Not all heroes wear capes. Some wear Girl Scout sashes instead. Elizabeth “Ellie” Costanzo, a third-grader at Gesu School in University Heights, was awarded the Girl Scout Medal of Honor for saving the life of a family friend in August 2020. The Medal of Honor is reserved for Girl Scouts who performed heroic acts beyond the degree of maturity and training at their age. We spoke with Costanzo about her act of bravery.
Q: Can you tell me about the day you saved someone’s life?
A: My brother, sister, our two neighbors and I were all walking out on the dock to go fishing. My brother saw a fish bite his line. One of our neighbors, Lyle, looked down to see the fish and then he flipped into the water. He couldn’t stand but I knew that I could stand. His hands were up in the air and he was bobbing up and down with his eyes and mouth open. I jumped into the water to pull him out and put him onto the ladder. Then, my grandpa pulled him from the ladder onto the dock. Lyle was coughing up water, but he was OK.
Q: How did you feel when you won the Girl Scout Medal of Honor?A: Surprised! The award has only been given out 11 times out of all the Northeast Ohio Council since 1913.
Q: Do you want to continue being a Girl Scout in the future? What are you looking forward to?
A: Yes, I would like to be in the future. Next year, I will move up from a brownie scout to a junior scout. Girl Scouts has taught me a lot of things that help me now and when I get older it’ll help me.