Youth Summit Triumph at Dowling

East Islip’s Environment Green Career Academy performed exceptionally well in its first entrance into the Long Island Youth Summit Competition, held on March 9 at sponsor Dowling College’s Fortunoff Hall & Kramer Science Center in Oakdale.

Nineteen of East Islip High School’s students were selected as finalists in this year’s competition: Krista Ancona, Ashley Barbero, Brittney Bergin, Coutney Blake, Mary Grace Bullis, Fiona Coffey, Jessica Esposito, Conor Ferrin, Kristina Freitag, Ariana Hill Witte, Dylan Locklin, Niki Lund, Sara Mason, Matthew McDermott, Courtney Reardon, Taylor Regan, Robert Rohan, Christopher Verdino and Jessica Visconte.

The Environment Green Career Academy group competed against some of Long Island’s brightest students from different school districts by submitting research projects evaluated by professional community leaders. The students provided research and a video documenting their work on the project, guided through the submission process by a quartet of superb East Islip educators: business economics teacher Paul McHugh, English teacher Maude Walsh, technology teacher James Connell and marine science teacher John Reilly.

East Islip finished in first place in their chosen Youth Summit category of Protection of Water and Open Space Preservation. Each of the 19 finalists from the Career Academy received a $500 scholarship from Dowling College, and eight of these students received an additional $2,000 each for winning first place in their category, for a total scholarship funding of $25,500.

While at the Youth Summit, the East Islip students enjoyed a variety of informational and networking experiences. They participated in workshops on topics such as water and renewable energy, discussing how to address Long Island’s environmental issues and develop future solutions with experts including Citizens Campaign for the Environment (CCE) Program Coordinator Tara Bono, H2M Water President Dennis Kelleher, Renewable Energy Long Island (RELI) Executive Director Gordian Raake and Dr. John Tanacredi of Dowling’s Department of Earth & Marine Sciences.

North Shore-LIJ Health Systems CEO Michael Dowling, who delivered the Summit’s keynote address, also guaranteed a paid internship opportunity this summer at one of his company’s hospitals for each of these eight first-place East Islip students.