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Fair,88°
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Community service pays off for trio of graduates
(Page 2 of 2)
Andrew Hackmack/Herald
Kiwanis Club scholarship recipients Jessica Vespoli, Aimée Kaplan and Kayla Neske are joined by Kiwanis Vice President Karin Hayat, left, and President Bob Coppola, right.

Neske volunteered at Barrett Park for the village’s summer camp program for two years before she was hired as a counselor. She also gives her time to VFW Post 1650. Nearly every Saturday, she can be found at the hall helping out with administrative work and cleaning.

As president of the National Honor Society at South, she has also been involved in many community services activities including food and clothing drives, breast cancer walks and tutoring.

She will attend the University of New Haven to study criminal justice. Neske plans to concentrate on investigative services and forensic psychology as she hopes to work for the FBI in the future.

Vespoli has been involved with numerous fundraising activities with the National Honor Society at North. She has helped support the March of Dimes, as well as Rebuilding Long Island, an organization that constructs ramps at the homes of disabled citizens.

She organized a team that took part in Relay for Life at Carey High School, raising $6,850 along the way, and has participated in her school’s Intergenerational Dinner which provides a meal and entertainment for local seniors citizens.

“I feel that it’s important to give back to the community,” Vespoli said, “especially when people don’t have the chances you do.”

Vespoli will attend Cazenovia College, near Syracuse, where she will work to become a special education teacher.

Kaplan said she is very grateful for the scholarship because she will be paying for college herself. She also said it is rewarding that her hard work has paid off — literally. Even as she heads to college, Kaplan says she plans to stay involved in Valley Stream and hopes to encourage others to give back. “I’m a firm believer in the quote, ‘Be the change you wish to see in the world,’” she said.

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