Miguel Turell of Bay Shore.

Miguel Turell of Bay Shore. Credit: Newsday/Kendall Rodriguez

Miguel Turell has made it his mission to uplift the residents of Brentwood and Central Islip.

Turell, 42, is the co-founder of Uplift Our Towns, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting positive community engagement and participation within the two hamlets. The nonprofit is perhaps best known for coordinating the Clean Streets Project, an annual event in which hundreds of volunteers pick up as much as 40 tons of litter scattered throughout the two communities.

Originally launched as Uplift Brentwood in 2016, the organization was formed by local residents who petitioned the Town of Islip to reopen the community’s largest park, Roberto Clemente Park, which had been closed due to the illegal dumping of hazardous construction waste, Turell said. Since then, the organization has expanded to include sponsoring youth video-game tournaments at the Brentwood and Central Islip public libraries and distributing toys, food and clothing to families in need — including 10,000 pairs of socks that are donated annually by the apparel brand Bombas.

“My kids go to school here, so I want them to be proud of where they’re from,” said Turell, who lives in Bay Shore and works in supply logistics for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. “This community has a special place in my heart, so I want to see it thrive.”

Turell has also served as a basketball coach for Brentwood Youth Activities, a volunteer for the nonprofit Youth Enrichment Services and a youth mentor with The Gentlemen Society in Brentwood, which strives to provide today’s youth with a basic understanding of the art of being a gentleman.

He is also involved with the Brentwood chapter of My Brother’s Keeper, which is an initiative that aims to help young men of color realize their full potential and gives them mentor relationships in government, education and business.

For his efforts to improve his fellow residents’ quality of life, Turell was recognized during an Islip Town ceremony held in conjunction with Hispanic Heritage Month in September.

“Throughout his career, he has demonstrated true care for the positive direction of our community’s youth and the continued beauty of our town,” Councilman Jorge Guadrón said during the ceremony.

Next up for Turell is the 14th annual Clean Streets Project, which this year is set for May 18, and will include food and ice cream trucks and local artists painting murals.

“We try to make it a big family fun day, and there’s a lot of youth because they have to get their community service hours,” he said.

Those interested in participating in the Clean Streets Project can visit the organization’s website at upliftourtowns.org.

Nominate a Long Islander who goes above and beyond or serves as an inspiration to their community. Send details and photograph to Michael Ebert, michael.ebert@newsday.com (photos should be high-resolution). Photos may be used in other publications affiliated with Newsday.

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