Recent recipients of Girl Scout Gold Award are pictured above. In the front row are Sheetal Mohanty, Srushti Ghone, Caroline Cardinale and Julia Hu. In the middle are Priya Kothari, Ishneet Sachar, Christine Rexroad and Simran Patel. At rear are Natasha Southerland (a Girl Scouts of Central & Southern N.J. staff member), Veda Donthireddy and Anesha Nadella.

Ninety-four West Windsor-Plainsboro Girl Scouts were recently awarded gold, silver and bronze awards for their outstanding service to the community.

Assemblyman Daniel Benson, West Windsor Mayor Shing-Fu Hsueh, Plainsboro Deputy Mayor Neil J. Lewis, and WW-P school board president Anthony Fleres spoke at the award ceremony and congratulated the girls on their accomplishments.

The following girls were awarded the Girl Scout Gold Award, which is the highest award that high school aged Girl Scouts can achieve.

Priya Kothari, a senior at WW-P High School North was awarded a gold award for her project titled “Cyber Connections.” She addressed the loneliness that seniors who live in care centers often experience because of not having regular connection with family and friends. Kothari taught the residents of the Elms of Cranbury to how to use email and video chat. As part of this project, she donated two Chromebooks to the Elms of Cranbury. Her advisors were Arti Khatri and Yuki Faison.

Sheetal Mohanty, a senior at WW-P High School South, was awarded a gold award for her project, “Aiding Those in Need: Domestic Violence and its Ramifications.” Her project addressed the issue of domestic violence by raising awareness, teaching younger girls about unhealthy behavior, aiding those who were victims and making a difference in her community. Mohanty gave presentations at the library, focusing on girls who were 8 to 10 years old. She also ran an event in her high school to collect food for the shelter and raise awareness. She handed out fliers and other items at public events to get the conversation going and to make sure they were aware of the resources they had at their disposal. Her advisors were Arti Khatri and Kathleen Cicciotelli.

Ishneet Sachar, a senior at WW-P High School North, was awarded a gold award for her project, “Computers with Seniors.” Her project addressed the issue of declining memory by educating seniors about technology. She taught seniors how to use technology by helping them learn how to check social media accounts, set up Skype to connect with family, read the news and play games. She also created her own game using JAVA that helped with memory and concentration. Her advisors were Lucinda Cochrane and Christina Sylvain.

Srushti Ghone, a senior at WW-P High School South, was awarded a gold award for her project, “Art 2 Blossom.” She taught art to the unfortunate and at-risk children at the Cherry Tree Club. The goal of the project was to improve their emotional health and solve other issues by directing their energy into art. The children gained several skills such as improving upon their ability to hold drawing tools, finding new ways to express themselves, social skills and developing a knowledge of the objects in the world by exploring the art materials. Her advisors were Linda Baumann and Wendy Schutzer.

Caroline Cardinale, a senior at the Hun School of Princeton, was awarded a gold award for her project, “Jr. FLL Robotics Team for the New Jersey School for the Deaf.” Cardinale created a FIRST Jr. FLL robotics program and coached a team for the New Jersey School for the Deaf during the 2015-2016 Waste-Wise challenge. A grant was obtained from the local MIT Alumni Club for equipment and materials. Elementary age students at this school learned about simple machines, engineering, programming and created a model and research project about recycling plastic bags. They went to a Jr. FLL Expo and won the “Explosive Minds” award. The program will be continued by the staff at the school. Her advisors were Helen Rancan and Jill Adomat.

Julia Y. Hu, a senior at the Peddie School, was awarded a gold award for her project, “English as a Second Language: Teaching and Helping Seniors at Wheaton Pointe.” She initiated and designed an English as a second language class for seniors living in the senior housing development Wheaton Pointe at East Windsor. Over the course of a year, she taught 17 classes and translated their monthly resident meeting minutes and announcements. She also organized music events and bingo games for the seniors. Her advisors were Jan Cardinale and Katherine Desch.

Veda S. Donthireddy, a senior at WW-P High School North, was awarded a gold award for her project, “Unified Relay.” She organized a fun 2K Unified Relay event that was held this past summer at West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North. The Unified Relay event trained approximately 40 athletes with or without intellectual disabilities to participate and experience sports training and competition. A total of six practices, including relay run races and games were organized to let the athletes work together as teammates. This successful event provided awareness of the Special Olympics’ fast growing initiative “Unified Sports” in the West Windsor- Plainsboro School District community and will serve as a model to build a Unified Sports team in the school district. Her advisors were Jan Cardinale and Susan Colacello.

Anesha Nadella, a senior at WW-P High School South, was awarded a gold award for her project, “Art of Speaking.” She addressed the importance of public speaking for young children. Public speaking is such an important factor in determining one’s success, but does not get enough attention in the school curriculum. This project was run during the summer of 2016, benefiting kids ages 9 to 14. Nadella hosted her workshop in the Hightstown library. Her advisors were Michele Farrell and Elizabeth Hughes.

Simran Patel, a junior at WW-P High School North, was awarded a gold award for her project, “Camp Cultural.” She taught “Camp Cultural” at the Urban Promise summer camp in Trenton, where many kids don’t have the opportunity to travel to other countries or have any knowledge about issues in the world around them. The children learned about various cultures around the world through lessons, games and food from other countries. She hopes that teaching these kids about different cultures and their practices will allow the children to be more knowledgeable about the world around them and more accepting of people of different backgrounds. Her advisors were Shari Rexroad and Georgia Koenig.

Christine Marie Rexroad, a junior a t WW-P High School North, was awarded a gold award for her project, “Dance, Fitness and Fun Foods.” Rexroad combined her love of dance with her concern for the health and welfare of children, especially those who may be less fortunate. This summer she created a program for Urban Promise Trenton to teach children various dance styles, exercises and stretches, recipes for healthy snacks, and the importance of drinking water to stay healthy. She provided the children with reusable water bottles and yoga mats for the center to keep and use with future programs, created a Health Book with information on all she taught, and created a recipe booklet for each child to use at home. The children gained a new appreciation for dance, exercise and healthy eating, and especially enjoyed performing group dances for one another at the end of the program. Her advisors were Deborah Yaffe and Demary Caraballo.

The following girls earned Silver awards, which is the highest award that a cadette Girl Scout can earn.

Troop 70629 (leaders Mary Beth Bardachino and Shambhavi Sakrikar): Grace Parker Bardachino for her project, “It Just Takes ONE,” Veepra Mishra for her project, “Educational Art for Better Beginnings,” Maeher Laroia for her project, “Booked” and Rasali Sanara Kodikara for her project, “Beautification of a Public Interest Place.”

Troop 70698 (leaders Catherine Zandonella and Rose Lee): Marie Fanta and Sarah Hu for “Cooking Classes for the Disabled,” Melissa Logan and Kaitlyn Yu for “Outdoor Classroom and Courtyard Beautification Project,” Megha Senthil for “Scrapbooking with the Seniors,” Puja Vengadasalam for “Ten on Ten: Spreading Awareness about Indian Culture” and Jiya Wit for “Enhance Library Organization and Reading Opportunities for Seniors at West Windsor Senior Center.”

Troop 70935 (leaders Wendy Adams, Jill Raday, and Kathleen Moriarty): Natalie Raday and Madeleine Zullow for “Recycling: Let’s Make it a Habit” and Jeanette Ciara Smith for “Books & Beyond.”

Troop 71110 (leader Debi Vivona): Rosina Ananth and Anisha Chakraborty for “Re-Modeling Teacher’s Lounge,” Sara Furtak for “Road, Bus, and Bike Safety,” Jessie Liang and Sunny Hu for “Debate Workshop,” Nitya Narayanan and Vicky Lieu for “First Aid Workshop,” Anika Shenoy for “Nutrition and Exercise Awareness,” Sayli Sonsurkar for “Get Game Ready,” Amy Torres and Maddalena Vivona for “The Family Camp Adventure” and Vaishnavi Tunuguntla for “Fun with Science.”

Troop 71895 (leaders Mini Bagga, Zenith Mohsin and Sangeeta Warier): Krisha Bagga, Anusha Banerjee and Ruhee Damle for “The Perfect Park,” Ameera Chaudhry and Swati Warier for “Say No To Bullying,” Drishti Devnani and Shivani Srivastava for “The Approach to Healthy Living” and Renuka Ravinder for “Game Time.”

Troop 71915 (leaders Tiffanie Pfaltzgraff, and Sridevi Mallem): Sreya Boddapati for “Fun Activities Children’s Health Magazine,” Sejal Madan for “Dementia Awareness,” Srujana Mallem for “Wood Creations,” Aubrianna Pfaltzgraff for “Cooking with Seniors” and Simran Salem for “The Truth About Diabetes.”

The following girls were awarded the Bronze award, which is the highest award that a junior scout can achieve.

Troop 70052 (leaders Elizabeth George-Cheniara and Shalini Jain): Naina M. Cheniara, Ana Fitzgerald, Jahnavi Gupta, Ashrita Kollipara, Tara M. Konzelmann, Diya Patil, Jacqueline Lily Qin, Yiting Qiu, Janani Rajan, Serena Sethi, Naomi Sheth, Emily T. Storino, and Selena Wu for their project to “Support the WWP Girl Scout Service Unit Programs.”

Troop 70056 (leaders Jyothi Alluri and Ishwarya Pabbathi): Shreya Dandu, Deeptha Jayaraman, Sophia Jean-Jacques, Sriya Sai Pavani Jonnadula, Diya Roshan Kumar, Aria Mallick, Tanvi Pabbathi, and Roshni Sharma for their project, “Saving Ash Trees in West Windsor Township”; and Ektha Bhardwaj, Adwika Mohan, and Spandana Rao for their project, “Babysitting for the Service Unit.”

Troop 71807 (leaders Kristin Epstein and Joanna Partridge): Aarushi Bansal, Anushri Dwivedi, Madeline Epstein, Caitrin Greene, Erin Hendrickson, Summer Partridge, Apsara Saraswat, Amy Siby, Rokaya Siby, and Julia Weiss for their project, “Reducing Litter in West Windsor through Action and Education.”

Troop 71896 (leaders Tiffanie Pfaltzgraff, Melissa Held and Saiju Patel): Tanvi S. Damerla, Jessica Held, Cayla Lemkin, Sachi Javeri, Jahlia M. Johnson, Aru Kakar, Riya Karukapily, Malak Patel, Kirstin Pfaltzgraff, Nirali Sanghvi, and Tapsi Suryawanshi for their project, “Outdoor Adventures.”

Also, two girls were awarded the Distinguished Girl Scout Service Award for their service to the Girl Scout community. Caroline Cardinale received the award primarily for helping to run Junior First Lego League teams for Girl Scouts troops, and for helping to organize two summer robotics programs for Girl Scouts of Jersey Shore. Rhea Khatri received the award for helping to run a brownie troop for two years, plus helping to run a Junior First Lego League team. Both girls have special roles with Girl Scouts of Central and Southern New Jersey. Cardinale is a girl ambassador member of the Board of Directors. Khatri is a member of the WWP Gold/Silver Award Review Committee, that reviews and approves silver/gold award projects.

Upcycling for a cause

Three local Girl Scouts—Natasha Kanitkar, Isha Patlola and Neha Taligeri—are hard at work on their Silver Award Project, “Upcycling For a Better Cause.” The main purpose of the project is to teach others in the community about the value of upcycling unwanted clothing.

The clothes will be distributing it to the Rescue Mission of Trenton, which donates clothing and supplies to the needy.

The project took place over the course of last summer and included six workshops to spread the idea of upcycling at locations such as the West Windsor Farmer’s Market to the the bistro in McCaffrey’s supermarket.

“We chose this project for two reasons,” said Kanitkar. “The first was because we all shared a love for designing and wanted to expose our community to our hobby. It was a completely new concept to them since nobody had previously held any workshops to teach people you could reuse the clothing you wanted to disccard. The second was because we wanted to show people through our project that by donating to the Rescue Mission of Trenton, you really could take something you would discard and actually reuse and even benefit someone else.”