Whiz Kid’s Name: Leah Diaz
Whiz Kid’s Grade: 11th
Whiz Kid’s School: Parsippany High School
Whiz Kid’s Key to Awesomeness: Donating school supplies to local kids in need
All summer long, Leah Diaz worked on her Girl Scout Gold Award project. Her idea was to start a campaign to collect school supplies for needy elementary school children in Morris County. And she went forward, gathering donations from supporters throughout the community. By summer's end, she had over 50 backpacks stuffed with an assortment of items, including notebooks, folders, paper, pencils, crayons and pencil cases--all earmarked for a Morristown mission to distribute to students throughout the county.
But then, Hurricane Irene hit Parsippany. Massive flooding left many families in Leah’s Lake Hiawatha community with heavily damaged or completely destroyed homes. Some families lost everything they had.
Seeing the destruction and suffering in her own neighborhood made Leah reconsider her summer project. After some serious thought, she decided the items she'd collected were needed to help local families who had lost so much in the storm.
Leah reached out to Rockaway Meadow Elementary School and Central Middle School. Although her original target audience had been elementary school students, she knew several middle schoolers who needed supplies as well. With the help of each school’s PTA president and school nurse, 25 backpacks were delivered to Central Middle School and 30 backpacks were distributed to students at Rockaway Meadow School just in time for the start of the school year.