A Hampton Bays student recently helped a handful of local children return to school in style and well-supplied.
Nicole Culmone, a junior at Hampton Bays High School, collected donations from family and friends during the summer to purchase five backpacks and various school supplies for students attending Hampton Bays Elementary School.
She said she was motivated and inspired by the work of her cousin John Perez, a recent graduate of Center Moriches High School who previously filled nearly 30 backpacks with supplies for kids in his school district.
Culmone, 15, said she had helped her cousin research prices at local stores for his effort.
“School supplies can be very pricey,” Culmone said. Of her passion for service, she said: “I always like to help out the community in any way possible.”
Culmone said she hopes to expand her project by asking local business owners for monetary assistance to help provide even more backpacks and supplies to those in need.
She also is a member of her school’s girls varsity soccer team and the Leo Club, Science Club, Science Olympiad team and Future Business Leaders of America.
In addition, she is in The Society of Torch & Laurel, an honors program for high-achieving high school students founded by The National Society of Collegiate Scholars.