grade-level Ticktocker president, and where every year she has earned the organization’s highest award for volunteer hours. A PADI Certified Advanced Open Water scuba diver, Abigail also enjoys shopping and going to the movies with friends. An accomplished pianist, Abigail participates in various piano competitions annually and will complete her Certificate of Merit Advanced Level Ten in piano performance and theory this spring.

The Girl Scout Gold Award is a great accomplishment and Abigail is beyond grateful for the generous support she received from her community, family, and friends. She would especially like to thank Ralph’s, Trader Joe’s, Pepe’s Restaurant, Round Table, Baja Fresh, Printefex, Judy Hauffaker, Rocio Bach, Mitzi Wang, her troop leaders Cindy deBrauwere and Dru Gartside, her volunteers Alex Chang, Lisa Jackson, Regina Saavedra, her fellow scouts Remy, Amanda, Jessica and her parents for their support.

Joan Chen

In the summer of 2005, Joan traveled to Hsinchu City, Taiwan. She started a nine-day day-camp for 30 Taiwanese children at Hsinchu Presbyterian Bible College. Her goal was to explore beyond the American environment and introduce other people to her own culture. At this camp she taught simple English skills and introduced aspects of American culture to children who knew little of other cultures. Joan collected elementary school level educational materials and art supplies from the La Cañada community. This entire donation was used in teaching the camp, and then donated to the Presbyterian Bible College for future students. Joan also presented slideshows for each of the different topics she taught, such as American holidays and their traditions. They played English vocabulary games, acted out Bible stories in group skits, decorated the room with different holiday themes and practiced conversations in English.

At school Joan is the president of Art Club, the secretary of Rainforest Ecology Institute, and publicity chair of Interact Club. In past summers, she was unit leader for younger Girl Scouts at the La Cañada Girl Scout Day Camps and she helped decorate the La Cañada Rose Parade float. She volunteers at the San Fernando Chinese Cultural Association, a Chinese school on Saturdays, and at the Herald Cancer Association. Joan has won the PTA Reflections Contest in Visual Arts multiple times; in her junior year, she placed first in the school and went on to place third in the district. This year, she placed first school-wide and district-wide, and her entry has gone on to state judging. In the future, she plans to go to college and eventually figure out how to live the rest of her life purposefully and happily.

She would like to thank her family for their support and help in completing her Gold Award.

Joyce Chen

For her Girl Scout Gold Award, Joyce presented dental hygiene workshops to the blind and visually impaired children at Foundation for the Junior Blind’s Camp Bloomfield last summer. Camp Bloomfield provides recreational and camp experiences for blind or visually impaired campers at the only facility of its kind in the western United States. Through its programs, it furthers development of teamwork and leadership skills, as well as greater independence and confidence. To prepare for the presentations, she learned how to use a Perkins Brailler, which allowed her to construct Braille informational cards for the children. In addition, she solicited supplies from local dentists and stores so each child could receive a dental gift package. In the end the campers gained a better understanding of how and why they need to practice proper dental hygiene.

Joyce is currently a senior at La Cañada High School. She has been awarded the Mu Alpha Theta distinction in Math Club, and is currently an active member of the Key Club. Shehas been a member of the California Scholarship Federation and National Honors Society for the past four years. She is a three-year member of the varsity track team and participated on the cross-country team during her sophomore and junior years. Joyce has also been named an AP Scholar. She is an advanced art student and is currently completing the advanced art two and advanced ceramics classes. In Girl Scouting, Joyce has received her Silver Award and been a Unit Leader the past four summers at La Cañada Girl Scout Day Camp. Furthermore, she has enjoyed volunteering at Camp Bloomfield the last two years.

Joyce would like to thank everyone who contributed to the success of her Gold Award project, especially her family, her Girl Scout leader Noli Caswell, and Foundation for the Junior Blind’s Frank Cardenas.

Julia Clairday

For Julia’s Gold Project, she collected toothpaste, toothbrushes, and floss for families in Mexico. Because of the generous donations from local dentists, Girl Scouts, her church, family, and friends she was able to put together 425 packages of dental hygiene supplies. Each package contained a tube of toothpaste, a toothbrush, and floss. She also made a poster in Spanish and English showing proper dental hygiene techniques. Julia traveled to Mexico with her church youth group on a mission trip to build a house with Amor Ministries. During the trip she went to the local market place and handed out all of the dental products she took. When she returned from Mexico, Julia gave a presentation about her project to the congregation at church.

Julia is a junior at La Cañada High School. She is the Missions Coordinator for the church youth. Julia will be returning to Mexico again this year. She recently became a lifeguard at the YMCA. She has been a Girl Scout for 12 years with Troop 273 in La Cañada.

Julia enjoys traveling, singing, dancing, swimming, and volunteering.

Julia would like to thank all of the people who generously donated dental supplies, especially Dr. Nick Tripodes, Dr. Barton Conroy, Dr. Kenneth Ho, Dr. Joan Otomo, and Dr. Leslie Carpenter.

Sara Crounse

Sara named her Gold Award project, Tikkun Olam, which is Hebrew for heal the world to help raise awareness of the importance of “healing” our environment and each other. Sara created a recycling program at her synagogue; the proceeds going to the Junior Youth Group that she helped start. Bins decorated by kids are now visible throughout her synagogue to encourage people to recycle cans, plastic bottles and white paper. Through generous contributions of Girl Scouts, neighbors and members of her synagogue, she also collected over 15 boxes of donated small toys and costumes that were sent to Milbat Center in Israel for its Purim for programs to enable severely disabled kids celebrate the festival of Purim, a Jewish holiday much like Halloween. Milbat helps kids overcome the loss of limbs, sight, hearing or other catastrophic losses as a result of terrorist attacks or accidents. The costumes were adapted to each child’s disability with help from staff and the toys were used as prizes in carnival games.

Sara has been in Girl Scouts for 12 years and has enjoyed being a counselor at La Cañada Girl Scout Day Camp for 2 summers. She was chosen to march with the 2006 Tournament Troop in the coldest and wettest Rose Parade on record. Sara is a senior at La Cañada High School and a member of the National Honor Society and California Scholarship Federation. Sara also enjoys ceramics and theatre and has been in seven productions with Children’s Theatre Experience, including Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Annie, The Music Man and Fiddler on the Roof. She was also recently in her high school production of Competition Piece. She hopes to major in Theatre in college with a possible minor in political science.

Sara would like to thank Yael Shaked-Bregman from Milbat, Michal Atkins and Cantor Mariana Gindlin for their help with this project. She is also grateful to Wandy Jung for her constant encouragement and to her leaders, Andrea Terry and her mom, for their support and guidance and a big thanks to both her supportive parents, Karen Kreider and Bill Crounse.

Remy deBrauwere

“Got Reading?”, Remy’s Gold Project was a weeklong reading appreciation clinic for the children of New Horizons Family Center, an organization supporting low income families in south Glendale. Using art as a means to develop and encourage a life-long love reading, Remy met daily with the children introducing creative projects that all promoted reading or writing. Two of the most popular projects were the clay characters and the knotted reading pillows. The children also made foam nametag visors, flexible snake bookmarks, “About Me” books in which they wrote about themselves and illustrated pictures, acrostic poems using their own names, and painted scenery supporting the Music and Games portions of the clinic.

Remy has been a member of Troop 95/134 since kindergarten and has earned both her bronze and silver awards. A sophomore at La Cañada High School, Rex my is a member of National Honor Society, California Scholarship Foundation, the PTSA and French Club. Remy is a member of National Charity League and volunteers for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, for which she served as their youth ambassador in 1997. She has played for LCHS’s soccer team for two years and for the Flyers Soccer Club since 2001. Remy enjoys art, reading, movies, traveling, and shopping. Following graduation she would like to attend college and major in either medicine, art history, or fashion design.

Remy would like to thank Abby, Amanda, and Jessica for sharing this project with her; Rocio Bach and New Horizons Family Center for their guidance; all her family and friends for their support and volunteer efforts; her seventh grade art teacher Mrs. Kenwood for all of her creative and helpful art ideas; her Girl Scout leaders for all their years of support and guidance; and finally the children of New Horizons for their enthusiasm and interest in art.

Emily Filippone

For her project Emily assembled “do-it-yourself” craft kits for the older children at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. After touring Children’s Hospital, Emily realized that while there were numerous diversions for the smaller children (various games and toys) there were very few activities available to teenage patients. Emily collected donations from Girl Scout leaders within her service unit and also assisted leaders at their meetings by instructing the younger girls in making various crafts such as lanyards. In return, these troops donated supplies for her project. Her family and friends aided her by helping to collect recyclables which were used to offset the cost of additional supplies. Each hand-made kit included supplies and instructions on how to complete the project. She also received thirty donations of store-bought craft kits. Overall she was able to supply Children’s Hospital with about six hundred fifty craft kits and three hundred napkins with decorated rings that will provide the older children with some entertainment and diversion during their hospital stay and excitement on their food trays.

Emily is a junior at La Cañada High School and has been in Girl Scouting for ten years. With her troop, 599, she has helped host Girl Scout events for the past six years. She is also a member of the National Honor Society and the California Scholarship Federation. She has played flute and piano for a combined eighteen years and has been an active member of the LCHS Band for the past five years. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and doing various kinds of puzzles. She plans on attending college and studying political science or history.

Emily would like to thank all the people who helped her complete her project, especially her Leader, Susan Ratliff, who helped her through the entire process and kept her on track.

Amanda Gartside

Amanda’s Gold Award project was titled “If Music Be the Fruit of Literature.” She brought her love of reading and music to the children of New Horizons Family Center, which serves the children of the low-income families of South Glendale. She helped to collect books for the Center’s library and she also ran a weeklong clinic where the children participated in singing, musical games, and a reading/writing activity. The children had the opportunity to try out many types of musical instruments and discuss how music and reading/stories relate to each other. The rest of the week consisted of notes, rhythm, singing technique, dynamics, context, and performance behavior. In a final presentation for the parents, the children sang “Rock-in’ in the boat,” which they had learned and applied their techniques to throughout the course of the week. The children reached Amanda’s goal of understanding that music is for everyone.

Amanda is a sophomore at LCHS and has been an active Girl Scout since Daisies. She loves music, has been playing piano for eight years, and is in Concert Choir at LCHS. Also a sports-lover, Amanda has been on the varsity swim team, JV tennis team, varsity soccer team, and Flyers soccer club. She is a member of Bible Club, French Club, and California Youth and Government. In her free time she likes to, ski, read, sing in the rain, knit, talk, eat, and be happy. She hopes to pursue a career in mathematics or education.

Amanda would like to thank her fellow Girl Scouts, especially Jess, Remy, and Abby. She would also like to thank her parents and Mrs. deBrauwere for guidance. Special thanks to New Horizons Family Center, Rocio Bach, and all of the volunteers that helped out. Thanks also to Ms. Rios for her help in teaching music and music resources.

Kristene Ghazarian

For her Gold Award project Kristene had the opportunity to teach elementary school age kids how to play soccer in a free public soccer clinic she organized. Not only did she share her experience and love of the sport but she also collected many donations of soccer equipment and uniforms to send over to a school in a rural part of Armenia. This school lacks the sufficient number of jerseys to outfit their entire team. She also collected many recyclables to purchase a complete set of jerseys to allow the students of the school’s soccer program to feel like a real team.

Kristene is a junior attending La Cañada High School where she has belonged to the school’s varsity soccer team for three years. She was also the junior varsity’s volleyball captain, and currently the vice-president of Spanish Club, as well as an active member PTSA, CSF, and Mu Alpha Theta as a part of the Math Club. She also volunteers at the YMCA’s summer camp program as a counselor.

In addition to Girl Scouts and school related activities, Kristene enjoys running, soccer, volleyball, traveling, ceramics, photography, snowboarding, and hanging out with her friends.

Kristene is the proud daughter of Annette Mangassarian and Norair Ghazarian and has been a member of Girl Scouts for eleven years.

“I would like to thank my family and troop Leader, Susan Ratliff, for their continuous support, encouragement, and tremendous help in my Gold Award. In addition I would like to thank my friends and their families as well as the public who helped in donating bottles, uniforms, and equipment. A special thanks to Mr. Sheppard who helped make my soccer clinic possible by allowing me to use the High School’s soccer field as well as equipment for the drills,” says Kristene.  

Polene Ghazarian

Polene’s Gold Award Project consisted of collecting recyclables in order to buy fleece to make fleece blankets. Requiring one and a half to two yards of fabric for each blanket, Polene was able to raise enough funds to make a total of 40 blankets. These blankets were shipped to Armenia where they will aid in the protection of children attending school during the winter in the rural part of Armenia. This under funded school relies on donations from the public therefore by providing them with blankets she was not only able to keep the children warm but also keep them more focused on their schoolwork instead of fighting to stay warm.

Polene is currently a junior at La Cañada High School. She is in her third year on her school’s varsity soccer team, a member of the junior varsity volleyball team, Spanish Club, Mu Alpha Theta part of her Math Club, PTSA, along with being a Senior Girl Scout. During the summer she enjoys being a counselor at the YMCA summer day camp.

In addition, she likes to snowboard, play soccer and volleyball, hang out with her friends and family, cook, and travel.

Polene is the proud daughter of Annette Mangassarian and Norair Ghazarian and is in her eleventh year as a Girl Scout in Troop #599.

“I am sincerely grateful for all the help and support I got during the process of my Gold Award. The donations I was able to collect from friends and family were instrumental in the success of my project. I would like to give a special thanks to my troop Advisor Susan Ratliff and to my parents. Thank you, again for all your support and advice,” she says.

Marie Gilbert

Marie had the wonderful opportunity to work with the Elizabeth House in Pasadena. The expectant mothers who live at the House receive support from the local community throughout one of the most challenging periods of their life. Marie had volunteered at the Elizabeth House on several prior occasions with her Girl Scout troop and was excited to continue working with them. For her project, Marie invited a member from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), to give a presentation to further educate and inform the ladies on infant and child nutrition. At the seminar, all of the women were given special briefcases that included programs, handouts, and booklets on child nutrition. In addition they were given recipes for fun snacks and healthy foods that their young children could enjoy. Marie put together a care package for each mother, which included an apron and a recipe box, courtesy of The Paper Rabbit Montrose. Marie left behind a recipe binder for the Elizabeth House so that as the women come and go they can pass on their favorite recipes and give tips to the other new moms.

Marie has been a Girl Scout for 13 years and appreciates all of the opportunities she has had because of it. In addition to Girl Scouts, Marie enjoys participating in ASB at La Cañada High School. She is currently Senior Class president and has served in ASB for the past three years. She has been in Green Club and French Club for three years, and is a member of the National Honors Society and California Scholarship Federation.

Marie would like to thank her leader, Mrs. Caswell, for making Girl Scouts exciting and for all her hard work, and of course her Mom and Dad.

Brittany Guitron

For her Girl Scout Gold Award Project, Brittany designed a coloring book for young children admitted to Los Angeles Children’s Hospital. The book’s theme, “My Stay at the Hospital”, was designed to help entertain patients during their hospital stay. Created by Brittany as an interactive coloring book, it encourages children to fill in their own personal medical record, their doctors and nurses names, what they ate for dinner, and more. The book includes hospital themed mazes, cross word puzzles, and numerous pages of pictures. Brittany solicited supplies from local businesses and created one hundred copies to give to the hospital.

Brittany has been a Girl Scout for twelve years. Currently a senior at La Cañada High School, Brittany plans to attend a University in the fall. She enjoys working at Club Libby Lu planning birthday parties for little girls. Outside of work and school, Brittany enjoys volunteer community service opportunities volunteering at the Glendale Humane Society and Children’s Educational Center. She also plans to volunteer at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles in the near future.

She would like to thank her troop leader, Mrs. Caswell, for inspiration and encouragement. She would also like to thank all of the girls in Troop 616 for all the great knowledge and friendship they have shared with her, and to thank her mom and dad x for supporting her Girl Scouting throughout the years.

Stephanie Harris

To achieve her Gold Award, Stephanie worked with the Beeve Foundation For World Eye and Health Care. For two weeks every year, members from the Beeve Foundation travel to Fiji and provide over 1000 patients each with free eye-care, including cataract surgeries and cornea transplants. Stephanie collected almost 1,000 pairs of eye glasses by soliciting local stores, clubs, and organizations in the La Cañada Flintridge area. She then categorized, neutralized (determined the prescription for), labeled, and classified the glasses to be shipped to Fiji. Stephanie neutralized approximately 1,500 pairs of useable eyeglasses for the Beeve Foundation’s 2006 expedition.

In addition to Girl Scouting, Stephanie also is avid in the field of soccer, playing for both the Crescenta Valley Soccer Club and the La Cañada High School Varsity. She was elected junior-class vice president and is a member of CSF and the National Honor Society. Stephanie also is a student representative for the PTSA. Stephanie also has a passion for Fine Arts. She sold her first painting at age six and was an International Rotary Club Vocational Scholarship Award winner for Advanced Art last year. As a budding author, Stephanie won a writing competition and had her short story published in two newspapers. Stephanie also enjoys Pilates, writing, and being with family and friends. After high school, she plans on majoring in Journalism and Philosophy. Stephanie is a member of Troop # 273 and has been a La Cañada Girl Scout for eleven years.

Stephanie would like to thank Dr. and Mrs. Beeve and their staff for all of their guidance and assistance, the City of La Cañada Flintridge and Kiwanis Club for their contribution of eye glasses, and her sister and parents for their support. She also would like to thank Mrs. Julie Shaull for being a wonderful mentor and an amazing troop leader.

Ashley Hoffman

For her Gold project, Ashley held cooking classes at Union Station Family Center in Pasadena. Union Station Family Center is an extension of Union Station homeless shelter. The Family Center is designed to keep families together while the parents find jobs. In order to help them stay healthy after they leave Union Station, Ashley held nutritional cooking classes on a budget. She held four classes total over an eight-week period. Her classes were met with great response and enthusiasm. All those who came were eager to learn so that they could help their families stay healthy when they get beck on their feet again and have their own home. She also assembled a cookbook of recipes and had 50 copies made for the Family Center.

Besides being a Girl Scout, Ashley is a member of the La Cañada High School Marching Band. She is has been in Band Council for three years and is currently secretary and a clarinet section leader. Ashley is also involved in school groups such as Young Musicians Club, Interact Club and Math Club. In addition, Ashley is a member of Young Democrats of La Cañada.

Ashley would like to thank her parents, Pam and Tom, and her younger brother Kevin for encouraging and assisting her in her project. She would also like to thank her leader Mrs. Caswell for 12 years of dedication and for helping her accomplish the highest achievement in Girl Scouting. Her friend Alicia also deserves thanks for helping her with her project. She couldn’t have been as successful without her.

Shiloh Jin

As her Gold Project, Shiloh taught music lessons to at-risk youth at the Sycamores Family Resource Center. Her music instruction taught the children to play recorders, read music, and allowed the children the opportunity to experience music. The Sycamores is an after school program for underprivileged children. The recorders, music sheets, and other music supplies were donated to Shiloh for the music lessons. Shiloh organized recorder music books for each student taught music lessons twice a week. As the finale of their music lessons, the children performed with their recorder for an audience at their facility, and it was a success!

Shiloh has been in the La Cañada High School Marching Band for four years and is participating in a school program where she assists with children at her school who need help with their work in their classes. She has also participated in French Club and Youth Chamber of Commerce Club.

In addition to Girls Scouts, Shiloh enjoys playing the flute, snowboarding, traveling, tennis, and making scrapbooks.

Shiloh is the daughter of Joseph and Esther Jin. She is in Troop #616, and has been a girl scout for 12 years.

Shiloh would like to thank everyone who helped her to complete her Gold Award. Special thanks to her dedicated Girl Scout Advisor, Mrs. Caswell and her parents for their support, Joseph and Esther Jin.

Dieuwertje Kast

Twenty-seven friends and students from La Cañada High School helped DJ Kast organize stream restorations in the San Gabriel Mountains with help from Ranger Karen Fortus. Due to the damage caused by the wildfires, winds and littering, mountainous streams were littered, and the stream banks were unstable. The surrounding trails were covered with debris and hard to recognize. The team restored the streams by picking up trash. They planted sage and buckweed seeds on trails that were no longer to be used. Additionally, five iron frames trail sign frames were painted and reset in concrete footings. These signs highlighted the consequences of littering. DJ’s group was rewarded with dramatic improvement in the appearance of the local environment and a sense that they had made a difference.

DJ is vice president of the Science Club at La Cañada High School, and participates in the Anime Club. She also participates in the Occidental Bridges in Science Program, as well as the Rainforest and Ecology Institute. On weekends, she volunteers at beach cleanups and other organized stream restorations. She also baby-sits neighborhood children.

“I would like to thank my mother and father for always being there for me, and I appreciate everything they have ever done for me. Also, I would like to thank my friends and teachers that give me the energy and strength to continue,” says DJ.

Madison Kilbride

Maddy’s passion for helping children directed her Gold Project selection. Working with the Bienvenidos Children’s Center for her Silver Award, she remembered the vacant and unused rooms the facility housed. Realizing children should utilize this space, she decided to provide the needed books, toys, and videos that would transform a stark inhospitable space into a productive and lively recreation room. Believing that access to books is paramount to a child’s development, the main focus of the project was on providing reading materials to children who otherwise would not have them. It is her hope that the room will serve as a comforting and restful place for any child in need of a hopeful story or a friendly teddy bear.

In addition to Girl Scouting, Maddy has a variety of interests. For the last few years, she has gone on the Yosemite Institute trips with La Cañada High School. Of her many experiences in high school, those trips have been among her best. She also participated in the choral program, Interact Club, and YES. She is an honor student and has been a member of CSF and the National Honor Society. In the fall she will be attending Bates College in Maine where she hopes to study philosophy and history. At the moment she has no idea what she wants to be, but figures that if all else fails, she can be a philosopher.

“My Gold Award never would have been possible without the encouragement and guidance of my leader, Mrs. Noli Caswell. Thanks also to Diana Gambel for her invaluable time and support. Throughout my project I was inspired by the generosity of the many people without whose donations my project would not be a reality. Finally, I want to thank my parents whose presence makes everything possible,” said Madison.

Diana Kim

For Diana’s Gold project, she held a basketball clinic at Five Acres, a children abuse and neglect prevention and treatment center located in Pasadena. She supplied many basketballs for her camp and for the facility through donations and left them there afterward for the children to continue to play with. She held four sessions, teaching the basic fundamentals of basketball with the help of her fellow teammates from the high school basketball team. She used drills and interactive activities to allow the children to learn more about the great game while still having fun.

Diana is a senior at La Cañada High School and in addition to having been a scout for eleven years, she is also a member of the Varsity Basketball team and is a co-team captain of the Varsity tennis team. For the past four years she has been a member of the California Scholarship Federation and the National Honors Society. This year is her third year as a member of the high school’s ASB and she currently holds the position of the election’s chair. She is the Chief Justice of the LCHS Student Honor Court after being a member for six years and is also the Treasurer of Spanish Club. On her free time she keeps herself active with sports, draws in her sketchbook, listens to music, and hangs out with her friends.

Diana would like to thank everyone who helped with her project. She greatly appreciates the basketball donations made by the Elftman family and Coach Tamar Hill. She gives special thanks to her dedicated leader, her varsity basketball teammates who helped teach the children of Five Acres, and her supportive parents who were there every step of the way.

Valerie Lew

For her Gold Award Project, Valerie collected over 150 hats and head scarves for cancer patients at City of Hope Hospital in Duarte, California. Being the largest bone marrow transplant center in the nation, City of Hope helps many victims of cancer that benefited from Valerie’s hats and head scarves. Valerie not only collected hats but she also taught other Girl Scouts to loom knitted hats. She received help from younger Girl Scouts who decorated head scarves as well.

Valerie is a senior at La Cañada High School. She is an active member in ASB serving as Student Store Manager. And she has been a part of LCHS’ Bridge Peer Counseling class, for the past two years.

Valerie is a participant of National Charity League’s Glendale Chapter. She spends her summers volunteering for Glendale Adventist Hospital and working as a YMCA Camp Fox counselor.

Valerie enjoys reading, baby sitting, traveling, hanging out with friends, and going to the beach.

Next year, Valerie will be attending college and majoring in either education or social work. Valerie is the daughter of William and Joanne Lew. She is in Troop 555 and has been a Girl Scout for 13 years.

Valerie would like to thank her family, her friends, and everyone who helped her earn her Gold Award.

Annelise Lupica

In working with Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, Annelise has created a dictionary of medical terms with child-friendly definitions. To get these medical terms, she reviewed proposed consent forms with a teen group, searching for hard-to-understand words. With these consent forms, parents alone cannot give consent for the child to receive the treatment; the minor child (from ages 7 to 17) must sign also. She therefore created an 8th-grade-level dictionary to help the minors better understand the treatment they will receive, so that they can give proper consent themselves.

Annelise is a senior at Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy, where she is ASB Campus Minister. She has played on varsity basketball for two years, and is also a member of the French club, Amnesty International, California Scholarship Federation, and National Honor Society. She sings in the St. Bede the Venerable Church Choir, and likes to knit or draw while listening to music.

“I would like to thank my family for pushing me to complete my project, my friends who helped me many times with the dictionary, and Dr. Tom Keens, because without him, none of my project would have been possible,” says Annelise.

Alana Mailes

For Alana Mailes’ Gold Award project, she created and conducted a choir at the Hathaway-Sycamores Family Resource Center for at-risk children, where she spent three months rehearsing them for a holiday concert in December 2005. For some of the children, it was their first exposure to x singing and performing with a chorus.

Alana Mailes is a sophomore at La Cañada High School, where she maintains a 4.3 GPA. She has sung with the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus since 4th grade. In addition to performing locally and internationally, the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus regularly performs with the Los Angeles Opera, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Los Angeles Master Chorale, at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and at Disney Hall.

Some of her performances with the Los Angeles Opera have included Turandot, Die Frau Ohn Schatten, and Parsifal. Performances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Los Angeles Master Chorale have included Carmina Burana, El Niño, and Mahler’s 3rd Symphony. This summer, she will tour with the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus to Italy to be featured as guest artists in residence at the Tuscany International Choral Festival, and perform at the Vatican. In the future, Alana hopes to sing opera, conduct, or become a writer or a pediatrician. Alana also likes to play piano, swim, and surf, and she enjoys spending time with her golden retriever, Teddy Bear.

Alana wishes to thank Anne Tomlinson, conductor of the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus, for being her musical mentor and content advisor for her Gold Award project, Ramon Bañuelos of the Hathaway-Sycamores Family Resource Center for his assistance, and her mother, Patti Paniccia Mailes, for being her Gold Award project advisor and rehearsal assistant.

Laura McQuay

For her Gold Award, Laura gave 50 hand-made scarves to Five Acres, the oldest non-sectarian child abuse and neglect prevention, treatment and education center in the San Gabriel Valley. Laura made most of the scarves herself, but collected some from other generous knitters. She also collected yarn and knitting needles. Laura wanted to share her love of knitting with the children at Five Acres, so that they could pass away their time with a productive and relaxing hobby. She made a DVD explaining how to knit in a step-by-step fashion and provided 50 colorful skeins of donated yarn, knitting needles and flyers with knitting directions.

Laura has been a Girl Scout in Troop 273 since Kindergarten. She is currently a junior at La Cañada High School. She is in the high school band and plays on the varsity softball team. Laura is also a member of the National Honor Society. She has completed two summers of Leadership Training at Skylake Yosemite Camp, her favorite place in the world. Outside of school, she is involved with the Les Fleurettes debutante program.

She would like to thank her advisor Mrs. Sue Clairday. She would also like to thank all those who helped with her project.

Sumita Mitra

For her Gold Award project, Sumita Mitra thoroughly researched and gave presentations on four countries: France, Mexico, China, and India to kindergartners and first graders at the Altadena Public Library for a week. The presentation included the reading of a folk tale from each of the countries, and a making simple craft for the children to take home as a memento. The children also enjoyed learning to speak a few words from each national language in addition to viewing a cultural dance from India, learning and singing “La Bamba,” and listening to a traditional French song played on the viola by Sumita herself. Because Southern California is so ethnically diverse, Sumita wanted to do a project that would increase tolerance and awareness for other cultures in hopes that her young students will use their newfound knowledge to fight interracial tensions and promote open-mindedness throughout all their lives.

Sumita is a senior at La Cañada High School. Along with being in Girl Scouts, her activities include playing viola in the high school orchestra, of which she is also president, and the Crown City Chamber Players. Sumita is also sings in the high school Chamber Singers. Sumita has also been studying Indian Classical vocal for 11 years. Sumita is a member and president of the Gay-Straight Alliance to fulfill her life-long cause for tolerance. She has also been volunteering at the Huntington Hospital for the last three years.

Sumita would like to thank her parents, her brother, and her friends (and Puuchu) for their amazing support, help, and encouragement for her Gold Award and every day of her life. She would also like to thank her troop leaders Mrs. Abajian and Mrs. Andersen, the faculty at the Altadena Library, especially Mrs. Trinidad Komay, and Sumita’s wonderful students.

Devin Niebrugge

For her Gold Project, Devin selected to Braille and record books at the Braille Institute in Los Angeles. She chose four of her favorite Dr. Seuss books and collected class sets donated by friends, neighbors, bookstores, and the Braille Institute. Devin discovered that children needed not only books containing the raised Braille print, but also visual type so sighted parents or teachers could help the children learn to read. She typed, formatted and pasted the clear Braille overlays onto the print books, then recorded the books onto CDs so the children could also listen while they read. The brailled book sets were donated to public school classrooms where they could be available for blind children to enjoy along with their sighted classmates.

During her high school years, Devin has been busy with many activities. She has been is softball since her freshman year at Canyon High. She is also member of the Key Club, California Scholarship Federation and the National Honor Society. But her most rewarding extracurricular activities have been her involvement with the Braille Institute and the Foundation for the Junior Blind. With these organizations she has done a range of services from the mundane of separating books in the talking book library to being a camp counselor at Camp Bloomfield, a camp for blind or visually impaired children.

Devin would most importantly like to thank the employees at the Braille Institute who put in extra hours to help her complete her project, especially Carol Jimenez, Peter Mansinne, Richard Nazataryn and Vivian Green. She would also like to thank her leader Noli Caswell who helped put all the pieces of this project together, and her mother Nancy Niebrugge who gave Devin the confidence and the guts to go all the way. Lastly, Devin would like to thank the kids at Camp Bloomfield for their inspiration.

Denise Pang

Denise refurbished the 37’ x 20’garden at the Union Station Foundation (USF) Family Center in Pasadena as her Gold Project. She solicited 14 local nurseries for donations of plants, soil amendments, and fertilizers. Generous donations, amounting to $450, from Persson’s Nursery and five others were collected. With the help of her volunteers, she pulled out weeds, trimmed trees, tilled soil, propped up plants, and planted donated flowers and vegetables. She accented the garden with her own wheel thrown ceramic pottery. Denise presented the finished garden to the Family Center at a meeting for regular maintenance.

Denise attends Kent School in Connecticut. She won the Teacher Choice Award in advanced ceramics in the 9th grade. At Kent School she is president of the Kent Daily Update—the main Internet site used by Kent students, co-captain of intramural soccer, a JV squash player, a member of the Math Team, a fashion and sports writer for the Kent News, and a high honor roll student. For the past several years Denise has been volunteering at the USF and the La Cañada Tournament of Roses’ float. She has been listed in the 39th and 40th editions of Who’s Who among American High School Students. Denise plans to pursue a career in business and journalism.

Denise would like to thank Ms. Rochelle Sisco of USF for providing her the opportunity of working there and the support of her donors and volunteers—Tripp Sherrod, Rajan Moonsinghe, and Hilary Polley. The solicitation tips from Mrs. Evie Sherrod helped jump start the project. Her troop leader, Mrs. Susan Ratliff; and previous troop leader, Ms. Ann Mori, deserve special recognition for their tireless effort in their guidance and support throughout her twelve years in Girl Scouts. Lastly, she is thankful for having her mom’s assistance, prodding, and encouragement throughout this project.

Jessica Pih

Inspired by her love of reading, Jessica Pih designed and implemented a program to promote reading enjoyment at the New Horizons Family Center in South Glendale. Jessica devised a weeklong curriculum for four different age groups to help the children with reading. Each day the children read a short children’s book, participated in games, performed in front of a video camera, and completed a writing activity. By the end of the reading clinic, the children were thrilled to be “on television” and were more excited to read than ever!

Currently a sophomore at La Cañada High School, Jessica has been an active member of Girl Scouts since Daisies in kindergarten. In addition to Girl Scouts, Jessica serves on the LCHS ASB as Sophomore Class Treasurer and is a member of the Junior Statesmen of America. Jessica also plays soccer on the LCHS Girls Varsity Soccer team and plays year-round for Crescenta Valley Soccer Club. Academically, Jessica is a member of the National Honor Society and California Scholarship Federation. She is an active participant in the LA County Mock Trial Program, as well as Bridges. Off campus, she is an active member of her church. In her free time, Jessica enjoys eating, spending time with friends, scrapbooking, snowboarding, fishing, hiking, and horseback riding in the High Sierras. Of course, she also loves reading!

Jessica wishes to thank her Girl Scout leaders for their encouragement throughout 11 years of girl scouting; her first grade teacher, Mrs. Lantz, for her valuable advice; Rocio Bach and New Horizons Family Center for their support; and her fellow Girl Scouts, Remy, Abby, and Amanda. A special appreciation also goes to Nikki, Katie, Brittany, and Christine, who selflessly gave their time to help the children of New Horizons.

Sarah Ratliff

For her Gold Award Project, Sarah Ratliff made over 100 fleece scarves for the City of Hope Hospital and the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. She chose this project because the teen and children patients appreciate something warm to snuggle for comfort, especially during their hospital stay. To obtain the fleece needed to make the scarves, Sarah relied mostly on recycling, but also on generous donations. Her project started off with the help of Junior troop 584. They helped make 35 scarves in just two hours. Sarah continued to make scarves throughout the summer and donated half of the scarves to the City of Hope and half to the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. During the City of Hope tour, she came upon a treasure chest from which patients can select gifts. Sadly, it was empty. It was a particularly rewarding moment for her to fill the chest with the scarves for the children.

Sarah is a Junior at La Cañada High School. She has been a Girl Scout since she was a Kindergarten Daisy. In addition to earning the Silver Award, she has enjoyed hosting many LCGS events with her troop. She enjoys waterskiing, softball and photography. She also participates in community service such as decorating the La Cañada float for the Rose Parade and leading younger girls in La Cañada Day Camp.

Sarah would like to thank her Senior troop 599 for their friendship & support. She also thanks Beth Gordon and troop 584 for their immense help and donations. Additionally, she would like to thank Wendi Kelaris of the Children’s Hospital of L.A. and Tami Case of the City of Hope for receiving the donations and the hospital tour. Sarah would like to thank her parents, Brad and Susan Ratliff, for their support and encouragement throughout the duration of the project.

Courtney Sarian

For her gold award, Courtney chose to provide assistance to an outreach camp sponsored by the Armenian Evangelical Union of North America. The camp was in desperate need of recreational equipment. Courtney organized drives to obtain playground equipment, including basketballs and nets, footballs, soccer balls, volleyballs, handballs, softballs, tennis balls, tetherballs, whiffle balls, ping pong balls, rackets and nets. She also collected pool equipment, including squirt guns, water polo balls and foam-noodles, along with other supplies like board games, dominos and cards.

Courtney received the prestigious “Junior Business Woman of the Year” award at the 6th Annual Women in Business Luncheon and Awards Ceremony, sponsored by California x State Senatorial District 21, State Assembly District 43 and State Assembly District 44. Courtney was presented the award by state Senator Jack Scott, Assemblymember Carol Liu and Assembly Majority Leader Dario Frommer. Between running The Beaded Bookworm and maintaining her good grades, she is actively involved in a number of charity/civic endeavors, including National Charity League, and YMCA PILOT and Youth in Government programs. Courtney has been part of NCL for five years, donating approximately 100 hours per year of her time. She assists the elderly at Twelve Oaks Lodge, organizes and supports the Special Olympics and Tri-Valley Olympics, which are sporting events for the mentally / physically disadvantaged, participates in YWCA New Horizons, providing assistance to underprivileged children, and the YWCA Battered Women and Children program. Courtney has worked with the Salvation Army, boxing non-perishable food items, knitting hats and scarves for the underprivileged, and has assembled care packages for the Red Cross. Through these services, Courtney has earned NCL’s Ticktocker Service Award, Mission Bell Award, Hourglass Award, Yellow Rosebud Award and Heart of Gold Award.

“Thanks to my mother and to my Girl Scout Leader, Julie Shaull,” says Courtney.

Melissa Shimizu

For her Gold Award Project Melissa sewed almost forty walker bags for the children at California Children Services’s College View School. The students at College View usually need pediatric walkers due to neurological disabilities, such as cerebral palsy, and are unable to carry their belongings. In addition, she received donations and recycled to raise money to buy books, stuffed animals, and various toys to include in the walker bags.

Melissa has been an active member of Girl Scout troop 599. She has enjoyed spending time with her fellow troop members for the past eleven years. Girl Scouts has provided her with many great opportunities such as attending and being a counselor for various camps, traveling to San Francisco, and receiving her Silver Award.

Melissa is currently a junior at La Cañada High School. She belongs to Flipside (Current Events), Math Club, Spanish Club, Key Club, and PTSA. She is also a member of the California Scholarship Federation and the National Honor Society. Along with Girl Scouting, she volunteers at the Ronald McDonald House in Pasadena. This is her fourth year playing lacrosse with her varsity club team and is proud that her team was the Los Angeles Division Champion last year. She also loves to water ski and snow ski, which she has been doing since she was five. In addition, she is an intern at Assemblywoman Carol Liu’s office. She loves to travel and wishes to visit all seven continents. She hopes to attend Stanford University.

Melissa would like to extend a thank you to her friends, Sonsery Esquival at College View School, her Girl Scout leader Mrs. Ratliff, her grandmother for teaching her how to sew, her parents, and the rest of her family for their continuous support during her Gold Award.

Kelly Streeter

For Kelly’s Gold Award Project she chose to raise and socialize a yellow Labrador puppy, named Hibiscus, to be trained as a Guide dog for a blind or visually impaired person through Guide Dogs for the Blind. She had to read information, puppy sit, attend meetings and have inspections for 6 months before actually receiving Hibiscus. As part of the socialization training of a guide dog puppy, Kelly has been attending meetings and outings with the other members and puppies of her club, Pups to Partners. Together they have been to places like Downtown Disney, grocery stores, doctor offices, Descanso Gardens, Girl Scout meetings and many different restaurants. As part of her project, Kelly educated the public about Guide Dogs through visiting meetings and answering any questions people have about guide dogs. She was able to finance her project through donations received from the community and kept them involved through a website Kelly created.

Kelly has also taken Hibiscus to her many church activities. At La Cañada Presbyterian Church, Kelly is involved with High School small groups, the 24/7-student leadership team, Jr. High ministry and she leads a Jr. High small group of 8th grade girls. She has traveled to Mississippi and Tijuana on mission trips. Kelly has been a counselor at Forest Home church camp for elementary aged girls and a counselor at Girl Scout Day camp for three years. Kelly has played two years of both varsity soccer and softball for La Cañada High and played two years of club soccer with SGV Flyers. She has also traveled to Hawaii and Spain for soccer tournaments. Kelly also initiated the highly successful Girl Scout Santa’s Workshop.

Kelly would like to thank everyone who donated to her project, her mom and family for helping watch Hibiscus, and her puppy raiser group.  

Tia Strozier

The issue of domestic violence has gone unnoticed in today’s society for many reasons, the primary being that people of today’s society are simply not cognizant of this real threat. In addition, domestic violence is not addressed regularly on any level. Tia Strozier’s project aimed to help these young women who were victims of domestic violence and lacked personal care items. She assembled and distributed 150 canvas bags filled with personal care items donated by local companies including Trader Joe’s, Ralph’s, Vons, Kaiser Permanente, and community donors. Through her project, she developed a new understanding of Girl Scouts. It is the duty of a girl scout to serve as a sister to those girls in need and to educate society about controversial issues such as domestic violence. This is what she advocated through her Gold Project.

Tia has participated in a variety of extra curricular activities, ranging from classes at a junior college, to community service groups. She completed an internship during her junior year at the District Office of Carol Liu. This was an invigorating experience that has motivated her to pursue a career in law. She has also participated in USA Track & Field, competing in the shot put and race walk. During the summer of 2004, she attended the National Junior Olympics, held in Eugene, Oregon, where she ranked in 12th place for race walk. She is also the leader of a flute quartet and the drumline at La Cañada High School.

She would like to thank her mother, family and friends who have supported her work in scouting. She would like to thank my troop leaders for their dedication and commitment to Girl Scouts and to commend them for their efforts because they inspire young girls to help and serve their communities.

Keely Uhler

For her Gold Award project, Keely refurbished an outdoor basketball court at Camp Max Straus (CMS) in La Crescenta. Camp Max Straus is a summer camp and day program haven for underprivileged and abused children from inner-city L.A. While volunteering there for the past four years, she noticed that the court was very popular, yet in disrepair. First, she cleaned the court and then re-landscaped the area surrounding it. Next, she painted the court bright green and striped it according to regulation. Now, the kids attending camp can more fully enjoy their time on the court.

Keely, as a junior at La Cañada High School, is a member of the California Scholarship Federation and National Honor Society. She has participated in the ASB leadership class for the past three years and is currently serving as a prom commissioner. She has also enjoyed swimming and is on the Varsity swim team. Her Catholic faith plays a significant part in her life. She attends weekly Mass and after being confirmed last year, is now a teen leader for a group of younger teens. Keely works part-time at La Cañada Books and Toys. Her love of children, along with experience in her peer-counseling Bridge class, has led her to consider a career in child psychology, after graduating from a school like USC or Santa Clara University.

Keely would like to thank everyone who made her project possible, especially her many generous community contributors; Julie Shaull, her motivational Troop 273 leader; Sue Clairday, her wonderful project advisor; her Grandmother, mother and brother, who labored on the project. Most of all, she owes the project’s success to Pat Dunne, her dedicated uncle who lent his time and construction expertise.

Melissa Woodhouse

For her project, Melissa organized a tennis camp for thirteen under privileged children from the surrounding communities. Melissa led a two-hour clinic for the children each Saturday over a five week time period. Her students learned the fundamentals of tennis play and the rules of the game. As well as teaching the children how to play the sport, she also taught good sportsmanship, leading by example. On the last day of her camp she held an awards ceremony for her students, where they received a canister of balls, their own racket, a visor, a medal, and a picture of the camp. Keeping them active, Melissa also organized for the parents to watch their children’s improvement, while the children played games, and participated in contests.

Melissa is a sophomore at La Cañada High School, where she enjoys the Oxy-Science Bridges program. As the vice president of this group she helps organize and teach elementary aged students science labs. She also participates in French club, Junior Statesmen of America and was captain of the Junior Varsity Tennis team. Passionate about art, she is enrolled in the advanced art program at LCHS. Along with her various school activities, Melissa is an active member in her youth group at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Melissa would like to thank her parents, Girl Scout leaders, Mrs. deBrauwere and Mrs. Gartside, the many people who gave monetary donations, and the volunteers who helped her each Saturday of the camp.

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