On Thursday, November 30th, 2017 Girls Incorporated of Taunton celebrated life, community and leadership at the fifth 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 Dr. Maura Rosenthal, awarded a leadership scholarship to Amelia McQuiggan, and recognizing Miss Britt Smith as our Exceptional Volunteer.
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 Dr. Maura Rosenthal, a Professor of Movement Arts, Health Promotion and Leisure Studies at Bridgewater State University, for her fierce dedication to our mission and her passion for increasing girls’ access to recreation.
Maura began her service at Girls Inc. as a volunteer who was looking to engage in her community and who, years later, is still willing to step up and help in any way she can. In the summer of 2013, Maura brought members of our summer camp to Bridgewater State University to improve their access to recreation and their understanding of higher ed. She opened the door for 40 girls to recreation, ropes course, a university gymnasium, classrooms and a cafeteria.
She has continued to partner with us by organizing a swim class using the Bridgewater State University pool, serving as a leader for a leadership and community action outreach program, designing and offering a seminar course for sophomore students at BSU focusing on the history of women and recreation in the U.S., using our affiliate as a case study. Maura then volunteered and donated supplies to paint activities on our playground. She never hesitates to support us at our events, often times bringing friends and colleagues. She offers her time, her talents and her generous support.
Family, friends and colleagues of both Maura and Darlene joined together at Girls Inc. of Taunton to celebrate Costa Brown’s Life, Maura’s service, and the presentation of the 2017 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 Amelia McQuiggan. This year, Amelia will work with leadership staff and board members in mentoring her in her desire to one day become an architect and a member of the city council.
Last year’s Dr. Darlene Costa Brown Leadership Scholar, Cleo Silva, was also in attendance. Cleo worked throughout the year with grace, poise and confidence. She also had the opportunity to explore her interest in exotic animals by visiting the Franklin Park Zoo where she had a meet and greet with a red panda and a corn snake. Cleo also had the opportunity and challenge of speaking at the United Way of Greater Attleboro Annual Meeting to an audience of 200 people. The 2012 Dr. Darlene Costa Brown Leadership Scholar, Sophia Branco, the 2014 recipient, Avery LaValle and the 2015 recipient, Kayla Levesque were also in attendance.
The presentation of an “Exceptional Volunteer Award” was given to Miss Britt Smith who volunteers as the kickboxing instructor at Girls Inc. where she teaches a fun and empowering class.
Highlights of the event included the sharing of Cleo Silva’s confident 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 Maura’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’s exceptional leadership skills.