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Local Girl Scouts to Receive Gold Awards May 21

May 18, 2006

Sumita is a senior at La Cañada High School. Along with being in Girl Scouts, her activities include playing viola in the high school orchestra, of which she is also president, and the Crown City Chamber Players. Sumita is also sings in the high school Chamber Singers. Sumita has also been studying Indian Classical vocal for 11 years. Sumita is a member and president of the Gay-Straight Alliance to fulfill her life-long cause for tolerance. She has also been volunteering at the Huntington Hospital for the last three years.

Sumita would like to thank her parents, her brother, and her friends (and Puuchu) for their amazing support, help, and encouragement for her Gold Award and every day of her life. She would also like to thank her troop leaders Mrs. Abajian and Mrs. Andersen, the faculty at the Altadena Library, especially Mrs. Trinidad Komay, and Sumita’s wonderful students.

Devin Niebrugge

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For her Gold Project, Devin selected to Braille and record books at the Braille Institute in Los Angeles. She chose four of her favorite Dr. Seuss books and collected class sets donated by friends, neighbors, bookstores, and the Braille Institute. Devin discovered that children needed not only books containing the raised Braille print, but also visual type so sighted parents or teachers could help the children learn to read. She typed, formatted and pasted the clear Braille overlays onto the print books, then recorded the books onto CDs so the children could also listen while they read. The brailled book sets were donated to public school classrooms where they could be available for blind children to enjoy along with their sighted classmates.

During her high school years, Devin has been busy with many activities. She has been is softball since her freshman year at Canyon High. She is also member of the Key Club, California Scholarship Federation and the National Honor Society. But her most rewarding extracurricular activities have been her involvement with the Braille Institute and the Foundation for the Junior Blind. With these organizations she has done a range of services from the mundane of separating books in the talking book library to being a camp counselor at Camp Bloomfield, a camp for blind or visually impaired children.

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