On Wednesday, November 18th, 2015 Girls Incorporated of Taunton celebrated life, community and leadership at the third annual Love of Life Event. In dedication to the life and commitment of former Board of Trustees Vice President, Darlene Costa Brown, Girls Inc. honored the service of Linda Mello and awarded a leadership scholarship to Kayla Levesque.
Costa Brown’s impact on Girls Inc. and its members was felt through her volunteer instruction of the Economic Literacy curriculum and her service on the Board of Trustees. As vice president, Darlene hoped to lead the organization in shaping a future that was both secure and dynamic. Her enthusiasm and fierce dedication for enriching the lives of the members continues to infuse the mission and aids in carrying on her life’s work.
In tribute to Costa Brown, Girls Inc. of Taunton honored Linda Mello for her significant and unwavering support of Girls Inc. of Taunton and the Taunton community.
Linda is currently serving her 5th consecutive term as a member of our Board of Trustees. Her impact as a parent, volunteer and board member over the past approximate 10 years is immeasurable. She is an exceptional role model as evidenced by her volunteer service, her personal commitment to the Taunton community and improving the lives of others. Linda is also a long time member of the Taunton Garden club and just recently walked as a team captain in this year’s Jimmy Fund Boston Marathon Walk.
Family, friends and colleagues of both Linda and Darlene joined together at Girls Inc. of Taunton to celebrate Costa Brown’s Life, DaRosa’s service, and the presentation of the 2015 Dr. Darlene Costa Brown Leadership Scholarship. The award, recognizing the exceptional leadership skills and the innate qualities that inspire others to be strong, smart and bold, was presented to Kayla Levesque. This year, Kayla will work with leadership staff and board members in mentoring her in her desire to own a bakery and become an English teacher. She will explore the worlds of food science, pastry decorating, business ownership and teaching.
Last year’s Dr. Darlene Costa Brown Leadership Scholar, Avery LaValle, was also in attendance. Avery worked throughout the year to inspire others and work on her leadership and communication skills. She also had the opportunity to explore her interest in animal science and conservation. Avery visited the Audubon Society Environmental Education Center and Refuge where she received a private tour of the exhibit hall and had the opportunity to tour the refuge grounds. The 2012 Dr. Darlene Costa Brown Leadership Scholar, Sophia Branco, was also in attendance.
A new addition to the program this year was the presentation of an “Exceptional Volunteer Award” that was given to Amanda Gilmour who volunteered at Girls Inc. this past summer. She worked with our summer camp girls on various programming that focused on health, nutrition and fitness and brought many new and exciting activities to Girls Inc. such as fencing and hip hop classes.
Highlights of the event included the sharing of Avery LaValle’s poised and inspiring speech about her scholarship year; citations were presented by the office of State Representative Shaunna O’Connell, Mayor Thomas Hoye’s office and Senator Pacheco’s office recognizing Linda Mello’s commitment to service and leadership; and citations were presented by the office of State Representative Shaunna O’Connell, Mayor Thomas Hoye’s office and Senator Pacheco’s office recognizing Kayla Levesque’s exceptional leadership skills.