Lilly Barone believes one of the most rewarding parts of community service is getting to know each person's story.

Barone, a junior at St. John the Baptist Diocesan High School in West Islip, has come to know dozens of individuals' stories through community service efforts that range from volunteering in the transport unit at Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip to teaching religious education to middle-schoolers at Our Lady of the Snow Parish in Blue Point.

She also works as a lifeguard at YMCA facilities in Holtsville and Patchogue and gives swimming classes to local children - including those with autism.

"Every day is different," Barone, 17, said of working with developmentally disabled youths. "I treat each child with kindness and find their strengths."

Barone's other activities have included a mission trip to Camden, N.J., this past fall in which she and 12 other St. John students volunteered in soup kitchens and geriatric centers.

She is also coordinating a "Dream Dress Drive" in which her school community will donate gently used prom dresses this spring for teen girls who can't afford to buy their own.

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