Oceanside's Emma DeFrancesco earns the most prestigious Girl Scouts award


Emma DeFrancesco of Oceanside was one of 55 Girl Scouts in the Nassau County organization who became part of the 2023 Girl Scout Gold Award class.

These Scouts made a sustainable impact, addressing causes they care about in their communities.

“Each of the Girl Scouts who earned their Gold Award this year showed fortitude, diligence and enthusiasm in creating and executing a plan to act on a societal issue,” said Randell Bynum, chief executive of Girl Scouts of Nassau County, in a release. “We are very proud and impressed by each of them for reaching their goals and leaving a legacy with their communities.”

Girls in high school begin their Gold Award journeys by identifying a civic or social issue that holds importance to them. Then they build a team to support their project with a mission to create a positive impact in her community.

Gold Award projects are coordinated so that they can continue long after girls earn their award by establishing nonprofit organizations, publishing books to be added to school library collections, implementing classroom lessons to be taught for years to come, or other initiatives to create lasting change.

Through the process, Gold Award Girl Scouts become innovative problem-solvers, empathetic leaders, confident public speakers, and focused project managers, while educating and inspiring others. They learn resourcefulness, tenacity and decision-making skills, giving them an edge personally and professionally.

DeFrancesco’s project was the Work Opportunity Resource Konnection, or WORK Club. There, she helped and coached students for each stage of employment searching. That included writing resumes and cover letters, practicing mock job interviews, and developing other skills needed to successfully land a job.

Another chapter of DeFrancesco’s club is opening up in one of Oceanside’s middle school, and she hopes her club’s influence will inspire other communities to start their own.