Isabella Sapio, a Girl Scout with Pine Bush Troop 00610, recently won a $4,000 scholarship from Shop Rite and Dove as a “Dove Right On Girl”, for outstanding community service.
Isabella started doing community service at a young age. “I can remember placing cans in food baskets at the holidays and thinking it was fun.” Now, Isabella is actively involved in her community – helping out at the library sorting books, running food drives, and acting as an altar server at her church as well as singing in the church choir. However, the service project of which she is most proud is her Silver Award project: Teens Against Tobacco Use.
“I was working in a group and we spent weeks picking a topic. We finally realized we all loved our town park, but people smoke there. We thought, well maybe we can change something about that. We looked into changing laws, and found that we could designate certain areas as smoke free,” explains Isabella when asked about how the project came to be.
“I’m using my voice now to speak for those little ones that feel the same way I do. I have lobbied to NYS Government Officials in Albany for tobacco control and increase funding for those that want to quit smoking. As a result of working with POW’R Against Tobacco and contributing 75+ hours to this project, the first law of 2015 was created in my hometown that banned smoking within 50 feet of any recreational area such as playgrounds, ball fields, pavilions, and town owned structures and could be subjected to fines.”
The scholarship celebrates teenage girls for giving back to their communities and encourages them to continue to work towards their dreams and be all that they can be! Isabella was honored alongside 3 other recipients, one from each New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware at a Ceremony this Spring. Each recipient got to give a speech about why they like volunteer service. “They presented us with a large check; I felt like I was on Ellen.”
When asked what she gained from her community service Isabella replied:
“I get to know that I was able to make someone’s life better. One person makes a difference … I wasn’t sitting at home. I was out making the world a better place. And that’s rewarding. The feeling you get is amazing.”
Her advice to others who want to make a difference? “Anything you do makes a difference, big or small. Little things are just as great. Donating 2-3 cans of food is a start. And ‘starts’ are great. Everything counts. Everything.”
Want to see more of the awesome things Girl Scouts are doing? Check them out!