Lynbrook Key Club in an “Empire State of Mind” for Annual Conference

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Members of the Lynbrook High School Key Club recently attended the virtual New York District Leadership Training Conference. Its motto, “Empire State of Mind,” resonated with all attendees as they reflected on the extraordinary 14 months of sacrifice and service to their schools, communities and Key Clubs. The two-day event consisted of several noteworthy speakers, informative workshops focusing on leadership and communication skills and the distribution of a plethora of awards to deserving Key Club districts statewide.

Lynbrook Key Club received an honorable mention award for raising the most amount of money in a single school year. This achievement was made possible largely due to their highly successful Double Good Popcorn fundraisers, which generated a whopping $18,483 for the club in just a few days. These fundraisers also earned the club the award for the most money raised for a single project. Half of the profit generated from popcorn sales went to Kiwanis Children’s Fund, Long Island Coalition for the Homeless, Project 9 Line, the Dr. Barbarino Scholarship Foundation, and the Rose Brucia Educational Foundation.

The awards were preceded by an inspiring speech from keynote speaker Seth Maxwell, one of the founders of the Thirst Project. Maxwell has spoken at countless venues about his organization to provide clean, sustainable water for all human life and to end the global water crisis for good. Since beginning his work a decade ago, the number of people without access to clean water has nearly been sliced in half, yet there is still work to be done. Maxwell implored Key Club members to take advantage of the freedom they have been given and use it wisely to maintain the greater good of others. He further went on to illustrate how acts of service performed with love at the forefront are the most effective way to create long-lasting bonds of empathy and generate much-needed global change.

Key Club members and executive officers alike enjoyed a fun Friday night of speeches, awards and virtual bonding over Zoom. Through Playfair Online, an interactive virtual experience connecting Key Clubbers of all different ages and locations, club members were led by actress Kaliswa Brewster through activities like virtual Rock/Paper/Scissors, sharing fun facts about one’s name and inquiring about favorite foods, movies, and/or pastimes.

“It was such a fun experience,” said sophomore and rising Key Club editor Alyssa Inserra. “Getting to end my Friday night meeting and chatting with people I had never met before was a great way to socialize and at the same time, show me how passionate Key Clubbers can be.”

The fun did not stop there as the second session of LTC kicked off the following morning. After the meeting was called to order by District Governor Mariam Makar, the Lynbrook High School Key Club received another six awards. This included the Public Relations Award, Achieved Increased Membership Award, and the Completed Paperwork Award. These recognized the club’s continued dedication to service, whether in-person or virtual, throughout the community. The club saw an immense increase in membership at the beginning of the school year, which only added to the amount of success through their fundraising endeavors. Additionally, Lynbrook Key Club has also been on top of their game with timely submission of their paperwork and their dues, which each member of the club is required to pay at the beginning of a new service year. This efficient organization and management also earned them the Early Bird Dues Recognition, commemorating all club members.

“It was so exciting to win awards at LTC,” said junior and rising Key Club Co-President Emma Ward. “I love helping people and it was so amazing to see how much of a positive impact our Key Club can have.”

Three sessions of virtual workshops were held throughout the course of the day, all led by Key Club leaders and influential members of external organizations and corporations who offered their expertise on leadership, communications, goal setting, and more. Featured among these was Thirst Project Ambassador Dan Nguyen, Founder and Executive Coach of Gannon Global Dan Gannon, Vice-President of Marketing at LICSPA Joseph Vernace, and Associate Deans of Student Affairs at Long Island University Ashley John and Matthew Blanar. Each presenter shared their own stories of service, goal setting, and leadership experiences.

Sergio Argueta, founder and board President of S.T.R.O.N.G (Struggling To Reunite Our New Generation) Youth, served as the returning keynote speaker for the Saturday session. He shared words of wisdom, along with his heart wrenching story of growing up in a dysfunctional family and associating with the wrong group of friends in high school which led him down a wrong path. However, he did not become discouraged by failure and certainly did not want any Key Clubber to do so either. His emotion was clearly tangible even behind a video screen, as he expressed how confident and hopeful he is regarding the newest generation of Key Clubbers as they prepare to take on the world with incredible insight for its people and meeting the needs of those who need it most. Currently the Dean of Students at Uniondale High School, Argueta’s message for the future was wonderfully received by all in Albany as they sprang to their feet at the end of his speech.

As LTC came to a close, Lynbrook concluded their phenomenal stretch with their two final awards: The Distinguished Club: Diamond Level and first place in the Single Service Award: Platinum Division. These prestigious honors neatly summarized all the hard work Lynbrook’s Key Clubbers have done to meet and surpass their service goals this school year. Additionally, senior and Co-Vice President Olivia Dublin received the award for Most Outstanding Vice President, while Key Club member Dea Pulatani was recognized as a Most Outstanding Member of the freshman class.

“I was so honored to have received the award for Outstanding Vice President, and have loved all of my time here in Key Club the past four years,” said Dublin. “I will miss it so much.”

This year, although extraordinary in many respects, did not stop New York District Key Club from hosting LTC, and whether it be face-to-face or behind the screen, the connections and moments shared were ones to last a lifetime. Current members will be sure to take their greyhound up the Hudson River Line for next year’s conference at the Desmond Hotel in Albany, come 2022.

Lynbrook Key Club Honored for Community Service

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Members of the Lynbrook High School Key Club, along with their adviser Dr. Benedict Tieniber, were recently recognized by New York State Senator Todd Kaminsky and Assemblywoman Judy Griffin for their exceptional volunteer work during the 2020-2021 school year.

Club members were presented with a proclamation for their service and for making a positive difference in the community during the pandemic. Among their notable service projects, the LHS Key Club collected food, raised funds for those in need and organized blood donations.

Congratulations, Key Club!

Lynbrook Key Club Saves Lives One Blood Drive at a Time

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Members of the Lynbrook High School Key Club have not only raised thousands of dollars this year for charitable organizations, they have also saved lives. The club hosted its third and final blood drive of the school year on May 1 in the Lynbrook High School gymnasium where a total of 82 pints of blood was donated to those in need.

Despite the restrictions due to COVID-19 this year, club members were determined to make their blood drives a success. As a result, they were able to donate more than 217 pints of blood this school year, surpassing their original donation goal.

“This year has been all about going with the flow and doing our best to make a difference, and I am really happy with the impact Key Club has been able to have in the community and for people in need,” said incoming Key Club President and LHS junior Emma Ward.

During the May 1 event, many Key Club members donated blood and countless other members attended the blood drive as volunteers. A large group of Key Club members also had family or friends donate along with them or for them if they did not qualify or were underage.
Incoming Key Club Social Media Manager and LHS junior Abigail Almonte felt “incredibly humbled and thrilled” that she was able to donate blood.

“It’s amazing how a causal 20-minute donation can make such a huge impact on someone else’s life,” she said. “I am eager to keep donating.”

This spirit is felt throughout the Lynbrook community as the blood drives are one of the Lynbrook High School Key Club’s major annual events. Dr. Benedict Tieniber, key club adviser, enjoyed being able to hold the event again at the high school.

“I am extremely proud of this group,” he said.

Key Club members are already excited for next year’s blood drives and look forward to continuing to make a difference in so many lives.

Lynbrook Science Research Students Rank Among the Best

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Despite the pandemic, students in the Lynbrook High School Science Research Program have brought their talents to new heights this school year. After months of collecting and analyzing data, writing their research and practicing their presentations, four Lynbrook students participated in the 2021 virtual Long Island Science and Engineering Fair, hosted by Society for Science. Here, three of the students earned special awards and two of the three advanced to the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair for their first place LISEF projects.
Senior Ryan Marrione was the recipient of the NASA Earth System Science Award for his research project, “An Analysis of Aerodynamics Through the Lift and Drag Coefficients of a Y-Axis Morphing Airfoil.” The award recognizes student advances in space and aeronautics to enhance knowledge, innovation, economic vitality and stewardship of Earth. Senior and Class of 2021 salutatorian Kathryn Postiglione also earned the NASA Earth System Science Award for her project, “Analyzing the Photometry of Star Cluster Messier 39: Creation of Color Magnitude Diagram, Age Calculation, and Distance Measurement.” In addition to the special recognition, her project earned first place in the Math AND Physics & Astronomy category at the fair which qualified her for the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair.

Kathryn was not the only Lynbrook student to advance. Ashley Roth, Lynbrook High School’s Class of 2021 valedictorian, took home first place in the Earth and Environmental Sciences category for her research project, “The Effect of Aquatic Nitrate Concentrations on Anuran Species Abundance on Long Island.” Her impressive research also earned her the Environmental Protection Agency’s Earth System Science Award which recognizes student advancement in environmental science and engineering.

This year, 185 Long Island students were selected to participate at LISEF, one of the most competitive qualifiers for the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair. Kathryn and Ashley were among only 20 first place LISEF winners to advance to ISEF, which will take place virtually this May. Regeneron ISEF finalists compete for nearly $5 million in awards, prizes and scholarships against other students around the world. This was the first year that Lynbrook had two students advance to ISEF in a single year.

“I am so happy that Ashley and Kathryn won first place awards in their categories,” said Science Research teacher Charles Vessalico. “They worked so hard on their projects and truly deserve this honor. I am also really proud of the Lynbrook High School Research Program as a whole. The competition at LISEF is fierce because Long Island has many of the best high school research programs in the world. Having two students win first place and become ISEF finalists through LISEF in the same year demonstrates that Lynbrook deserves its place amongst the best.” 

Juniors and Seniors Go Head-to-Head in Annual Powderpuff Game

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Girls from Lynbrook High School’s Class of 2021 and 2022 recently participated in the school’s annual flag football game at Marion Street School. Hosted by the Lynbrook High School Key Club, the powderpuff game has been a tradition in the Lynbrook community for the past 15 years and this year would be no different.

Coaches and players took the field as their peers cheered them on. Players were charged $5 to get into the game and guests were encouraged to make a donation. As a result, the Key Club was able to raise $702 which was split between both the junior and senior class. At the end of the game, the seniors took home the win with the score of 31-0. Although there were many obstacles to overcome due to the pandemic, with the help of the high school staff and administrators, the day was a success.

“Powderpuff has always been such a great event in our community, and I am extremely grateful we were able to have it,” said Carly Tucker, senior and Key Club Co-President. “Seeing how excited everyone was to have this event, really made this day more special than ever!”

Fellow senior and Key Club Co-President Marti Candel noted that powderpuff is her favorite event of the year.

“The competitive but fun game gets everyone so excited,” she said. “The spirit and happiness is felt by everyone and of course the seniors took home the win because they are epic!”

The Lynbrook High School Key Club looks forward to continuing the powderpuff tradition for years to come.