Serena Viti started walking the halls at 8 a.m., going from one classroom to the next at H. Frank Carey Junior-Senior High School in Franklin Square every day this past week leading up to the homecoming football game.
Viti collected $600 for her project, Let’s Tackle Poverty, which benefits Heifer International, an organization that works to end world hunger.
But then she decided to take her efforts one step further by asking people to pledge donations based on how many touchdowns the football team scored Saturday.
After participating in the parade as one of the homecoming queen nominees, Viti was ready to collect funds, and realized she raised an additional $1,830.
People were able to pledge $1 for each touchdown the Seahawks scored.
And the football team did its part by finding the end zone six times in a 40-14 win over Sewanhaka High School of Floral Park.
Viti initially began the Let’s Tackle Poverty project this past May for her senior service project.
“I wanted to do something that would have a huge impact,” the 17-year-old senior said. “I did some research and found Heifer International. It focuses on third-world [areas] like Africa and Haiti. They have a pay-it-forward program, which I liked. They use the donations to buy animals like goats. The goats can feed a family, and then the goat can have babies and feed another family, so one animal can feed many families.”
Part of her project involved giving visual presentations to students from all the junior and senior high classes. Viti learned that people are willing to listen and lend a helping hand.
“Some students had tears in their eyes while I was giving the presentation,” she said. “I want people to know that we can make a difference in the world.”