Brooke DiPalma, 17, will receive the Leaders of Tomorrow Award...

Brooke DiPalma, 17, will receive the Leaders of Tomorrow Award this fall from the Long Island chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Credit: Handout

A West Islip High School senior is being honored for creating something positive from a tragedy.

Brooke DiPalma, 17, will receive the Leaders of Tomorrow Award this fall from the Long Island chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals in recognition of her "exceptional accomplishments through volunteerism," the organization said.

She is being recognized for creating an annual "P.S. I Love You Day" in February when people fight bullying to prevent suicides. She started the day after the suicide of her father in 2010.

"My dad dropped me off at school that morning, and we both said 'I love you,' " said DiPalma, explaining the name. "We want to make sure each person knows, whether you're the most social person or a person who is shy, you're absolutely amazing and loved."

So far, the day has been celebrated by more than 30 schools and 30,000 people worldwide, DiPalma said. Participants wear purple and do something to spread love, such as leaving a nice message on a Post-it Note.

DiPalma is president of the Class of 2014 and the Student Senate. Over the summer she represented New York at Girls Nation,

a civic training program

of the American Legion Auxiliary.

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