Three Suffolk 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 Edgar Lizama, a junior at Huntington High School, Bryn Schlussler, a senior at Bay Shore High School, and Lina Tornese, an eighth-grader at Oldfield Middle School in Greenlawn.
Lizama was selected for his efforts as an advocate for immigrant rights and for serving as a volunteer with the nonprofit Long Island Immigrant Student Advocates. He is also heavily involved with his school’s English as a second language program.
Schlussler created Best Buddies International’s Bay Shore Chapter, of which she is currently president. The nonprofit’s purpose is to pair volunteers with disabled individuals for friendship and mentorship.
Tornese befriended a classmate with cerebral palsy who was being isolated by his peers and helped create a school program to ensure no child eats lunch alone.
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