Three Burke Catholic students earn prestigious Girl Scouts Gold Awards
Burke Catholic students Meghan Devenney, Searra Bell and Shannon Thornton (pictured left to right) were recently awarded the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest achievement a Girl Scout can attain.
GOSHEN — Three students from John S. Burke Catholic High School were recently awarded the Girl Scout Gold Award. This prestigious award is the highest achievement a Girl Scout can attain. In fact, only 5.4 percent of eligible Girl Scouts successfully earn the Gold Award. Searra Bell, Shannon Thornton and Meghan Devenney, received the award in recognition of community projects they undertook that will have a sustainable impact in their communities and beyond. Searra Bell Florida resident Bell, who will be studying architecture at the University of Notre Dame in the fall, renovated a Victorian bedroom in the Florida Historical Society’s Ray Green Homestead. Bell raised money through craft fairs and communicated with local businesses to receive donations. The renovations included removing and dry-walling the ceiling of the room, sanding, spackling, painting, wallpapering, installing trim, sewing velvet curtains by hand and arranging the furnishings with decorations and bedding. “The Gold Award project allowed me to discover my passions as well as develop skills necessary to excel in the future,” said Bell. “The Victorian bedroom, as well as other bedrooms I renovated within the house after my Gold Award project, will be on display for those who wish to visit in the future.” Shannon ThorntonThornton, a Goshen resident who will be studying criminology at the Catholic University of America, created a drop-off box at the Warwick ShopRite for the Warwick Valley Ecumenical Food Pantry. She raised money for the project by holding a yard sale and using money from past cookie sales. “I chose to build a food drop off box for the Warwick Valley Ecumenical Food Pantry because I have volunteered for Partners in Caring since I was a Daisy,” said Thornton. “The food drop-off box is not only a way for the food pantry to get donations, but also a way to raise awareness in the community. That has always been my mission.” Meghan DevenneyGoshen resident Devenney, who plans to study biomedicine in college, spearheaded project “Save the Bees Goshen, NY”. It involved raising awareness about bee endangerment by creating “bee motel” workshops. Girl Scout Troops and people from all over came together to create safe living spaces for solitary bees. Solitary bees live alone, not in hives, and do not make honey. According to Devenney, bee motels help solitary bees with resting, hibernating and nesting. “Solitary bees are one of the most important organisms on this planet since they pollinate over 80 percent of all flowering plants, including 70 of the top 100 human food crops,” said Devenney. “That is why I thought it was important to spread awareness of conservation by creating bee hotel kits through recycled old wood and buying nails by raising money through a garage sale.” 'Give us hope for the future'Burke Catholic High School Principal for Operations John Douthit said the school was very proud of the students’ achievement and what it said about their commitment to their communities. “At Burke Catholic, we pride ourselves for providing a rigorous education even as we instill Christian values and a sense of civic responsibility in students,” said Douthit. “These Gold Award winners are an example of the best in our society and give us hope for the future.”