by Brittany Winter (featured guest blogger)
Zandra Genovese, Girl Scout Gold Award Recipient
Zandra Genovese, a young Long Islander and Girl Scout is making a huge difference for those people who use wheelchairs for mobility on Long Island.
Zandra Genovese, a young Long Islander and Girl Scout is making a huge difference for those people who use wheelchairs for mobility on Long Island. What started as a Girl Scout’s Project has quickly expanded and is gaining the interest of people and restaurants across New York State.
Zandra is living with Spinal Muscular Atrophy; due to this she uses a wheelchair to help her get around. She joined the Girl Scouts to make a difference, ask anyone who knows Zandra and they will tell you she certainly has. Currently this bright, young, Long Island woman is working on achieving the Girl Scout Gold Award. This is the highest award a Girl Scout can receive. As a member of troop 2812, each girl was asked to work on a services project as part of the Girl Scouts of Suffolk County Service Unit.
For Zandra, this project was an opportunity to make Long Island communities more wheelchair assessable, restaurants especially. She created an accessibility guide for others in wheelchairs (Veterans, teens/kids, elderly, etc.).
Along with the guide she also created her own rating system based on her personal experiences and opinions of the restaurants she has visited (not related to American With Disabilities Act, or ADA). This rating system is comprised of 5 categories related to wheelchair accessibility including parking, entrance, table space, bathroom space and the accommodation of the staff.
Since her project began Zandra has rated 30 restaurants in her local county in New York. Three of these restaurants belong to the DeNicola Brothers. The Ruvo and La Tavola restaurants are excited to share and help Zandra on her journey.
“I have known Zandra all her life. She is a true fighter and a really inspiring, wonderful young woman.”
Said Joseph DeNicola, one of the restaurants owners and friend of Zandra’s family, when asked about Zandra and her work.
After receiving the Gold Award, she plans on expanding her project to other counties and cities across New York State. Her goals do not stop there however; Zandra has expressed even wanting to expand the project across the country.
Her website, www.zrag.net allows people to view each rated restaurant, read her comments, and even view photos. Having this website allows her to have a platform where she can continuously help others in wheelchairs by sharing her experiences.