Wed. Jun 7th, 2023

With graduation roughly two weeks away, 3 La Jolla Higher College seniors have accomplished an additional purpose they’ve been functioning toward: the Girl Scout Gold Award.

Ashlyn Brunette, Sophie Hochberg and Samantha Ponticello have completed projects for the Gold Award, the highest honor in Girl Scouts, which needs every single girl who attempts it to determine a issue, strategize a strategy to address it and conduct 80 hours of neighborhood service to execute the strategy.

The 3 girls — every single of whom has been in Girl Scouts considering the fact that kindergarten — also had to perform with a mentor, place with each other and lead a group and create a final report on their projects.

“There’s a lot of leadership and teamwork involved,” Hochberg stated.

The awards ceremony is in June.

Ashlyn Brunette

To earn her Gold Award, Brunette presented a lacrosse camp for about 50 elementary- and middle college-age girls in her neighborhood following obtaining that in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, kids she babysat felt isolated from close friends.

“[Their] parents have been noticing these unfavorable mental well being effects,” Brunette stated.

She targeted the lacrosse camp for girls close to “the age exactly where I was joining sports teams and meeting new folks,” she stated. The girls have been “missing a important time [for] joining sports.”

The camp taught lacrosse fundamentals and presented “sit-down conversations with the girls about fundamental elements of mental well being, like help groups, pressure, managing time” and additional, Brunette stated.

Brunette, who played lacrosse for La Jolla Higher, stated she received constructive feedback from parents and plans to repeat the camp this summer time prior to she leaves to attend UCLA.

Sophie Hochberg

Hochberg, who will attend Vanderbilt University, is interested in majoring in psychology and wanted to strategy her Gold Award project in that field, tying in her adore of ice skating.

The outcome was a “mental well being boot camp” for student-athletes.

“I realized that mental illness for sports players … is not a thing that is actually addressed as a society,” she stated.

Hochberg gathered a sports psychologist, a meditation instructor and a nutritionist to speak to a group of about 25 of her peers about mental illness particularly for student-athletes — which includes techniques to cope with and overcome it.

“Everyone talked about their personal experiences if they wanted,” she stated.

Hochberg shared the data for 4 weeks at a booth at the La Jolla Open Aire Marketplace, providing out pamphlets with a summary of the suggestions gleaned at the camp.

Samantha Ponticello

Ponticello developed a internet site to guide folks following a loved a single suffers a stroke.

The website,, includes ideas for identifying the indicators of a stroke and suggestions for assisting somebody by means of the healing course of action.

Ponticello was moved to get started the project following her grandmother had a stroke.

The internet site consists of all the things Ponticello and her household discovered following the stroke, along with data from a stroke help individual.

She also hosted a booth at the Open Aire Marketplace to aid educate folks about the indicators of a stroke and produced posters illustrating the acronym Rapidly for face drooping, arm weakness, speech difficulty and time to get in touch with 911.

“I place these about La Jolla for folks to see,” she stated.

Ponticello stated stroke victims and their household members would method her at the marketplace to create down the internet site address.

Ponticello, who will attend Syracuse University, stated she will update the internet site as she learns additional. ◆

By Editor

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