Students Recognized for Volunteer Efforts

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Three Carle Place High School students were recognized by the Nassau County and Jewish Community Relations Council of Long Island at a Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony honoring Holocaust survivor Alex Kostantyn at Hofstra University on May 15.

During the Yom HaShoah ceremony, Heidy Beras, Maria Hyland and Monique Slater were each presented with proclamations for working to create a more civic society through volunteering, building ties across different communities and working on intergenerational projects.  

Each of the students received the honor after being nominated by their teachers.

Beras, a senior and president of the Carle Place SADD organization, was selected for her leadership and participation in SADD events, including the Contract for Life program, Red Ribbon Week and Grim Reaper Day.  She has assisted in creating gift baskets for those in need and worked to advocate the message of SADD.

Beras is planning to continue her education to become a speech therapist. Her teachers say she is “a young woman of strong moral character who values the lives of others.”

Hyland is a member of the Key Club, participates in student-run theater productions and is captain of the varsity soccer, varsity basketball and varsity lacrosse teams. She was selected for her ability to motivate her peers. Her teachers say she has made a mark in the school in her role as senior class secretary and as the Key Club’s vice president, for which she created detailed informational videos that were used to promote fundraising for service organizations, including the Ronald McDonald House, Nutritional Vets Inc., the Girls Club and Juvenile Diabetes.  She helped raise $8,000 that was donated to a local child battling a rare disease. In addition, she helped to raise another $20,000 through a Battle of the Classes fundraiser for the Lexiebean Foundation, which provides money to children battling cancer.

Of her work, her teachers said, “Maria is wise beyond her years and understands the importance of giving back to her community.”

Slater, a senior, was also nominated for her volunteer work. As a member of the high school’s SPARC/Interact Club, she has helped to make seasonal baskets for shelters, comfort kits for veterans and care packages for soldiers serving abroad. She has also shoveled snow for local senior citizens, volunteered at soup kitchens in New York City, helped make and serve meals at the Ronald McDonald House, and assisted in organizing toy drives, school supply drives and clothing collections for a school in Zimbabwe.