Joseph Van Gostein of Walt Whitman High School in Huntington...

Joseph Van Gostein of Walt Whitman High School in Huntington Station was among the first-place winners at the 15th annual Emerging Leaders Business Competition. Credit: Huntington Chamber of Commerce

Thirty-two Long Island students were named first-place winners in a competition that challenged teens to demonstrate their knowledge and capabilities in a business environment.

The 15th annual Emerging Leaders Business Competition drew more than 350 participants from 18 high schools who addressed current issues and tasks in 20 categories — from graphic design to retail marketing to travel and tourism — at St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue.

The event was sponsored by the Huntington Chamber of Commerce.

This year’s winners, their high schools and categories were: Katie Kelly and Emily Mooney, Commack, Entertainment Marketing 1; Angela Chen and Lauren Guo, Jericho, Entertainment Marketing 2; Joseph Van Gostein, Walt Whitman, Entrepreneurship 1; Lena Gluck and Rachel Maldonado, Oyster Bay, Entrepreneurship 2; Caroline Lee and Yan Lou, Syosset, Graphic Design 1; Olivia Price and Nicole Vitiello, Commack, Graphic Design 2; Luciana Artega and Colin Trainor, Northport, Hospitality; Abinaya Anand and Melissa DiGiorgio, Commack, Human Resources; Lexi Rothschild-Edwards, St. Dominic, Not-for-Profit Fundraising 1; Angelo D’Aurio and Dennis Langrock, Commack, Public Relations; Brooke Blumberg and Sami Rothman, Half Hollow Hills East, Retail Marketing 1; Alexis Davitashvili, Commack, Retail Marketing 2; Arden Josinsky and Lauren Cherkin, Half Hollow Hills East, Sports Marketing 1; Ross Hecht, Commack, Sports Marketing 2; Kelly Finegan and Alex Weidenman, Northport, Travel and Tourism 1; Rachel Faughan and Joanne Nguyen, Walt Whitman, Travel and Tourism 2; Ryan Adell, Kings Park, Interview 11/12 (A); Kieran Brown, Garden City, Interview 11/12 (B); Natalie Ugenti, Walt Whitman, Interview 9/10; and Jalen Hinch, Garden City, Interview Life Skills.


Community resource center

Westhampton Beach High School juniors Natalie Gosnell and Cayla Kuey recently spearheaded the creation of a community resource center at Westhampton Beach Elementary School. It is stocked with school supplies, clothing and food for local families in need.

To prepare the center, the teens added shelving and storage space to an existing resource room. Gosnell also painted a mural themed around Dr. Seuss’ 1972 children’s book “The Lorax.”

“We thought this would be a nice opportunity to make our mark on the elementary school,” said Kuey, who started the project as part of her Girl Scout Gold Award.


Hour of Code

Many local students learned the fundamentals of computer programming last month as part of “Hour of Code,” a worldwide effort held in conjunction with Computer Science Education Week.

In Dix Hills, the Half Hollow Hills school district held a second annual “Night of Code” that attracted more than 1,000 students, parents and teachers. Activities included learning to code in different languages and creating stop animations.

In Elwood, middle school students visited workstations that featured coding tasks involving art, fashion and video games. The students continued to code during lunch periods for a full week.

In Port Jefferson, fourth-graders at Edna Louise Spear Elementary School used Chromebooks to access Khan Academy, a website that teaches code using instructional videos.


Solve for Tomorrow

Connetquot High School in Bohemia and Bethpage High School were among five schools statewide and 255 nationwide named finalists in the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest.

The competition encouraged students to solve issues in the community by using their skills in science, technology, engineering, arts and math.

All finalist schools submitted an activity plan that outlined their project development and the issue it worked to solve. Schools honored as finalists received a Samsung Chromebook for use in the classroom.

Neither Long Island school was named the state winner. — Michael R. Ebert

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