Submitted by Sonia Estevez
Celine Chu and Francesca Holl, both Girl Scouts from Warren troop 65512, have earned the Congressional Award Bronze Certificate for outstanding contributions to their community and undertaking the values of initiative, service, and achievement. The Certificate is awarded by the US Senate and House of Representatives to young adults for setting goals and executing them in the areas of community service, personal development, physical fitness, and expedition.
They decided to start working on the award when they learned about volunteering at the SRAS (Somerset Regional Animal Shelter). “We knew we were committed to helping the animals at the shelter and that we were going to put in as many hours as needed”, said Francesca. “This is what got us started”, said Celine.
They have been going to the shelter for over a year and a half, and just got certified to handle dogs. To earn the award, the girls needed to set a goal for each category of the award: community service, personal development, and physical fitness. For personal development they each have taken extra curricular classes, and for physical fitness Celine worked on improving her golf skills, and Francesca her gymnastics skills. They said that the expedition requirement was very challenging.
“We had to plan an 8 hour day trip with a purpose, research the location, what to do, and how to get there. We had to do the trip and then report on what we did and saw. This was a bit intimidating, and we both learned that things do not always go as planned and we had to improvise”, said Francesca. “In the end, although challenging, it was a fun Certificate to work on and earn”, said Celine.
They are starting on the Silver Certificate now and they are hoping to also earn the Gold Certificate as well before they graduate from High School.
Celine Chu is a Junior at Watchung Regional High School. Francesca Holl is a Junior at Mount Saint Mary Academy.