Thursday, 20 March 2014 10:16
Massapequa High School students John Latini and Gianna Schmidt were recognized for community service by the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards Program.
After logging in more than 100 hours, John was honored with the President’s Volunteer Service Award, which was presented on behalf of President Barack Obama. Gianna was named a Local Honoree for her volunteer efforts. The awards salute the contributions made by young volunteers and recognize them as role models among their peers.
John, a sophomore, is a Boy Scout who is currently working on his Eagle Scout project. He devotes much of his time to Canine Companions for Independence by raising puppies and training them to be companions for people with disabilities. He also actively works to get other people involved to help defray the $50,000 price tag of training a dog, either through fund raising efforts or working with others in a group to share the cost of training a dog. Aside from his volunteer work, John has been on the varsity swimming and diving team since eighth grade.
Gianna, a senior, organizes drives for clothing and supplies for a homeless shelter in Farmingdale. As a member of Key Club and Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), she has been involved in volunteer activities such as the Key Club Bocce Tournament and Safe Halloween, a fun-filled event for children. She has also volunteered at the Chief Challengers basketball game, and is an editor for the high school yearbook and a member of the Chiefettes kickline.
“We are proud of the ways these students positively impact the community through their volunteering efforts,” said Massapequa High School Principal Dr. Barbara Williams. “They are role models for all of our students.”