Girl Scouts recognize local scout’s achievements

Girl Scout Taylor Henzler was presented her Gold Award by mentor Ann Kim at the recent ceremony honoring achievement. Photo by Tom Steiner for The Citizen

Girl Scouts of Western Pennsylvania has presented Taylor Henzler the Gold Award, the organization’s highest recognition of achievement.

The recent presentation ceremony honored 44 scouts for projects focusing upon helping others in their communities and schools.

Taylor’s project addressed the need to provide extra academic assistance for Avonworth High School students. She structured “The Café,” an after-school tutoring and mentoring program held twice a week in the school cafeteria, where students seeking extra help can stay and work with teachers or other students.

Guidance counselors Nicole Levis and Dave Como gave Taylor high marks for her efforts.

“She did it all,” said Levis. “She organized everything, from getting fellow students to help her to planning the food. It helped many students.”

Como also spoke of the value of the project. “On our busiest days, we saw the pride on her face and she made it enjoyable for all. Her managerial skills with tutors, faculty and students being tutored were beyond her years. Taylor genuinely tried to make a difference.”

Taylor believes that the project, as a whole, was successful.

“It was obvious, because most kids returned each week. Also, the fact that teachers would stop me in the hall to let me know how their students have improved and that they hoped the program would be around after I graduated made me believe ‘The Café’ was a great success,” Taylor said.

Kevin Crawford, a freshman, described his tutoring experiences. “I went three to four times to work on math homework. The seniors were good to work with. They understood why I was having trouble and they taught me different ways to solve the problems.”

Taylor has arranged for her project to continue after she graduates next month, having already laid the groundwork to assure that the program will continue in years to come by selecting underclass students to lead the program.

A Girl Scout member for 10 years, Taylor was supported in her Gold Award effort by fellow students Kelly Nicol, Gene Williams, Spencer Nicol, Lydia George, Lyndsey Costa, Emily Muto and Hillary Steffes, along with Mary Hricik, who tutored in math and Latin and helped to prepare the food.

“The kids that I tutored gave me positive feedback and told me that their grades went up. They also enjoyed the snacks!” Mary said.

The daughter of Gary and Annette Henzler of Ben Avon Heights, Taylor will attend Penn State University in September.

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