Three Nassau County students were recently honored as “upstanders” against bullying or intolerance.
The Holocaust Memorial & Tolerance Center of Nassau County has issued this year’s Friedlander Upstander Award to Sydney Brett, a junior at Long Beach High School, Sage Gladstone, an eighth-grader at South Woods Middle School in Syosset, and Michael Scalisi, a senior at Wellington C. Mepham High School in Bellmore.
Brett was selected for launching the nonprofit Sydney’s Smiles, which strives to equip children with anti-bullying strategies. Brett, who has dyslexia, has said she wanted to remove negative stereotypes of children who have disabilities that aren’t evident to others.
Gladstone has organized multiple collection drives for the nonprofit Days for Girls, which donates sanitary products to young women in need, and has become the nonprofit’s youngest volunteer, center officials said.
Scalisi was selected for his in-the-moment efforts defending a friend who was the target of stereotyping and racist taunts.
The award is presented by the center and the Claire Friedlander Family Foundation in conjunction with the Nassau and Suffolk county police departments. — Michael R. Ebert