Girl Scout’s project inspires community giving

The Island Now

The Peter and Jeri Dejana Family Foundation recently awarded Girl Scouts of Nassau County a $5,000 grant, inspired by the impact of a local Girl Scout’s Silver Award project. During Silver Award projects, Girl Scouts identify an issue they care about, explore their communities, develop their projects, and put plans into motion to help address the issues locally.

For Girl Scout Leanna P. of Troop 2144 (Freeport), her project, Bee Cause, led to the generous contribution.

In 2018, Leanna began her Silver Award journey aiming to address the rapidly decreasing honeybee population. Leanna worked with her father to build bees a new home where they could produce honey.

As part of her project, Leanna met her project mentor, Jean-Marie Posner, the Resident Beekeeper at Sands Point Preserve.

Under Posner’s guidance, Leanna learned more about how to tend to the bees and what necessary adjustments were needed to help the hive succeed. Additionally, Leanna educated residents and young children about the importance of honeybees before donating the beehive to Sands Point Preserve. Together, Leanna and Ms. Posner introduced a bee colony of about 30,000 bees to the new hive.

“I particularly admired the determination and enthusiasm displayed by Leanna,” said Ms. Posner, who also serves as a grant advisor for the Peter & Jeri Dejana Family Foundation. “I feel certain that Leanna’s achievement will inspire others to follow her leadership example.”

Ms. Posner ultimately made the recommendation to award the funds to Girl Scouts of Nassau County in honor of Leanna.

The support of volunteer mentors such as Ms. Posner is invaluable to girls as they work toward  their Silver or Gold Award projects. Mentors help to encourage Girl Scouts to develop essential life skills and confidence that will last a lifetime.

“During an unprecedented year, we are particularly reliant on generous grants such as this that will help support our Girl Scouts and the mission of our organization,” said Rande Bynum, chief executive officer, Girl Scouts of Nassau County. “We are incredibly thankful to the Peter & Jeri Dejana Family Foundation for the contribution and so grateful for incredible mentors like Posner who help our girls work on an issue they care about to take action and make a difference in their community. Leanna is a wonderful example of what Girl Scouts can do, and I commend her for her dedication.”

The funding will help to support various programs and services for the organization. Now more than ever before, girls are encouraged to stay engaged and inspired by participating in brand new Girl Scouts at Home programs, live virtual events, and safe service projects that keep girls inspired.

To learn more about Girl Scouts of Nassau County, visit


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