On January 12, Claire Bozdog and Elise Kratzer of Menlo-Atherton High School were honored at the Girl Scout Award Ceremony for earning their Gold Awards, the highest award a Girl Scout can earn. Anna Eshoo, U.S. Representative from California’s 18th Congressional District, gave an inspiring speech about women leaders and citizenship. Claire and Elise were empowered to hear from her that 58% of current members of Congress are Girl Scouts.

Claire and Elise spoke about their projects and how much they meant to them. They also had the opportunity to speak with Erika Rottenberg about her successful career and volunteer work as a Girl Scouts National Board member.

“It was a magical afternoon to share my project, meet powerful women leaders, and inspire the younger Girl Scouts to embark on their Gold Award Journey, said Elise. Added Claire: “[The ceremony] very empowering. I heard all the Girl Scouts’ very innovative projects and loved listening to Anna Eshoo’s words of encouragement.”

Claire created a ‘tween and teen youth group called “Time Out.” Time Out is meant to give students with serious anxiety and stress a chance to learn coping skills and stress management tools. They learn about yoga and meditation apps, foods that help reduce stress and simple ways to alleviate tension like taking a quick walk in nature.

She choose to do this project when she observed friends around her tense, anxious, stressed and trying to keep up with all of the demands being placed on them. The club now has 50+ members, and she hopes to keep it going long after she leaves for college in the fall.

Elise created and leads the Transfer Student Success Program (TSS) which integrates the many transfer students that Menlo-Atherton High School  receives yearly. Before the program, the transfer students were thrown into the 2,400 person high school with no guidance. The TSS Program matches up transfer students to mentors, who stick with them on their first day of school and become their first friend.

Transfer students attend academic and social lunches in order to learn how to be successful at M-A and discover all of the wonderful opportunities M-A has to offer.  To date, the TSS Program has served 160 transfer students. Elise is currently training the next set of leaders at M-A and is spreading the TSS Program to the other schools in the Sequoia Union High School District.

Claire and Elise are extremely thankful for the constant support from their troop leaders and fellow troop members.

Claire and Elise’s Troop #33166 members pictured left to right: Roberta Baxter (leader), Louisa Calhoon, Claire Bozdog, Elise Kratzer, Evelyn Calhoon, Annabel Baxter, and Lauren Calhoon (leader).

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