Finalists

to compete

in Darien’s

Got Talent

Darien residents Isabelle Seeman; Sophie Gilbert, Elle Mitrano and Isabelle Hole; Shannon Flaherty; Milana Melnick; Mia Petruzzo; Mia and Kai Sparks; Caroline Donnelly and Noa Durocher-Pyun; and Natalie Treacy have been selected as finalists in Darien’s Got Talent, the Darien Arts Center’s talent competition taking place at 7 p.m. on June 23 at Darien High School.

This fundraising event for the DAC features cash prizes for adults and children. Twenty-one finalists from around the area will compete before entertainment professionals who will judge the finals show, which drew an audience of 700 people in past years. Proceeds from the event support new and ongoing cultural events and programs offered at the DAC. Tickets are available at darienarts.org.

In addition to competing on stage for cash prizes, contestants can now compete to help raise money for the DAC. The public is encouraged to vote online at darienarts.org, as many times as they wish, for their favorite contestants in order to elect the winner of the Darien’s Got Talent 2018 People’s Choice Award. The contestant with the most votes will be awarded the People’s Choice Award trophy at the conclusion of Darien’s Got Talent on June 23.

Voting for the recipient of the People’s Choice Award is open to all and will remain open until June 22 at darienarts.org. Cost per vote is $1, with a five-vote minimum, and all proceeds from voting will support ongoing programs at the DAC. All finalists in the competition are eligible for the People’s Choice Award.

Tickets for Darien’s Got Talent are $35. VIP tickets are $125 and include center section seating and entry to the post show party. Many family sponsorship options are also available at darienarts.org. Darien High School is at 80 High School Lane. For information, call 203-655-8683.

The DAC is a nonprofit organization, which offers educational programming in dance, visual arts, theatre and music, as well as special events and live theatre productions by DAC Stage.

SoundWaters welcomes student interns

SoundWaters, the Stamford-based environmental education organization, has welcomed eight Darien High School seniors for its spring internship program.

Julia Clarke, Nathan Hadlow, Carson Halabi, Erica Blaze, Cole Stevenson, Charlotte Harmon, Brooke Laird and Connor Percarpio have been working for five weeks at the organization’s Coastal Education Center at Cove Island Park in Stamford. The Darien contingent is part of a larger group of spring interns from several area high schools who, instead of attending classes for the final weeks of their high school careers, work in internships to experience a real-world business environment.

At SoundWaters, the interns are working under the guidance of professional educators, teaching the science of Long Island Sound to elementary and middle school students from schools across the region. They are helping students in a classroom and lab setting, and on the beach and in boats on Holly Pond. Over the five-week period of their internship, they will work with over 1,900 students from 13 elementary schools.

“SoundWaters is an amazing organization and I am lucky to have this internship. I get to work outside around the water with kids and help them learn about Long Island Sound and how to protect the environment,” said Laird, who will be attending Middlebury College in the fall. “I enjoy helping the students, but I’m also learning a lot about Long Island Sound myself and how a nonprofit works.

Darien resident wins Girl Scouting Gold Award

Susan Alptekin has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award in Girl Scouting.

The Girl Scout Gold Award requires Girl Scouts in grades nine through 12 to spend at least 80 hours researching issues, assessing community needs and resources, building a team, and making a sustainable impact in the community. A Scout’s accomplishments reflect leadership and citizenship skills that set her apart as a community leader. Nationally, only 6 percent of older Girl Scouts earn the Gold Award. Girl Scouts of Connecticut honored the 70 Gold Award Girl Scouts in Connecticut who have achieved this honor on June 3.

For her Gold Award project, Alptekin painted a United States playground map outside of Norwalk Grassroots Tennis and Education to help younger children learn geography kinesthetically and in a less stressful environment. Alptekin hoped getting children out of the classroom and outdoors playing a game would be a fun and easy way to learn about our country. Alptekin made sure to use sustainable paint that will not fade and will make sure to add a coating to ensure its longevity. Alptekin currently attends the University of Michigan.

“I am so proud of all of our Gold Award Girl Scouts for taking the lead and spending over 80+ hours solving real problems in their communities,” said Mary Barneby, CEO of Girl Scouts of Connecticut.

Dean’s list recipients

Darien residents Bram Brakman, Taylor Hart, Samuel Hickey, Kristen Moran, Jack O’Shea, Stewart Stockdale, Walker Wind and Elizabeth Wong were recently named to the Tufts University dean’s list for the spring 2018 semester.

Barrett Heyde, of Darien, was named to the University of Hartford’s dean’s list for spring 2018.

Alison Lomanto, of Darien, has been named to the University of Delaware’s dean’s list for the spring 2018 semester.

Among the graduates

Kyle Cornell, of Darien graduated with a degree in business administration and finance, cum laude, from Bryant University on May 18.

Darien residents Jeffery Gu and Jonathan Bayne graduated from Lehigh University on May 21.

George Phillips, of Darien, graduated from Tufts University on May 20 with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.