Marie Albanese has spent her high school career relentlessly giving back to make someone else’s life better.

She volunteers to bake and cook at the Ronald McDonald House, various senior centers and a local soup kitchen. She participates in clothing and shoe drives. During her free time during the school day she helps the speech pathologist by sitting in on sessions and assisting with the lesson. After school Albanese, who is 18 and lives in Franklin Square, volunteers to help autistic students, and when she’s not doing that she heads to a local elementary school to help kindergarten students with their homework.

Oh, and last year she led the effort to create a club called Saving Our Society, which participates in various community service projects, such as Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, which raises money to fight childhood cancer. All this she does while maintaining strong grades and being a member of the cheerleading team.

“Once I found my passion for giving back to the community I also brought it to my family and my community to get everyone involved,” Albanese said. “I just try to keep myself busy with the things I like to do, which is volunteering and helping others.”

Though she enjoys the cooking and baking aspects of her volunteer work, something else fuels her satisfaction.

“Being with the families after I bake, and having conversations with the families,” Albanese said. “How much they appreciate us, and that’s why I continue to do it.”

HIGHER ED: Albanese will attend Syracuse University and plans to major in speech pathology and audiology.

FRESHMAN FAST-FORWARD: She is looking forward to “getting involved on my campus. There’s a lot of school spirit at Syracuse and I’m really school-spirited, so I’m excited for that.”

WHAT MAKES HER EXTRAORDINARY: “I just kept doing the things I love to do and suddenly got recognized for it. I think I’m very hardworking.”

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