Tappan Zee High School senior Kelcie Loperfido began Girl Scouts with a Daisies troop in kindergarten; this year, she earned her Gold Award, the program’s highest and most prestigious recognition. Awarded to fewer than six percent of Girl Scouts annually, the Gold Award recognizes girls in grades 9-12 who have planned and implemented projects in their communities.
“My Gold Award project is called ‘Painting Positivity,’” says Loperfido, whose mural hangs in the entry of a girls restroom. “I painted a self-empowerment mural at Cottage Lane Elementary School and hosted different events related to the topic. While scrolling through Facebook, I saw that a school in Texas did something similar and decided to reach out. They had nothing but positive feedback, so I decided to bring this project to Cottage Lane based on my own experience there. I had a really hard time with self-confidence when I was younger, especially just before middle school. I wanted to help give students a boost in their confidence and thought Cottage Lane would be the perfect fit.”
Scouting has provided Loperfido with an abundance of opportunities to connect with others across the Hudson Valley and to serve. Over the past 10 years, she has been both a camper and staff member at Camp Addison Boyce and Rock Hill Camp and volunteered with Girls Scouts Heart of the Hudson.
“The sense of adventure that scouting has to offer has kept me engaged all throughout high school,” notes Loperfido who, as a graduating Girl Scout Ambassador, will become a Lifetime Member in June. “Since I spend my entire summer in the outdoors, each day brings something new. I get to try new hikes and see different wildlife while lifeguarding out on the lake. The best part about it is that I get to tackle every new adventure with my best friends.”
This love of nature cultivated through scouting has informed Loperfido’s decision making for college and career. “I will be attending SUNY Fredonia’s Adolescence Education Earth Science program and swimming for the school, as well. I have always wanted to be a teacher and I wanted to tie in everything I love about nature into a classroom setting. After a lot of research, I decided Earth Science was the best choice.”
Loperfido expressed gratitude for the help and support she’s received over the years. “I would like to thank all my teachers I have had along the way and everyone at SOCSD who helped make this project possible.”