A Northport student has achieved national recognition as an advocate for children and students with disabilities.
Christian Ranieri, a senior at Northport High School who has autism, received the National PTA’s 2017 Outstanding Youth Advocacy Award, which recognizes a young person who “positively affects policy or change in his or her school or community,” the organization said.
“I feel truly humbled to be presented with this award,” said Ranieri, 17. “Supporting great organizations and knowing that I’m contributing in some shape or form in helping others is my favorite part of making a difference.”
He received the award last month at the 2017 National PTA Legislative Conference in Virginia.
Ranieri’s advocacy efforts include being a youth ambassador for the Self-Advocacy Association of New York State and a member of the State Education Department’s Youth Advisory Panel. He was instrumental in the creation of a special pilot program for youth by New York State Partners in Policymaking.
In addition, Ranieri was one of eight distinguished finalists statewide this year in the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards and received the gold designation of the President’s Volunteer Service Award for accumulating more than 250 hours of volunteer service.
He was a panelist and presenter at Northport High School’s Autism Awareness Week and has volunteered at Autism Speaks’ Long Island Walk Now.