Amanda Girolami is not a typical eighth-grade student. She is not only an excellent student, but a positive role model for the Eagle Ridge Middle School community.
Her mother, Lorraine Girolami, said Amanda is extremely involved in the community.
"She is a good kid. She is very compassionate, always thinking about others and into her church," she said. "It is great to see her get some recognition."
Lorraine Girolami said Amanda’s older brother, Michael, is "usually the one getting all the recognition" because he is very athletic.
"It seems like the most glory goes to him because he is involved with sports," Lorraine Girolami said. "I am excited to see Amanda get some recognition for the work she is doing."
THE LOUDOUN CRIME Commission’s Youth Development Committee recognized Amanda’s efforts with the first "Cruisin' in the Right Lane" award Monday, Dec. 5.
The award was established to highlight positive behavior among young people in the community.
The Youth Development Committee’s Christopher Oprison said Amanda was the perfect person to receive the first award.
"This program seeks to recognize and reward good, positive, civic-minded, law-abiding behavior among Loudoun’s youths," he said. "We looked for someone who does everything right, but receives little recognition for the good things they have done for their family and community."
The award targets middle-school students.
"It is a critical age," Oprison said. "They are being pulled in different directions. We are trying to keep them on the right track by praising worthy behavior."
AMANDA WAS NOMINATED by her principal, Janice Koslowski.
"Amanda completely fits the nominating criteria identified for this program. She is an incredible role model for all of our students," Koslowski said.
Koslowsi highlighted Amanda’s efforts as president of Eagle Ridge’s Helping Hands, Helping Hearts club, a community service group.
"Her time with the group is completely dedicated to providing support to other," she said. "This year alone, she has organized monetary donations for the American Red Cross to assist hurricane victims; a ‘Buy a Pumpkin Campaign’ to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation; and a concert for the Eagle Ridge Middle School community to raise money for the Red Cross."
Amanda spends most of her free time in school organizing club activities.
"This means she makes the commitment to spend more time at home on homework than most students," Koslowski said. "Amanda is truly a charitable heart."
Amanda is not only dedicated to community service. She is also dedicated to her studies, which include a high-school Spanish course.
"When you recognize behavior like that, you can keep students on the right track," Oprison said. "It is important to provide young people with a good gold-standard for conduct."
Amanda said she was surprised to receive an award.
"I wasn’t looking for recognition, but it feels good to be recognized," she said.
Amanda is working on a new project. She is starting a coat drive for a battered-women’s shelter in Washington, D.C.
THE LOUDOUN CRIME Commission’s Youth Development Committee will recognize three more students this year. The next award will be presented in January. Students like Amanda will receive a plaque and a $100 check. At the end of the school year, the committee will hold a reception for the award recipients.
"I know there are a lot of good kids out there that do not get the recognition they deserve," Oprison said. "Hopefully we will be able to do other projects that target other age groups."