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Six LI students named “upstanders”

Six Long Island students were recently recognized for their efforts to stand up to hate.

Great Neck North High School senior Anjelica Wu, Plainview-Old Bethpage Middle School eighth-grader Nicole Dugan, and Farmingdale High School senior Jamie Pham have been named first-place winners of the 13th Annual Friedlander Upstander Awards by the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County in partnership with the Claire Friedlander Family Foundation. They each received $5,000.

Upstanders are those who “stand up for others and do not allow bigotry, hatred or intolerance to happen without intercession,” the center said. Applicants submitted nomination letters from a teacher, guidance counselor or another adult outside of their family and wrote 500-word essays on the actions that made them upstanders.

“It is in the spirit of Claire Friedlander, a Holocaust survivor who was saved by an upstander, that we support the center’s efforts to reward local students for doing what’s right,” said foundation president Peter J. Klein. “Students who act as upstanders and make a difference in their schools and communities are essential now more than ever due to the local and national rise of antisemitism, hate crimes, bullying and hate speech.”

Runner-up winners, who received $2,500, were Baldwin High School junior Maekyla Massey, Westbury Middle School eighth-grader Joslyn Mayers, and Northport High School senior Ava Mir.

The winners were honored last month during an event at Westbury Manor.


World Food Day essay winners

Four Long Island students have been named first-place winners of this year’s World Food Day Essay Contest, which is sponsored by the Amityville-based nonprofit Stop World Hunger. They each received $100 savings bonds.

Winners were: Matthew Foster, Lee Avenue Elementary School in Hicksville, primary division (grades 1-3); Angad Singh, Lee Avenue Elementary School, intermediate division (grades 4-6); Frankie Aliendro, St. Mary School in East Islip, junior high division (grades 7-8); and Mary Hagen, Sacred Heart Academy in Hempstead, high school division (grades 9-12).

This year’s contest, which received 740 entries, asked participants to respond to the following question: “What is the relationship between health and hunger?”


LI Math Fair

The Roslyn and Commack school districts had the most gold medal winners among Nassau and Suffolk county school districts, respectively, in the 2023 Long Island Math Fair for students in grades 7-12.

Roslyn students won 27 gold medals and Commack won five. Other top-performing districts were Herricks with 17, Port Washington with 14, Syosset with 11, Jericho with five, and Half Hollow Hills in Dix Hills with four. Students from SUNY Old Westbury’s Institute for Creative Problem Solving in Old Westbury won 11. The fair was sponsored by the Nassau and Suffolk math teachers’ associations.


My Brother’s Keeper fellows

Ten Long Island students are among 97 statewide named My Brother’s Keeper fellows by the New York State Department of Education. My Brother’s Keeper is an initiative that strives to help young men of color realize their full potential and gives them mentor relationship opportunities in government, education and business.

Selectees were: Jermaine Gardner, Eloy Mendez-Vargas, Alexander Renteria and Luis Velasquez, Brentwood High School; Blessing Olawoye and Quincy Velez, Elmont High School; Lovell Cannon IV and Raymar Duncan, Sewanhaka High School in Floral Park; and Jayden Prophete and David Reid Jr., Uniondale High School.

“It is up to each of us to help close and eliminate the opportunity gaps these young adults face, and to guide them to reach their full potential,” said Commissioner of Education Betty A. Rosa.

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