Kids learn about America's pastime at Jennersville YMCA

Photo by Brad Spahr

Local Girl Scout, Stephanie Kalena Bernasconi, received the Congressional Gold Medal Award in a ceremony at the Capitol in Washington, DC. This award is the highest award given to young Americans by the U.S. Congress.

The Award inspires youth to set and achieve goals in volunteer service, personal development, physical fitness and expedition activities.

Ms. Bernasconi provided over 650 hours of volunteer service for the Chadds Ford Historical Society, the Brandywine Valley Girl Scout Service Unit, the Ashland Nature Center, the Delaware Nature Society and the West Chester YWCA. Her personal development was in the area of Space Science and astronomy. Physical fitness included her successes on the volleyball and tennis school teams. Her expedition was a 7 day trip studying the unique geological sights of Iceland. Kathy Harrison, Stephanie's Girl Scout leader of her Troop 4619 served as her advisor. The United States Congress established the Congressional Award in 1979 to recognize initiative, service and achievement in young people.

Ms. Bernasconi spent a week in Washington DC attending seminars on leadership and public service, as well as, experiencing the many opportunities of the nation's Capitol. In addition to meeting Linda Ellerbee, who hosted the U.S. Congressional Gold Award Ceremony, Stephanie was able to meet Nick Cannon, Jimmie Lee Solomon, Hugh O'Brien and her Congressional Representative, the Honorable Joseph Pitts.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House of Representatives: "The Congressional Award provides an opportunity to recognize the hard work and dedication of America's young people who have made the commitment to bettering themselves and their communities."

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