Wantagh’s Girl Scout Gold Award Recipients

Meghan Tucker, Associate Editor

The Girl Scout Gold Award is the highest achievement you can obtain for the organization and recently two of Wantagh’s very own became recipients. Angelina Bendetti and Nicole Tobia, seniors at Wantagh High School, have been Girl Scouts since kindergarten and have worked extremely hard throughout the years to earn the Bronze, Silver, and now Gold Award.

One of the requirements to receive this prestigious award is to create a proposal to help your community on an issue you care about with your plans to address it.  

Angelina Bendetti’s project, “Get in the Game,” focuses on expanding the girls’ volleyball team’s exposure to other players and tournament experiences outside of their own community. She said, “After playing for the high school volleyball team, I learned that one year the varsity team went to another state to participate in a tournament. They learned about other states, college exposure, teamwork, and looking outside their community. They lived together for a weekend and learned how to work as one team. This led to an outstanding volleyball season that led to a NY State Championship. This experience was so amazing and I want to make it a bi-annual event where the team captains arrange and execute the plan for the varsity team to attend a tournament in another state.”

She plans to create a guidebook to lay out a step by step procedure for team captains to carry out that plan once every two years. “This experience encourages students to pursue a sport in college, and will give them good exposure to what life is like for a collegiate athlete.” Bendetti will be attending University of Minnesota in the fall and is looking to play intramural volleyball.

Nicole Tobia’s project, “Knowledge is Power,” focuses on the lack of academic resources provided to foster children. Tobia shared, “I recognized this problem as something that was urgent and immediately decided I wanted to do something about these children who do not have access to study materials for SAT, ACT, Regents, and AP exams. Because they don’t have the funds to purchase these items, they can be at a disadvantage, so I decided to start a collection throughout my school collecting review books and creating podcasts on a tablet that I put in the library I created for them. Each episode was a different topic regarding the college application process and everything leading up to it, hopefully aiding these children in this stressful time in their life.” In addition to this, she held seminars for Wantagh as well as neighboring towns where she broke down SAT/ACT waivers, how to begin the Common Application, and more. Tobia is unsure where she will be attending college next year, but she will be studying journalism.

Simply saying that there will be progress and change within a community is nothing without brave students taking action. Angelina Bendetti and Nicole Tobia have successfully fulfilled the role of what it means to be a Girl Scout and it is clearly shown through these efforts for positive change. According to the official Girl Scout organization, the Gold Award is awarded to fewer than 6% of Girl Scouts annually. That being said, this is a tremendous achievement that both girls should be extremely proud of.