Thursday, November 19, 2009

Going for the Gold

In Endwell, NY, Maine-Endwell High School Junior Hannah Valentine is working to achieve the highest honor in Girl Scouting, the Gold Award, by bringing good things out of a tragic situation.

On April 4 of this year, A gunman in Binghampton, NY, barricaded the back door of the American Civic Association community center with his car and then opened fire on a room of immigrants taking a citizenship class, killing 13 people before committing suicide. Among those was Almir Alves - from Brazil - in the U.S. doing post-doctorate work at Binghamton University.

After the tragedy at the American Civic Association earlier this year, Valentine had the idea of having 4th graders at Homer Brink Elementary write to students in the hometown where Alves lived. Speaking to News Channel 34 in Binghampton, Valentine said, "I thought about something that I wanted to do and accomplish with my project. I knew something that was important to me was spreading awareness and making people aware of diversity. Also, I wanted to help people in need. I knew that the children in Brazil live in an impoverished area."

Make sure you check out Hannah's inspiring project and, while you're at it, let us know of any Gold Award projects in your communities that inspire you.