Adriana Ancilleri, a junior at Sachem High School East, created...

Adriana Ancilleri, a junior at Sachem High School East, created the Healthy Hearts for Happy Kids trail at the Town of Brookhaven's Holtsville Wildlife & Ecology Center. Credit: Sachem Central School District

A fitness-minded teen is striving to make children's hearts healthier in the Town of Brookhaven.

Adriana Ancilleri, a junior at Sachem High School East in Farmingville, recently completed the Healthy Hearts for Happy Kids trail on a fitness track at the Holtsville Wildlife & Ecology Center. Her efforts included installing signs for eight physical activities — ranging from hopscotch to jumping jacks — along the walking trail to promote fitness and social-emotional health among youngsters.

The effort was part of a project for her Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest achievement available within the Girl Scouts of the USA.

"I workout all the time, so I knew I wanted to do something in the realm of fitness," said Ancilleri, 16.

Ancilleri also installed four benches along the roughly one-mile trail and donated three animal cages to the facility using funds from a $6,000 grant obtained from Walmart.

The town paid for the signs, some of which encourage kids to engage in such thinking tasks as listening for animal sounds.

"Adriana does things for the cause, not the applause," Sachem East Principal Lou Antonetti said. "She's a good-hearted person who comes from a great family."

Ancilleri is also involved in the U.S. Air Force's Civil Air Patrol and is a member of the National, Foreign Language, Math, Science and Social Studies honor societies.

— MICHAEL R. EBERT

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