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Girl Scout Gold Award Nominee Wants Hilltop Hanover Farm to "Thrive"

Shilpa Devarakonda wants to help keep Hilltop Hanover Farm a great community asset.

Whiz Kid: Shilpa Devarakonda

School: Sophomore at

Accomplishment: Nearing completion on her Girl Scout Gold Award, by creating an updated brochure in order to increase community awareness about

Key to Awesomeness: It is a great year to be a Girl Scout. This month the organization is celebrating its 100th anniversary and according to its founding principles, it continues to promote courage, confidence and character in girls who are making the world a better place.

Having been a scout since kindergarten, 15-year-old Shilpa Devarakonda thought about a project that she could do to fulfill these goals and earn the Girl Scout Gold Award—the top award for a scout. She did not have to look very far.

"I live right down the road from and thought it would a great place to support and help out for my award," Devarakonda said.

She spoke with the farm staff and decided on a project to design, print and distribute a brand-new brochure that highlights the 50-acre farm that was purchased by Westchester County in 2003.

The pamphlet describes the farm: its history, its many farming and environmental educational programs, the hiking trails and volunteer opportunities for the public—and Devarakonda hopes that local businesses will display it for their customers to see.

"Communal farms are at a risk in Westchester County and I want to make sure that people in the community know about Hilltop Hanover Farm and Environmental Center—right here in Yorktown—so I can help it keep on thriving," the 10th grader said. "I want the brochure to attract more people and donations to the farm."

Devarakonda, who has lived in Yorktown her whole life, said that besides scouting, she enjoys soccer and track and is part of the "tech crew" for productions at the high school. As for the Girl Scouts, she said her mother has always encouraged her to stick with it and to reach for the next level; for that she is grateful.

"Girl Scouting has given me so many opportunities to become involved with the community and do so many fun things," Devarakonda said. "I’m really glad I have never given it up."

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Melissa Cole March 29, 2012 at 05:35 PM
As one of Shilpa's leaders, I'm glad she has never given up, too! The whole troop is proud of you!
Colleen Walsh March 29, 2012 at 10:53 PM
Great work Shilpa! Shilpa has always made me proud to be one of her leaders. Choosing to spotlight Hilltop Hanover was a great idea given the loss of farming in the region and the public's renewed interest in "farm to table". Thanks Shilpa for shedding light on this gem right here in Yorktown.

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