The Kennedy High School Student Government recently congratulated students Jamie Kanner and Lauren Azmon on receiving the Cougars as Role Model Americans (CARMA) award for the first quarter of the school year. Members of the student government, including its president and vice president, Zach Goldman and Josh Goldman, as well as its PR coordinator, Justin Shapiro, presented the recipients with certificates. The CARMA award recognizes students for their outstanding community service.
In December 2013, Jamie Kanner came across the Rolling Thunder Special Needs Running Program, an organization that gives children and adults with disabilities the opportunity to participate in track and field events. Kanner found the organization’s website and discovered there was only a group in Suffolk County, not Nassau, so she decided to start her own Nassau County chapter of Rolling Thunder.
In March 2014, Kanner spoke at a Rolling Thunder Special Needs Running Program meeting and was given $500 by the president of the Long Island Chapter of the Autism Society of America to purchase equipment for the program. After obtaining the insurance policy through the autism organization and the permission from Kennedy High School to use the track on the weekends, Kanner hosted running events for disabled runners.
Kanner’s participation on the track and cross-country teams motivated her to start this program.
This past summer, Lauren Azmon participated in two community service programs in Africa with Global Leadership Adventures. Azmon traveled to rural Ghana, where she took part in the “Dream Big Ghana” project. While there, she built a compost facility for an extended family of 26 relatives. She had to make her own bricks using sand and water and carry them in a bucket on her head from the village to the worksite.
After completing a bathroom complex in Ghana, Azmon spent three weeks in Tanzania, where she taught English to first-grade students. She also built a fence around the playground of the school to protect the children during recess. She continues her dedication to this cause by selling handmade elephant pants for the Jiendeleze organization.
Azmon was motivated to volunteer because of her love of working with children and her interest in the science of public health.