CICERO, N.Y. (WWTI) — Several local teens have been honored with the highest award from the Girl Scouts.

The Girl Scouts of NYPENN Pathways Council has announced its Class of 2021 Gold Award Girl Scouts, which included 21 members from across the North Country and New York State.

According to the Council, all recipients were awarded based on projects they completed in the past year, all focused on creating “lasting change in their communities.” Many of these Girl Scouts began their projects in 2019 and early 2020 but had to readjust plans due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I am inspired by the dedication, commitment and perseverance of our Class of 2021 Gold Award Girl Scouts,” GSNYPENN CEO Julie Dale said in a press release. “I’m especially proud of those Girl Scouts who had to overcome additional challenges created by the pandemic to earn this prestigious honor. Each embodies our Mission, Promise, and Law, and has completed a project with true lasting impact.”

NYPENN stated that the Gold Award itself stands for “excellence and leadership for girls everywhere.” It’s also noted as the highest and most prestigious award that Girl Scouts in the Senior and Ambassador levels can earn.

In the 2021 Class, Alexia Michitti of Vestel, New York was awarded an inaugural Girl Scout of the USA Gold Award Scholarship. This was for her project titled, “Becoming Your Best Self,” which created an organization that spreads positive messages on social media.

Additional scholarship recipients included Alex Shaffer from Cortland who received the Marie Hepworth Scholarship for their project “Purple Pantry, Kynzee Sethi of Binghamton who earned the Kelly Perkins Scholarship for the project titled, “The Pandemic Records” and Katelyn Sonnen from Vestel who was given the Kerrie Black Scholarship for the project “Blast Into Science.”

A full list of the Girl Scouts of NYPENN Pathways Council Class of 2021 Gold Awards is listed below. Each Girl Scout is named with their Take Action Project.”

  • Hallie Bain, Alexandria Bay, “Me in the Mirror”
  • Alicia Baldwin, Baldwinsville, “Veterans Food Pantry Renovation”
  • Miah Barnard, Vestal, “A Headling Garden for Cancer Patients”
  • Nicola Diluzio, Vestal, “Large Animal Rescue Horse Trailer”
  • Rachel Duggan, Syracuse, “St. Joseph’s Little Free Library”
  • Zoe Gates, Harpursville, “Golden Dancers”
  • Mia Gaylord, Vestal, “Girls Golf: A Game Changer”
  • Abigail Herrington, Pompey, “Learning Ecosystem”
  • Sara Kelly, Camillus, “Dance is for Everyone”
  • Audra McFarland, Owego, “Hometown Harvest”
  • Alexia Michitti, Vestal, “Becoming Your Best Self– 13PosiTV”
  • Madison Milheim, Mansfield, PA, “At-Home Olympic Village and Volunteer Awareness”
  • Addision Moore, Locke, “Moravia Farmer’s Market”
  • Miranda Rogers, Binghamtom, “AED for Hillcrest Ogden Mehtodist Church”
  • Kynzee Sethi, Binghamton, “The Pandemic Records”
  • Alex Shaffer, Cortland, “Purple Pantry”
  • Lexi Snell, Clay, “Colorful Wings”
  • Katelyn Sonnen, Vestel, “Blast Into Science”
  • Mercedes Stiner, Conklin, “Tools for Tomorrow”
  • Lyndsey Wright, Phelps, “Eagles Nest”
  • Elaina Wainwright, Rennsselaer Falls, “The Bee’s Knees”

Many of these Girl Scouts have been lifelong members. Girl Scouts serves girls in grades kindergarten through 12. GSNYPENN is chartered by Girl Scouts of the USA to administer the Girl Scout program in 24 counties of New York and two in Pennsylvania