Manhasset High School senior Courtney Connors' favorite part of helping others is the excitement she feels over their excitement.
Connors, 17, has shown her compassion through a range of activities -- from lifting the spirits of women battling breast cancer to helping coordinate a tennis clinic for underprivileged children.
Last summer, that six-week event brought nearly 95 kids to the Manhasset/Great Neck Equal Opportunity Center. Connors secured donations of 200 tennis balls from the U.S. Tennis Association and tennis clothing from adidas, as well as collecting 20 gently used tennis rackets from local residents.
"I love the kids' excitement and the improvement I saw in their tennis playing. It's so rewarding," said Connors, who worked on the clinic as part of the community service component of her Gold Award, the top honor for a Girl Scout.
Her other community efforts include serving as secretary of the Plandome Junior Fire Department and devoting time to the Junior Coalition of the Manhasset Women's Coalition Against Breast Cancer.
Connors is captain of her school's girls tennis team, has competed in 50 matches through her USTA membership, and has served as a ball girl at the past two U.S. Open tournaments at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.