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Way to Go: Quentin Palifka of Rocky Point

Eighth-grader Quentin Palifka with Rocky Point Middle School

Eighth-grader Quentin Palifka with Rocky Point Middle School with Principal Scott O'Brien. Credit: Rocky Point School District

A Rocky Point student is making his mark through his love of community service.

Quentin Palifka, an eighth-grader at Rocky Point Middle School, has raised more than $10,000 over the past two years by shaving his head in support of cancer research through the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. The amount is the most raised by anyone in his school.

Palifka has also helped welcome home veterans five times to MacArthur Airport as part of the Honor Flight, a program in which vets visit memorials in Washington, D.C., of the wars in which they served. He participated through Ronkonkoma-based Boots on the Ground NY.

For his efforts, Palifka recently received a Certificate of Excellence from The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, which is coordinated by Prudential Financial and the National Association of Secondary School Principals.

“It was so amazing to get that award; it was a huge honor,” said Palifka, 13, who noted his life goals are to become a Marine, lawyer, congressman and U.S. president.

Palifka’s other involvements include being president of his school’s Community Service Club, which hosts activities such as making pumpkin bread for food drives and visiting local nursing homes. He also plays baritone in school ensembles and is in the Student Government.

In addition, Palifka is a fifth-level junior black belt in the art of Kempo jiujitsu.— MICHAEL R. EBERT

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