By Tom Momberg

A teenage girl from Bellerose was named the Girls Scouts of Greater New York’s Future Woman of Distinction. The award is presented to one of the organization’s most outstanding girls for her commitment to academics, leadership and community service.

The winner of the award is Dimple Belani, 18, of Troop 4418, a senior at Bronx High School of Science. She has been a Girl Scout for 13 years, volunteering for different efforts around the city.

“My experiences through Girl Scouting shaped my morals and my outlook (on) he world around me, reminding me to keep a positive attitude, to be prepared, and to give back to my community whenever I get the chance,” Belani said at the Women of Distinction Breakfast in late October in Manhattan, at which she was honored.

Throughout her time in the Girl Scouts, Belani received a bronze award for having taught sign language to Brownies as well as founding a library at the Early Childhood Center of the Cross Island YMCA, where she also mentored children.

In achieving her silver award, Belani worked on local programs motivating students to pursue higher education. And finally in getting her gold award, the highest achievement in Girl Scouts, she created her own show on public television titled “Inspiring Youth,” for which she interviewed several professional women who shared the journeys they took to get to where they are now, dispensing career advice for girls and young women.

“I noticed that many girls around me were receiving negative messages about wanting to pursue higher education and I needed to do something about that,” Belani said. “You would be surprised at how many girls still receive discouragement about their aspirations. My goal was to convey to them that obstacles can only stop us if we allow them to.”

Throughout that project, Belani said she tried to meet women with different positions and backgrounds in society, from which she learned they all had one strength in common: believing in themselves.

From that experience and her years in the Girl Scouts, Belani said even as she goes on to college to pursue a career in the medical field, she wants to continue to inspire young women by continuing her involvement with the organization.

Along with her Future Woman of Distinction Award, Belani was awarded a scholarship for her college plans.

Reach reporter Tom Momberg by e-mail at tmomberg@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4573.

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