On Saturday, Dec. 12, 73 girls from New Jersey were awarded the Gold Award from the Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey organization during a virtual presentation. The Gold Award is the highest level achievement a Girl Scout can obtain.

One of the recipients was Union Township resident Veronica Romanek, who completed the award requirements prior to starting college in September 2019, but was delayed in receiving the award due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

All of the girls were required to complete a service award project of their choice. The service project must be sustainable, require at least 80 hours of work and it must be approved by the Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey organization leadership.

Romanek, who sought to “increase healthy lifestyle awareness among teens,” chose to create an interactive web-based game that educates children about healthy nutritious food choices. She created interactive games that quiz players on how much they really know about healthy eating. When questions are answered incorrectly, players are informed why their choice was wrong and given the facts behind the right healthy lifestyle choice. She coupled her game with a healthy eating and nutrition webpage to assist teens with making healthier choices.

Romanek attends the University of Scranton, where she is double majoring in Physics and Spanish. She is also president of her school’s Ham radio club. She also has been invited to participate as a college assistant at NASA Space Center and to study Spanish abroad in Spain.

She says that scouting has given her confidence to step up to new challenges. It has also helped her to develop quality social skills that have led her to many opportunities. Her advice to any girl considering joining Girl Scouts would be “Do it! I am so glad I did. Not only is it fun, but it is a great way to learn practical life skills that will be very useful in the years to come.”

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