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Suffolk School Notebook: Valley Stream junior takes top spot in LI Youth Summit

Valley Stream Central High School junior Emily Monfort,

Valley Stream Central High School junior Emily Monfort, third from left, was the overall award winner of this year's Long Island Youth Summit. Pictured with Monfort are, from left, Assistant Principal Robert Milani, Long Island Youth Summit Steering Committee member Eric Alexander, Long Island Youth Summit founder and Steering Committee co-chair Nathalia Rogers, Principal Joseph Pompilio and Counselor Ron Rini. Credit: Valley Stream Central High School District

A Valley Stream student has been named the top overall winner of this year's Long Island Youth Summit.

Emily Monfort, a junior at Valley Stream Central High School, beat out 170 finalists to win Best Overall Project in this year's summit, which challenged students to develop solutions to environmental, socio-medical and socio-economic issues. It was held virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Monfort submitted a video on mental health and how students are coping with the pandemic.

"I did pour my heart into this project and this acknowledgment helped me realize that I should have more faith in myself," said Monfort, who received a check for $1,000.

The summit's other overall winners were Jiovanni Saint Jean of Amityville High School, Lillian Kane of Fishers Island School and Cayla Midy of Sacred Heart Academy in Hempstead who won Best Overall Art Project, Best Overall Science Research Paper and Best Overall Research Paper by a Junior Researcher, respectively.

Winners of various categories and their high schools were: Melissa Brache and Amber Connell, Brentwood; Ava Gansrow and John Roedel, Eastport-South Manor; Arabella Hatfield, Fishers Island; Nicholas Cataldo, Tulah Chatterton, Torsten Gliszczynski, Ayesha Khondker, Samannita Mukherjee and Daniella Zacharis, Floral Park; Elizabeth Allocca, Claire Frawley, Alex Koliner and Patrick Lynch, Kings Park; Andrew Baek, Ryan Castrillon, Mia Frattura and Matthew Friedman, MacArthur; Shoshana Horn and Serena Khanimov, North Shore Hebrew Academy; Alexander Albrecht, Jeremy Beauplan, Brooke DeSena, Megan Durinick, Rebecca Dwyer, Angelina Ferrara, Kayleigh Malone, Kyle McGuire, Madison Neira, Brenden Payne, Krysten Rafferty, Zack Rosenberger and Laurel Tammany, Patchogue-Medford; and Erin Cooper, Mary Menger and Carmela Musso, Sacred Heart.


My Brother's Keeper

Brentwood High School students Joshua Castellanos, Juan Delgado, Alijah McLeod and Angelo Rivera are among 73 juniors statewide named My Brother's Keepers Fellows by the New York State Education Department.

My Brother's Keeper is an initiative that strives to help young men of color "realize their full potential," department officials said. Fellows receive mentor relationship opportunities in government, education and business and are required to execute a service project.

"Through My Brother's Keeper, these remarkable young men are seeing doors open to opportunities that will serve them throughout their lives," State Education Commissioner Betty Rosa said.


Bridge-building winner

Paul J. Gelinas Junior High School ninth-grader Katherine Liang won first place in this year's Bridge Building Competition, coordinated by Brookhaven National Laboratory.

Liang's bridge weighed 18.7 grams and held 38.6 pounds. It received an efficiency score of 936.29, which was calculated using the bridge's weight and the weight it holds before breaking or bending more than one inch.

David Liang and Victor Prchlik of Ward Melville High School in East Setauket placed second and third, respectively. Jonathan Chung of Smithtown High School East won the Aesthetic Award.


PSA Contest

Students from six Long Island school districts were winners in PSEG Long Island's Earth Day Video Public Service Announcement Contest, which asked participants to make videos that included research-based facts on such topics as energy conservation, energy efficiency and renewable energy. More than 200 videos were submitted.

Winners and their school districts were: Juliette Markesano and Pavly Zaky, East Meadow; Michael Gallarello and Jayleen Martorell, Hauppauge; Zia Baluyot and Valerie Tuosto, Lynbrook; Leah Anzalone, Josh Bonfanti, Dylan Couture, Clara Levy, Nicole Marino, Brooke Marek and Jacob Park, Mineola; James Catania, Skyler Placella, Abigail Rudnet and Jose Velasquez, Oyster Bay-East Norwich; and Layla Kelly, Sophia Lastorino and Lena Okurowski, West Islip.

The winning videos can be viewed at


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