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Way to Go! Zoe Rivera of Sayville

Zoe Rivera, right, a junior at Sayville High

Zoe Rivera, right, a junior at Sayville High School, with Kathy Van Dorn, her school's Student Government advisor. Credit: Sayville School District

A Sayville student recently helped bring clean drinking water to people in West Africa.

Zoe Rivera, a junior at Sayville High School, raised $6,200 for installation of wells in Liberia. That amount, she said, would fund two wells and supply water to more than 6,000 people through Strides for Africa, a Wisconsin-based nonprofit organization.

One of her fundraisers was a benefit concert at Sayville High School featuring students in the Tri-M Music Honor Society and the middle school’s jazz choir, as well as a cappella groups from William Floyd High School in Mastic Beach.

Rivera, 16, undertook the project as part of the community service component of her Gold Award, the highest honor that can be earned by a Girl Scout. She pursued the idea because her brother, Yirdaw, was adopted from Ethiopia and her family has supported water projects in the past.

Her parents, Michael and Donia Rivera, are teachers in the William Floyd district.

“Even recycling and redeeming that 5-cent bottle in the cafeteria can go a long way toward changing someone’s life,” said her father, a math teacher at William Floyd Middle School.

Other fundraisers included a pancake fundraiser at Applebee’s in Patchogue and setting up bins to collect loose change at Sunrise Drive Elementary School in Sayville and William Floyd Middle School.


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