Three Students awarded The President’s Volunteer Service Award at the
Long Island Volunteer Fair Kick-off Program
Awards presented by Dr. Veronica Henry, Farmingdale State College, and
Diana O’Neill, Long Island Volunteer Center in The Little Theatre, Roosevelt Hall, Farmingdale State College, Long Island, New York
10 am, April 17, 2015
An earned, not honorary award, The President’s Volunteer Service Award recognizes American citizens and legal residents of the country for volunteer service in bettering our communities and our world. Encouraging the public to live a life of service through presidential gratitude and national recognition, The President’s Volunteer Service Award is the most prestigious volunteer award currently associated with the White House. An initiative of the Corporation for National and Community Service on behalf of the President of the United States, the award program seeks to inspire by example, honoring the service of committed volunteers and sharing their achievements to encourage more Americans to volunteer. Recipients receive a personalized certificate, an official pin, and congratulatory letter from the President of the United States. The awards are made possible by the Long Island Volunteer Center’s national organization, the HandsOn Network, which is a certifying organization. This year, the Long Island Volunteer Center, an affiliate of HandsOn Network, was able to recognize three students as part of the official kickoff program at the 7th annual Long Island Volunteer Fair held April 17, 2015, at Farmingdale State College. We all need someone to look up to. Volunteers are the backbone of the Long Island community, meeting critical needs and helping improve the quality of life for all Long Islanders. The students recognized at the Long Island Volunteer Fair are shining examples of the humanitarian spirit who bring out the best in everyone because they choose to care and share their time and talents to make a difference on Long Island.
Nominated by Eva Pearson, MA, Program Coordinator, Social Science Research Institute, Farmingdale State College: Louisa Witt, Science/Technology and Society student at Farmingdale State College who presently has a 3.77 GPA at Farmingdale State College was nominated for her advocacy efforts and hands-on volunteer activity. In a personal statement, Louisa indicated her personal mission is “to have a positive influence towards a world of equal rights…I’d like to be able to provide solutions and tackle the concerns of social justice. I would like to be a part of beneficial organization, as a service to my community, family and myself.” Louisa is a long-standing, extraordinary volunteer at Long Island Crisis Center’s Pride for Youth, where she volunteers at their Friday night Coffee House. The Coffee House provides a safe, accepting environment for Long Island’s LGBTQ youth. Louisa other volunteer activities include work with the Long Island chapters of Autism Speaks, and Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Additionally, she engaged in Thanksgiving Meal preparation and Holiday Gift wrap as a volunteer at the First Presbyterian Church of Freeport, and was also a Hurricane Sandy outreach and community clean-up volunteer through the Starbucks Coffee Company. Louisa will also be volunteering for Sustainable Long Island at the Long Island Volunteer Fair at Farmingdale State College on Friday April 17, 2015. Presently, through her Social Science Research Institute Internship, Louisa is working with the transgender population of Pride for Youth to advocate for the passage of the GENDA legislation at the New York State Equality and Justice Day in Albany on April 28, 2015.
Nominated by Dr. Lynn Elfe, Director, TRiO, Student Support Services, Farmingdale State College: Aesha Curtis, was nominated as President of Ladies United in Vision, a Farmingdale State College SGA club that has been involved in many community-based events while maintaining a 3.24 GPA. Aesha has been the springboard for bringing these events to fruition. Some of the volunteer events she has either created, hosted or participated in include: assisted in the Diversity Civility Garden held Spring 2014; coordinator/volunteer for Long Island Coalition for the Homeless Egg Hunt held April 2014 and 2015 helping at event and face painting for the homeless children; coordinator: “Backpack Mission for a Difference” by collecting school supplies for children and filling the backpacks that were offered to LICH; volunteer for March Read Aloud by reading books to the children at the Campus Center Daycare; participant in Scholar Share since Spring 2014; presenter and creator of the Social Media Awareness Workshop to incoming freshman for the Summer Bridge Program; presenter for Black History Month Panel in February 2014; volunteer for Miracle League; collaborated with Barnes and Noble to collect over 3000 books to donate to hospitals, churches, and over 500 homeless families in the community; raised over $300 dollars through bake sales for the breast cancer foundation; and collected toiletries and clothes for the women’s domestic violence shelter of Suffolk County.
Nominated by Diana O’Neill and Amanda Glazer of the Long Island Volunteer Center: Sanskriti Bimal, a junior at Mineola High School and Youth Ambassador for the Long Island Volunteer Center, was nominated for her exemplary volunteer service to help out disadvantaged communities.
Sanskriti is passionate about educating the underprivileged girl child in at Aseema, an NGO in Mumbai (after volunteering at a school for street and slum children) and aims to raise awareness about the plight of the girl child through her writing, public speaking, organizing events and volunteering. Highlighting issues ranging from gender discrimination to exploitation, female infanticide, child bride, poverty, health and education, Sanskriti has demonstrated outstanding leadership, and deep commitment to the cause. Her vision sparked the organizing of the school supplies service project at the Long Island Volunteer Fair where 100 kits will be assembled to ship to Mumbai. Other volunteer activities include educating local senior citizens on modern technology and software, spreading cheer at a local nursing home, organizing food drive for local soup kitchen, fundraising for class activities, and actively supporting the High School Key Club. Through her endeavors, she aspires to bring about positive social change. In Sanskriti’s own words, “I urge others to volunteer also, to make a positive difference, to become a voice for the voiceless, to get involved in causes near and dear to your hearts, be they local, national or international. Being complacent will not solve the problem. Doing something about it will.”