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Girl Scouts celebrate young women’s achievements

Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore recognized the many achievements of 10 local young women in business, education, engineering, health care, law enforcement and community service at its fifth annual Phenomenal Women Under 40 event on Sept. 23 in Howell.

More than 150 people gathered outdoors at the organization’s Program Activity Center to celebrate the Phenom Award recipients and to support the Girl Scout mission during challenging times due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a press release.

“These phenomenal women exemplify the mission and spirit of Girl Scouts in their wide-ranging careers and in their communities,” Girl Scouts CEO Eileen Higgins said. “They serve as role models and mentors to our young girls, who are exploring their own potential through the Girl Scout experience in an unprecedented time.”

The Phenom Award recognizes emerging leaders from Monmouth and Ocean counties not only for their accomplishments to date, but also for the potential of what they might achieve in their future, Higgins explained, adding that they were nominated through a public process and selected by a panel of former Phenom recipients.

The 2020 Phenom Award recipients are:

• Victoria Berner, Toms River, nurse manager at Ocean Medical Center in Brick Township, and volunteer with Caregiver Volunteers of Central Jersey;

• Lindsey Carver, Farmingdale, production marketing manager for Bristol Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical in Princeton, and troop leader of Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore Brownie Troop 1066;

• Amy Cerulo, Middletown, principal of Schroth School, part of the LADACIN Network in Wanamassa, and member of a local running group for women. Out of concern for safety due to her work with children, Cerulo did not attend the event;

• Keely Davenport, Toms River, associate director of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and co-founder of Exit 82 Theater Company, both in Toms River, and a former Girl Scout;

• Carley Dietrick, Oceanport, business development representative at Seacrest Recovery Center in Eatontown, volunteer mentor and coordinator of Tigger House Foundation’s Student Alliance program in Red Bank, and a former Girl Scout;

• Georgette Kyriacou, Toms River, director of engineering consulting at FWH Consulting in Toms River, a member of the U.S. Air Force Reserve, and president of the Women’s Leadership Committee of the Community Associations Institute of New Jersey;

• Lindsey Most, a detective with the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office in Toms River and volunteer fundraiser for many causes including multiple sclerosis, the American Heart Association, All About Autism, and the Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania. She is a former Girl Scout;

• Susan Pagano, Howell, program manager of business career and technology training at Brookdale Community College, Lincroft, and founder of The Food Recovery Network at Monmouth University, West Long Branch;

• Chelsea Pascoe, Pine Beach, founder and president of By The Sea Media in Forked River, freelance writer, and lifetime member of Girl Scouts. She lends a hand to the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce and a local networking group;

• Lauren Staub, Asbury Park, owner of The Party Fairy LLC, volunteer for organizations across New Jersey to help combat opioid addiction, and former Girl Scout.

The event raised more than $20,000 that will benefit leadership activities offered by the nonprofit organization to help girls from all backgrounds in Monmouth and Ocean counties develop courage, confidence and character to make the world a better place, according to the press release.

In expressing appreciation for the support, Higgins noted it has been a “whirlwind year” for Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore, hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We had to find new ways to offer our groundbreaking leadership programming for girls, regardless of the obstacles in our way. Today, we are offering some programs in person when possible, but many of our activities are virtual now.

“Regardless of how girls participate in Girl Scouts, we are providing a sense of stability and normalcy for girls and their families in a challenging time. The world needs Girl Scouts now, more than ever,” Higgins said.

The evening included a flag ceremony led by a Girl Scout color guard, the national anthem sung by Phenom honoree Staub, and a program featuring videos of each Phenom Award recipient. Guests enjoyed individual picnic dinners, appetizers and desserts, as well as beverages on tap from a vintage car and treats from an ice cream truck, according to the press release.

Serving as event chairs were past Phenom recipients Jamie Bertram, Lakewood BlueClaws; Kate Dowd, New Jersey Resources; and Stephanie Toal, OceanFirst Foundation. The master of ceremonies was Chelsea Masterson, a lifelong member of Girl Scouts, according to the press release.

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