Seven students in the Central High School District were designated as recipients of the Students Building Bridges Award by the Jewish Community Relations Council of Long Island.
Sophia Jones, Ayana Mascary and Danielle Williams of Calhoun High School, Sydney Brewer, Max Broder and Dylan Cuttler of Kennedy High School and Ellie Kertzner of Mepham High School were recognized at Nassau County’s Yom Ha Shoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) program hosted at Adelphi University by the Jewish Community Relations Council of Long Island on April 20.
They each received a citation from an elected official and a certificate from JCRC and were publicly honored for their efforts in building bridges across communities and creating a more civil society.
A student ambassador in the district, Jones taught a lesson in social studies classes about Martin Luther King Jr.'s work on Long Island and she encouraged students to get involved to make a difference. She also gave out compliment cards to others entering the building, she publicized a toiletry drive to support the district’s Community Cupboard and had assisted with a Halloween Trunk or Treat and Valentine’s Day for students with special needs.
"It really brings many people together and creates smiles on everyone's faces,” Jones added.
Mascary is an officer in the Racial Equity Club. In addition to creating a major library display for Black History Month, Mascary was instrumental in Hope for Haiti fundraisers, helping the club garner $3,800 in donations.
Williams is also a student ambassador who took the reins on teaching a social studies lesson about MLK. A member of the Animal Student Alliance Club, Williams has raised funds and organized drives for local animal shelters. She also travels to nursing homes to offer nail and hair treatments to senior citizens as part of Calhoun’s Glamour Girls club.
Brewer raised nearly $3,000 to fund Stop the Bleed kits for every classroom at Kennedy. She also arranged for a doctor from Northwell Health to come in and teach everyone how to use the essential life-saving tools.
“I am the same age as the students of the Sandy Hook shooting, and I remember the exact day the shooting happened,” she explained. “Immediately, I knew that something had to be done. Now, as a junior, I decided to act.”
Broder and Cuttler organized a sports equipment drive for under privileged children in Nassau County.
“This project helped me become a better person because it made me realize how helping others is a nice and unselfish thing to do,” said Cuttler.
“I hoped to advocate for this issue and inspire others to get involved,” added Broder.
Kertzner’s leadership within the Build On club has raised more than $40,000 this year. The money raised will help build schools in developing countries around the world.
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Date Added: 5/10/2023