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Local Girl Scout A Regional Winner for Bronze Award Service Project

Through her Scouting service project, this Whiz Kid learned about the needs of others in her community, and about the ways she could be part of the solution.

Who: Catherine Gorey

School: Middlesex Middle School

Age: 12

Achievement: When Catherine set out to earn the Bronze Award as a Junior Girl Scout with Troop 50815, she sought the advice of her troop leader, Martha Odell and her mother, Cynthia.

With their guidance, she settled on helping lower income families in Norwalk, Darien and New Canaan. Specifically, her efforts involved collecting diapers and wipes for distribution by the Junior League of Stamford Norwalk, who assist families identified by .

Catherine swims competitively at the , and so it was a natural choice as one of her collection sites, and it's where she says a large number of the over 1,000 diapers she donated were collected.

A visit with her troop to the , located at , gave Gorey insight into another need of lower income residents, and gave her project another way to help families in need with young children.

"A lot of times, food banks have canned vegetables," she explained. She learned that at the New Canaan Food Pantry a vegetable garden had been established at St. Mark's to provide fresh produce to the Pantry's clients.

Catherine pitched in at the garden, planting, weeding and harvesting fresh vegetables. "It was hard at first, but then I learned ... the people there were very helpful," she said. 

In planning and executing her collection sites, and working at the Food Pantry, she, "learned that simple things, like getting diapers, wipes and fresh vegetables," can make a real difference. 

Not only was her work recognized with the Bronze Award by the Girl Scouts, but her Scout Leader suggested that she be submitted as a nominee for the Kohl's Cares Scholarship Program and she was chosen as one of 35 store level winners in Connecticut.

From that group, she was one of four selected to move to the next level as a regional winner, for which she received a $1,000 college scholarship and a Kohl's gift card.

Key to Awesomeness: In addition to Scouting, Catherine swims year round, through the New Canaan Y and her swim club. 

Another interest is writing. As she explains, "I write a lot of short stories ... I like to write about things that happen every day, mostly happy things."

Patch wanted to know, does she plan to continue with Scouting? She does. The next steps after the Bronze Award are Silver and Gold, and according to Catherine, "a big goal of mine is to earn all three."

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