Christopher McAvoy has a passion for research that's certainly caught his community's attention.
He has extensively investigated West Hempstead's history -- ranging from old buildings to influential people -- after noticing a lack of in-depth information at the West Hempstead Historical Society.
His findings have been shared with local residents in occasional displays and presentations at the West Hempstead Public Library. His research also led McAvoy to create a photo archive for the historical society on Facebook and won a New York State Archives Certificate of Merit from the Department of Education in 2011.
"My mom and I went to some historical societies around Long Island and noticed there wasn't a very sophisticated one for my hometown -- so I took it upon myself to do some research," said McAvoy, 18. Of the research's importance, he said: "How can we know what to do in the future if we don't know about the past?"
McAvoy's other research included developing designs for wind turbine blades in an effort to create a more affordable form of sustainable clean energy. That project won McAvoy -- who was captain of the volleyball team and a member of the Tri-M Music and National Art honor societies -- a gold medal in the engineering category at the International Sustainable World (Engineering, Energy & Environment) Project Olympiad, also known as I-SWEEEP, and awards at the Long Island Science Congress, New York State Science Congress and Long Island Science and Engineering Fair.
"His strong work ethic, true integrity and motivation, coupled with his respect for human dignity, will light his path to success," said his guidance counselor, Donna Seeberger.
HIGHER ED: McAvoy will study engineering physics at Fordham University.
AT COLLEGE, I'M MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO: "Gaining real-life experience in scientific research. I'm really excited to start doing work that can contribute more to society."
What makes you extraordinary
"Trying to excel at all those different things [science research, historical research, a sport, my commitment to performing music, schoolwork] at once is what I thrive on."