Friday, June 19, 2009

Gold Awards by Guest Blogger, Donna Rivera-Downey

Sunday, I attended the Girl Scouts of Nassau County Gold Award Ceremony. As the Director of Marketing, this event is full of anxiety for me. I worry that everything is going to go right. Are the Gold Award Recipients and their families going to think the day was special? Will all the media presentations run without a hitch? Will enough Chorus members show up so we can do the planned repertoire? These are just details.
This anxiety is always overshadowed by the other emotions I feel on this day. I am filled with pride for all the accomplishments of the girls we honor at this event. Yesterday it was 74 young women. I am filled with wonder at how many people they have helped through their projects. They are the cream of the crop in the Girl Scout world but they represent all the 22,000 girls in Nassau County on this day. I am curious about where these girls will be in five years. At the ceremony Danielle D’Ambrioso answered that question as the keynote speaker and a 2004 Gold Award Recipient. She is now an alumna of Babson College and has a career in Commercial Real Estate.
A tradition at our ceremony is to acknowledge past recipients in the audience, as I watched these women rise I thought “What are they doing now?” Some of them have keep in contact with us and so I know that Malorie Mendoza is attending SUNY Stony Brook as a pre-med student. Or Erin Stark is studying to be a massage therapist. Or Catherine Azzara, who is the director of our Chorus, is now a Speech Pathologist. But what about the other women who have earned this award, where are they now?  What are they doing?
If you know a young woman who has earned her Gold Award in Nassau County, we want to hear from her. If you know a woman who has earned her First Class or Curved Bar we want to reconnect with her. If you know a woman who earned her Golden Eaglet we really want to get her Girl Scout story before it is lost forever. (The First Class, Curved Bar and Golden Eaglet were the highest award a Girl Scout could earn prior to the Gold Award.)
YOU can re-connect with Girl Scouts of Nassau County by visiting our website at and tell us your story.


Donna Rivera-Downey is the Director, Marketing for Girl Scouts of Nassau County. She became a professional Girl Scout in 2001 after 22 years in retail banking. A life-long Girl Scout who volunteered her time as a Girl Scout Leader for her daughter. Donna is active in the Hicksville-Jericho Rotary and serve as a trustee on the board of the Hicksville Public Library and Public Relation Professional of Long Island. 

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations to you and the rest of the staff at GSNC! You all inspire girls to do their best and are perfect role models! Thanks for sharing this post with us.

    I've attended quite a few of the Gold Award Ceremonies and they have been so moving. The girls are committed to bettering the community and that's what Girl Scouts is all about...