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'High School Musical' star inspires Jericho students

Monique Coleman, of High School Musical, spoke to

Monique Coleman, of High School Musical, spoke to students at Cantiague Elementary School in Jericho about charity and self-esteem. Photo Credit: T.C. McCarthy

Students at Cantiague Elementary School in Jericho got to see a familiar face from The Disney Channel in person Thursday, as Monique Coleman of “High School Musical” fame visited the school to encourage youngsters to get involved in charity work and build their self-esteem.

During her 45-minute talk, Coleman urged students to participate in Rock Can Roll, a Jericho-based charity that works to bring food to senior citizens and families in need, in cooperation with rock concerts, schools, corporations and individuals.

Rock Can Roll founder Aimée Holtzman said she met Coleman in Los Angeles at a movie premiere, and Coleman has since been a volunteer and supporter.

“It’s a very good organization,” said fifth-grader Sarah Saul, a Rock Can Roll volunteer. “If you donate, it’s not just for them, it’s for yourself, because doing something well makes your heart feel good.”

Coleman is no stranger to inspiring children. She founded an online talk show for teens called “GimmeMo.’”

“It really came out of my passion for young people,” she said.

Coleman, who was also a contestant on “Dancing With the Stars,” wants “GimmeMo’” to be a vehicle for safe conversation with teens about making healthy decisions.

The show has  covered such issues as bullying, lack of self-esteem and youth homelessness. 

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