This week's service spotlight goes to Madison Quattlander. Madison does her service as a tutor and helps with childcare at Our Lady of the Assumption School. She spends her time with children ranging from grades Kindergarten through Eighth grade. She helps them with math and English homework, supervises as they play and most importantly is a role model of dignity, honor, respect and compassion. When asked to reflect on her service, Madison says, “In my service, I have not only taught children what they may not have known about the world, but they in turn have shown me a new perspective that I will forever value and take into account.” Compassion is the result of a good-natured spirit, which all in Preston should aspire to acquire… Pass it on!
As the 2019 year was coming to a close, Compassion Connection was collecting toys to donate to those less fortunate. Alumna Nicole Ferguson reached out to Preston to let us know that a drive for toys was organized in memory of a little boy named Zach, who sadly passed away in September 2019. All collected toys were donated to St. Jude's, Columbia Presbyterian Children’s Hospital, Blythedale, and Montefiore Children’s Hospital. Thank you, Compassion Connection, for being such admirable leaders of Compassion in our school, and for inspiring the rest of us to follow in your footsteps. Compassion sees the needs of others and tried to meet those needs… Pass it on!
On December 5th, Preston's chapter of the National English Honors Society hosted a Christmas movie night for students to attend in school! The entrance fee monies were donated to the amazing cause of St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, to help support the many families with children who are suffering from cancer this holiday season. A total of $86.50 was raised! Thank you to every student who came to support this amazing event, and to the compassionate leaders of the National English Honors Society. To be compassionate is to be kind, and to be kind is to have faith… Pass it on!
This week's service spotlight goes to Leah Medina. Leah volunteers at New York Botanical Gardens. She spends her time teaching the many children that come through NYBG about the plant life in the exhibits and scenery, about their parts, and what they do in the environment. Leah not only helps children to learn new things, but she gets to help her community at the same time. When asked to describe her service, she said, "some of my finest work has resulted through the work my service has provided for others." Compassion is an attribute that can be obtained by anyone who wants to express it. It is limitless in the lengths its effects could reach … Pass it on!
On Giving Tuesday, Preston's friends and alumnae compassionately took some time to give back to our school! $8,500 was donated to Preston. Gooooo Compassionate Panthers! Because of the giving nature of those associated with our school, we reached 85% of our goal of $10,000! This is the season to give and to be kind, and all of our donors have done just that. And for this, we are grateful. Compassion sometimes shows itself in the smallest of ways; sometimes in the biggest of ways. Be the one to make compassion a habit, and give back! Pass it on!
On November 26th, Preston’s National Honors Society hosted their annual in-school potluck! A total of 183 students and faculty donated to and attended this great event! All the food and entertainment was provided by the members of National Honors Society and its faculty council. Dr. Unger, National Honors Society's mentor, oversaw this very successful event. The proceeds, which came to a whopping $841, will be donated to the Alzheimer's Association, the largest nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting for the victims of Alzheimer's, in honor of Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. Monies donated will be used to provide education, research funding, advocacy, local support, and resources for families and professionals in this great organization. Compassion doesn’t take a fighting body, but a fighting heart, which Preston honorably helped to shine light upon … Pass it on!
This week's service spotlight is on Angelina Rodriguez. Angelina spends her service volunteering in a local precinct, where she helps out the Bronx community. She files and organizes papers, prints out important documents for the officers and helps out in any other way that a busy officer might find helpful. When asked to describe her service, she says, "It's been an eye-opener for me to see the behind the scenes of what goes on inside a precinct. Also, being able to help out, even in a small way, makes it worth it.” Compassion takes a giving heart, a humble soul and a grateful mind … Pass it on!
After 6 compassion-filled, hardworking and inspiring weeks, Preston's 2019 Food Drive has reached its end! Goooooooooo Compassionate Panthers! This year, with the help of the many driven people within the walls of our school, we were able to collect a whopping, record-breaking total of 12,356 pounds of food, surpassing our goal of 10,000 pounds! Though everyone did an amazing job at feeding the hungry this year, homerooms FR6 (Mentor Mr. Martinez) and JR1 (Mentor Ms. Farrell) collected the most points in the school! Congratulations! The food that was collected in the drive was donated to the following pantries: Divine Compassion Pantry in Dover Plains, Mercy Center in the Bronx, St. Raymond's Pantry in the Bronx, OLA Pantry in the Bronx. Likewise, packages were made using Food Drive food for Preston Center of Compassion Big Sister Little Sister Program, Lamp Ministries, and Santa Maria Parish. Compassion takes us one step forward into a better world, and Preston is honored to have been a part of that step … Pass it on!
On Wednesday, the Human Rights Awareness Club gathered to write Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday letters for those who are lonely and in need. Members wrote diverse - inspirational quotes and messages inside each letter, spreading compassion through kind words. The members of Human Right Awareness not only contributed to spreading compassion, but they also got to represent Preston as a whole in doing so. Compassion only takes a kind heart and the passion to do what’s right … Pass it on!
This week's service spotlight goes to Ariana Estevez. Ariana spends her service time volunteering at Montefiore Hospitals's Pediatric Emergency Department. She volunteers as a “doctor's apprentice.” She confirms patient information, retrieves equipment needed for procedures, and responds to any patients' requests for food and refreshments. Ariana’s service has allowed her to witness and be a part of a diverse community, and sharpen her communication and teamwork skills. When asked to describe her service, she says, "When passion and the selfless intention to serve others is applied to something obligatory, the recompense is incomparable gratification in seeing them benefit from my efforts. In turn, it unquestionably overrides the mere relief of meeting a requirement.”
Compassion Connection has been weekly weighing food since the beginning of the annual Preston food drive! This week, with one week left to go, after the food carry-down, we have brought our numbers to 7,500 pounds, with only 2,500 left until we reach our ultimate goal of 10,000 pounds! Goooooooooo Compassionate Panthers! With these results thus far, we have already fully packed one pantry, and are currently working on collecting food for three more. Though the success of collecting 10,000 pounds of food will give Preston’s faculty, staff and students a day off, it is for a greater cause. We get to be a part of the ultimate gift of compassion! Thank you to everyone who has brought food in, and remember to keep that energy up in this remaining week! Compassion intends to spread love, and everyone in the world is capable of doing this… Pass it on!
Gaelic Society held their first bake sale. The money earned from selling the home baked goods will be put towards the Ceili, a spring event, whose profits and donations go towards organizations like Project Children. Though it is only one of their first fundraising activities, Gaelic Society will be hosting many Irish festivities throughout the remainder of year for both Preston students and outside events. Compassion doesn’t take many people, but one strong leader to inspire others into action… Pass it on!
This service spotlight shines on Angela Colotti! Angela spends her service volunteering at Villa Maria's afterschool sports program. She volunteers two days a week and works with kids ranging from kindergarten to fifth grade. She spends her time making sure that all kids are being included and respected, while also helping out with various other activities. Angela's compassionate service has given many kids the chance to experience new opportunities in their school's sports programs, and provided a supportive and positive environment for everyone attending the program. When asked to describe her service, Angela says, “the best part about doing my service with kids is being able to give them an extra hand when they need it, and being the one to believe in them.” Be a leader and inspire compassionate change… Pass it on!
The Human Rights Awareness Club organized their first bake sale to help raise Alzheimer's Awareness. All proceeds made during the bake sale, which totaled $117.65, will be donated to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. By being compassionate leaders that represent the giving clubs of Preston High School, Human Rights Awareness Club sets an example of what true compassion looks like. To be a leader of the Divine Compassionn is to be a woman of fortitude and giving, which Preston students teach by example … Pass it on!
On Wednesday, November 6th, Italian Club gathered to make Christmas gift packages for families in need. Once again, Italian Club is working with Lamp Ministries, to make packages that include winter attire, like gloves and winter socks, along with inspirational, loving messages. By doing this, Italian Club will be representing Preston for every family positively affected by this compassionate act. Thank you, Italian Club, for being amazing role models for our school. Compassion doesn’t take a lot of money or a platform easily obtained; compassion is the ability to put loving thoughts into actions… Pass it on!
This week's service spotlight goes to Sophia Herrera. Sophia spends her service time volunteering for Mr. Teemsma's Audio-Visual team. During school assemblies, masses, and outdoor Preston events, Sophia is there, helping to create an efficient audio-visual setup. Though her service is more behind the scenes, it is because of it that these events run smoothly. When asked to reflect on her service, Sophia says, “helping in AV has made me realize all the work that goes in behind the scenes, and I've come to appreciate all involved.”
On Tuesday, Compassion Connection gathered to make Thanksgiving gift packages for the families of the little girls in Preston Center of Compassion's Big Sister Little Sister Program. Each of the packages included a box of cereal, canned chicken and rice soup, vegetables, fruits, pasta, peanut butter and jelly, etc... Because of Compassion Connection's compassionate actions, another 30 families will have the chance to share in the loving nature of Thanksgiving, and hopefully some day pay forward the charity conveyed to them. Compassion doesn't take a rich or poor person, but someone who is rich in spirit and courage … Pass it on!
This Tuesday, Ms. DeMaio's Italian 4 class created packages for Lamp Ministries, using some of the food gathered in Compassion Connection's school wide food drive. Along with these items, Italian 4 made candy bags that were included in the packages. Each bag had a positive message written on their outside to help spread the Compassion that is so prevalent in Preston's walls. Students walked over the completed packages to Lamp Ministries, an organization that will then hand out the bags to needy people throughout the Bronx and Manhattan. Compassion doesn’t take someone extraordinary, just an extraordinary heart … Pass it on!
Preston's Food Drive is well on its way. For the fourth week in a row, homerooms are bringing in non-perishable foods... which are weighed and sorted by members of Compassion Connection. Some of the food has already been packaged by Italian Club and delivered to Lamp Ministries. And this Friday, Mercy Center will pick up 2000 lbs of food - to distribute it to the needy in the Bronx...
To date, we've collected 2785 pounds! Only 7215 pounds to go! We have three weeks to make it happen. Goooooo Compassionate Food Drive Panthers!!!!!!
The Compassion Blog would like to spotlight Gjoana Gjoni. Gjoana also volunteers for her service at Preston's Afterschool Program. She assists with games, and gives the kids there a helping hand in both the academic and recreational activities. Gjoana volunteers every Tuesday, and this compassion-driven service had provided a new insight into what being a leader means for Gjoana. When asked to reflect on her service, she says, "Being a part of the program is an honor because I can help children climb their own mountains and accomplish their goals.”
On Thursday, October 24th, Preston Sophomores experienced Challenge Day. This day was an extremely important time for the Sophomores, as they (and 25 of their faculty) got the chance to be experience a breakthrough shift in their class' culture. They found common ground with students from various paths of life. And they truly connected as a class. The compassionate leaders of Challenge Day provided the class with team building activities and emotional relief games and speeches. Compassion matters, in every person and every event… Pass it on!
This week, Italian club made candy packages and delivered letters of appreciation for Preston's faculty and staff. Letters were written by students in Italian class, and were compassionately delivered to shed light on the wonderful deeds the faculty do for Preston High School. They were delivered in the mailboxes after school, and prepped during the club’s meeting. Thank you, Italian students - compassionate leaders and Mrs. DeMaio, who took the time to acknowledge our teachers and give them credit for all they do … Pass it on!
Today's service spotlight goes to Mia Valentin. Mia volunteers at Preston’s Afterschool Program every week. When she's there, she organizes and assists them with homework or tutoring, plays games with the kids after they're finished with their schoolwork, and entertains them with activities which she supervises. When asked to describe her service, she says, “I used to not be a fan of small children, but doing this service here has made me absolutely adore them! It’s so nice to see their smiling faces when I walk in to begin the afternoon.”
Preston's annual breast cancer awareness volleyball game took place on Friday, October 18th. To help support the cause, ten dollar breast cancer awareness t-shirts were sold, baked goods (decorated in pink) were sold at a bake sale, and dress down money was donated to this cause. Thank you to all who donated money, bought a t-shirt or attended the game. Without this compassion driven leadership, Preston as a whole would not be the same … Pass it on!
Today's service spotlight goes to Jamy Swensen. Jamy spends her Tuesdays assisting children in Preston's Afterschool program. She helps them with homework, plays with them during their free time and does some tutoring sessions to assist further learning. Jamy's compassionate act have led to an easier and much more fun school experience for the kids she's been in contact with, and for Preston as a whole. When asked to describe her service, she says, "Honestly, I underestimated how hard the topics they're learning are, and am impressed and grateful to see how they handle themselves.”
Compassion Connection's food drive is officially in progress! After our first week of collecting, weighing and counting food from all homerooms, the first weight in is at 541 lbs. Thank you to all students and teachers who have contributed to this wonderful cause and annual time of giving in Preston's community. We are on our way, in our journey to surpass our 10,000 pound goal. The leading homerooms in the school so far are in FR 3, FR 6, SO 2, JR 4, and SR 1... with 9,459 pounds to go! Let compassion lead the way during the food drive journey… Pass it on!
This week's service spotlight is on Yulixa Almonte. Yulixa works for an afterschool program. She helps the kids with schoolwork, helps to feed them dinner, watches over them and moderates different activities. Through her compassionate leadership and role modeling for these children, Yulixa gets to spread Preston's goodness to others. When asked to describe her experience of working with the kids, she says, "My service this year allowed me to interact with children, and watch them grow, which makes me a better person.” Thank you, Yulixa, for your service and admirable spreading of compassion! ... Pass it on!
Compassion Connection continues to make sandwiches for Lamp Ministries. The club gathered to make another 120 sandwiches - this time peanut butter and jelly. These sandwiches will help to feed the poor and hungry. Thank you Compassion Connection for being the leaders of compassion in our school. It doesn’t take someone special to make a difference, but someone who is driven by goodness...pass it on!
Compassion Connection's annual food drive has finally begun! Mrs. Dekajlo prepared the Food Drive's lip sync video to inspire the giving spirit for this drive, this year to the song "Old Town Road." Preston Students will have 7 weeks to bring in non-perishable foods. This willbe donated to the poor and hungry through Compassion Connection. Though it's amazing to get a day off from school, if we reach 10,000 lbs of doanted food, Preston students let compassion lead the way during the Food Drive journey. The girls who collect, help transport, count and weigh the food, set an example for what Preston truly stands for, and that is Divine Compassion. So, bring in food everyone, and let’s make a difference together!! ...Pass it on!
Compassion Connection's first club meeting took place on Thursday, September 26th. 75 Preston students attended the meeting to build and package 200 homemade turkey and cheese sandwiches to deliver to Lamp Ministries. Compassion Connection's sandwiches are given to the homeless during their time of need. Students from every grade level come together to push forward Preston's ongoing acts of compassion. Thank you to all students who participate in the club, and remember to spread the powerful message of compassion throughout the entirety of the school year!
This Wednesday was Preston's Italian club’s first meeting. Wasting no time, the club began its well known charitable works. Members of the club gathered together to make small gift packages to pass on to the senior citizens for upcoming Italian Club events. Girls worked together to bag, wrap and deliver these packages, spreading the good works of Preston’s compassion to others. Many upcoming Italian club events will be centered around helping and providing fun Italian themed events for the senior citizens of Preston's Center of Compassion. The club’s members plan to bake and volunteer at these events. Thank you Italian club for a great kick off for the school year!
Compassion has hit the ground running in Preston's 2019-2020 school year. Though there are many school wide compassionate events that take place inside and outside the walls of Preston High School, there are still many things that the students of Preston do individually as well. From the beginning of the year, senior Alexia Suka has been helping freshman Laura Malshyti. Laura has been on crutches since early September, and Alexia has been helping her get to and from classes, through Preston's busy halls, and even in the cafeteria line holding a tray. Though this act of compassion was not required or expected, Alexia Suka proceeded with her admirable charity, and we are happy to give her the recognition she deserves. Compassion isn't assigned, but created by one personally. Pay it forward!
Preston's Back to School night for Freshman and Sophomores took place Thursday, September 19th. Preston students and their parents got to meet teachers and better know Preston as a school community. Sophomores that attended the night helpfully and compassionately led new parents through the building, answering questions and fulfilling concerns of theirs. Parents attended different presentations in their daughters' classrooms, and got the chance to walk in their daughters' footsteps. Thank you to our Sophomores who helped out tonight, and we hope all parents and students had a great time. We look forward to seeing you all again!
Today's service spotlight is on Mariah DeHoyos. Mariah will be spending her Junior year volunteering for Preston's Afterschool program. She will be helping children with homework, playing and organizing games for them during after school hours. She plans on teaching them good study habits along with proper time management skills for their homework. When asked to describe her service, and what she is most excited for, she says,,"I am excited about getting to help younger children learn better."
Compassion Connection's Food Fest Fridays (FFF) began last week! The club is gathering spare change from Preston students during lunch to help the victims of Hurricane Dorian. Many people's homes and neighborhoods were destroyed by the Category 5 hurricane, and are in need of our help! Members of the club will be gathering every Friday for the rest of September to collect as many donations as possible. All proceeds will be donated to the individuals affected through Catholic Relief Services, so if you have any spare change, donate to Food Fest Fridays!
Members of Preston's Student Council joined together during the school's 9/11 memorial and prayer service to lower our flag to its midway point in remembrance for all those who lost their lives during this tragedy. Students and faculty gathered in the auditorium to honor victims associated with Preston's alumnae and faculty, followed by a moment of silence from all. We are grateful to all the servicemen and women who showed true compassion and gave their lives as first responders. Thank you to Preston's Student Council and Faculty for organizing this memorial. Never Forget.
Our last Service Spotlight of this school year is on Pearl Marinas. As this year's Compassion Panther, she was responsible for taking pictures and writing about the compassionate acts that happen at Preston every day. Every week, Pearl provided the information for these "Compassion Matters... Pass It On!" posts. Pearl also regularly posted on the Compassion Panther Instagram and Compassion Connection's Facebook. Likewise, she created slides for the TVs around the school so that Preston students could appreciate their fellow students' compassionate acts. In describing her service, she said, "To be able to witness, partake in, and share the compassionate acts done here at Preston has been the most rewarding and honorable service that I have ever done."
In response to the recent bombings in Sri Lanka, Asian Club raised money for affected families in Sri Lanka. By selling lollipops and chocolates, they were able to raise $88.84. In addition, Asian Club will be donating $150 that they raised at past fundraisers to this cause. Thank you, Asian Club, for your act of kindness to those in need!
Our last Service Spotlight is on Syvanna Bay. She volunteers at Preston's Center of Compassion as a tutor. Working with different children each week, Syvanna helps them with reading and homework. When asked to describe her service, she said, "By tutoring the kids and learning about their lives in and out of school, I feel like I've become less concerned with myself and more thoughtful of others."
Throughout the entire school year, Compassion Connection raised $531.16 from Food Fest Friday collections! With these donations, they were able to support several organizations, including NYC Rescue Mission, Food Bank for NYC, St. Francis Breadline, and CityMeals on Wheels. Most importantly, these donations were used to purchase supplies for sandwiches to feed the hungry of NYC through Lamp Ministries. Compassion Connection thanks everyone who so generously donated their spare change for such good causes!
As we approach the end of the school year, Compassion Connection finished one last compassion project to finish off the year! At their last meeting, members made Birthday Boxes for children who might otherwise not have a chance to celebrate their birthdays.
Compassion Connection teamed up with Abraham House. Located in the South Bronx, Abraham House works with courts to offer first-time offenders an "Alternative to Incarceration" -- a home where people can turn around their lives and learn to become responsible citizens. Abraham House provides families with crisis management and counseling for the parents, and quality academic programs for eligible children.
Compassion Connection was able to make 10 kids happy on their birthday with these boxes! In each box, there was cake mix, frosting, sprinkles, birthday cards, plates, napkins, candles, streamers, balloons, and a birthday hat or tiara and sash. As always, thank you Compassion Connection for all that you've done this year for the community!
Our last Service Spotlight for this week is on Briana Boiano. At MS 101 Edward Byrne School, she helps coach middle school girls cheerleading. As a cheerleader herself, she is able to impart her knowledge and love for the sport with young cheerleaders. When asked to describe her service, Briana said, "Service has been more rewarding than I originally expected. I personally believe that the girls have taught me more than I could ever teach them."
Our second Service Spotlight this week is on Erica Mitchell. As a tutor at Preston's Center of Compassion, she helps children every Wednesday. By helping them read and do homework, Erica believes that she plays a huge part in their lives. In describing her service, she said, "I am made aware of the pivotal role I've played in a student’s life."
This week's first Service Spotlight is on Gabriella Leiba. At St. Clare's School, she helps coach basketball and volleyball. Gabi cheers on the players, helps them enhance their skills, and assists coaches at practice. When asked to describe her service, she said, "I love being able to spread my passion for sports with these girls."
Our last Service Spotlight for this week is on Kimora Leung-Yuen. At Preston's Center of Compassion's Big Sister Little Sister Program, she is a big sister to her little sister, Brianna. As a big sister, Kimora helps her Little with schoolwork and does creative activities with her. When asked to describe her service, she said, "Service teaches us compassion, respect, responsibility, gratitude, and leadership."
This week's next Service Spotlight is on Catherine Cravinho. Also, a tutor at Preston's Center of Compassion's Tutoring Program, Catherine tutors kids from Grades 1 to 8 every week. By using different teaching techniques, she helps these children complete their homework for the day. In describing her service, Catherine said, "By going weekly, I have learned the importance of commitment and responsibility to someone who depends on you to help them every week."
Our first Service Spotlight for this week is on Melanie Garcia. Melanie is a tutor at Preston's Center of Compassion. Every Tuesday, she helps several children, by helping them with their homework. When asked to describe her service, she said, "Doing service has made me truer to myself, I became more responsible and committed to doing service."
Our second Service Spotlight for this week is on Cassie Greco. At her elementary school, St. Clare's of Assisi School, Cassie volunteers at their CCD program. As a runner, she assists teachers, collects payments and bulletins, and helps out with the children. When asked to describe her service, she said, "My favorite thing about my service is watching how the kids grow in their faith."
Our first Service Spotlight for this week is Tatiana Sanabria. Here at Preston, she is a Campus Ministry Intern. Tatiana actively participates in setting up and cleaning up after all school liturgies and is responsible for taking care of all necessary items for Masses. She maintains our chapel, where we hold weekly Masses and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and decorates boards with school Mass information. In describing her service, Tatiana said, “As a Campus Ministry Intern, I connect more with God and my faith.”
(Pictured in photo on right, alongside Maria Terzulli, another Campus Ministry Intern)
On April 16, Compassion Connection hosted their biggest event of the year, Dance Marathon! At this event, over 100 students participated in Zumba, Just Dance, and Wii Sports and received snacks, baked goods and other refreshments for just $10. (All of which were donated to a charity!)
This year's event was very special, since Compassion Connection was able to raise over $2,000 for Lamp Ministries, an NYC Catholic organization with which Preston High School is closely affiliated. Throughout the year, CoCo made sandwiches for Lamp Ministries, who then distributed these sandwiches to the poor in New York City. 1000 people were fed through the hands of Lamp Ministries.
After selling tickets for almost two weeks prior to the event, CoCo exceeded their goal of $1,000, and raised another $200 on the day of the event! Also, a representative from Altice USA’s Charity Champions Program presented a big check of $1,000 to Lamp Ministries, Compassion Connection's chosen charity.
Compassion Connection would like to thank all those who helped to make this event possible. Ms. Suzi Myers-Tipa, who has participated as the Zumba instructor at every Preston Dance Marathon, Mr. Teemsma - our DJ, Ms. McEvoy, who helped with decorations and set-up, Mrs. Brescia and Sr. Lorretta for their assistance with snacks and refreshments, and most especially, all of the participants whose donations made it possible to support Lamp Ministries in the wonderful work they do.
Compassion Connection has reached the final week of sandwich making for Lent! Throughout this school year, CoCo members and volunteers made over 1,000 sandwiches! About 500 turkey and cheese sandwiches, and 500 peanut butter and jelly, through Lamp Ministries - fed one thousand hungry people! A HUGE thank you to all those who participated in this project!!! As we approach Holy Week, let's not forget the sacrifice Jesus made for us and continue to help all those in need of our compassion everyday.
Italian Club hosted their annual Spring Party on April 11th. At this event, senior citizens were served pizza and baked goods, including brownies and traditional Italian desserts. Members of Italian Club and Italian Honor Society and students in Italian classes wrote personal letters and made goody bags for the guests. In addition, the senior citizens played several games of bingo and listened to Italian music. Thank you Italian Club for your ongoing service to the community!
On Thursday, April 11, Ms. Connolly's AP U.S. History and Honors Humanities classes and Dr. Unger's Honors U.S. History class had a guest speaker, Mr. Lewis Zuchman. As a Civil Rights Activist and Freedom Rider, Mr. Zuchman experienced life during the time of a segregated America and was able to share his experiences during the 1960s Civil Rights Movement. Encouraging our students to strive for progress, he reminded our students of the importance of unity and working towards the common good for all. We are more alike than we are different and we must always do what is right to help others.
This Spring, the National English Honor Society is sponsoring their annual Book Drive for Jacobi Hospital. All books, including picture books, novels, and short stories, will be given to patients, both children and adults, at Jacobi. NEHS asks all members of the Preston community to donate books to spread hope by placing all donations in the boxes near Room 100. A huge thank you to NEHS and all those who donated for your service to the community!
As we approach the end of the Lenten Season, Compassion Connection is continuing to make as many sandwiches as they can for Lamp Ministries! During this 5th week of sandwich making, 20 members of the Preston community made 130 turkey and cheese sandwiches. Thank you to all volunteers! All are welcome to help make sandwiches next Thursday, the last sandwich making meeting of Lent, in Room 104.
In just a couple of weeks, Compassion Connection will be hosting their annual Dance Marathon! Dance Marathon is CoCo's largest fundraising event in which there are snacks, Wii Sports, and, of course, lots of dancing! This year, all proceeds from this event will go to Lamp Ministries, an organization that is closely affiliated with Preston High School.
To help fund the T-shirts for this event, Compassion Connection had a bake sale on April 4. Selling homemade baked goods, including cupcakes, cookies, and brownies, they made $72! Compassion Connection invites the entire student body to show their love and appreciation for the good work done by Lamp Ministries by attending Dance Marathon on April 16!
As the Softball Teams prepare for the upcoming season, both the JV and Varsity teams gave of their time to clean up their home field. At Veterans Field, a public park, both teams rolled up their sleeves and got to work. Shoutout to our Softballs Teams for taking initiative and being stewards of God's creation!!
Compassion Connection has now been making sandwiches every week for one month! This week, members and volunteers made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for Lamp Ministries. They made 120 sandwiches for the hungry of NYC. As always, Compassion Connection continually sets an example for all, not only this Lenten Season, but everyday!
This week was the third week of Compassion Connection's Lenten project of making sandwiches! At this meeting, they made turkey or ham and cheese sandwiches for Lamp Ministries. 20 volunteers came to offer their help and make 135 sandwiches! Thank you to everyone who volunteered their time to help those in need!!
On March 21, the Spanish Honor Society sponsored their annual Multicultural Volleyball Game. At this event, many of our cultural clubs play against each other in volleyball matches. Our winners were Caribbean Club in first place, Latin Honor Society in second place, and Asian Club in third place. This year, SHS made $132! In addition to the game, the Spanish Club hosted a bake sale, in which they raised $82. Spanish Honor Society and Spanish Club raised a total of $214. All proceeds from this event will help fund the Spanish Honor Society Scholarship, which will be awarded to a Preston student at the end of the school year. Thank you to all participants and spectators!
Our Service Spotlight for this week is on Daniela Garcia. At Preston, Daniela is an Admissions Intern. She helps out at events that recruit new students to Preston, represents Preston at events for local elementary and middle schools and helps manage the bookstore. When asked to describe her service, Daniela said, "Being an admissions intern has taught me the importance and uniqueness of the Preston community. It's a special opportunity that I don't take for granted!"
Compassion is not only popular in Preston High School, but in the Bronx as well! This 2nd week of sandwich making was very special because News 12 The Bronx came to do a segment on Compassion Connection! On March 14, 28 club members and volunteers came together to make 160 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. At this week's meeting, a reporter from News 12 filmed the process, from making of the sandwiches to the weekly delivery to Lamp Ministries. Two club officers, Aiyana Adams and Vicky Escalona were even interviewed! For the next month, Compassion Connection invites all members of the Preston community to stop by room 104 and help make sandwiches! A HUGE thank you to News 12 The Bronx and Compassion Connection for always setting a precedent of compassion for all!!
To see the video segment about Compassion Connection on News 12 The Bronx click here.
Throughout the entire month of March, the Women's Empowerment Club is hosting a Toiletries Drive for the Sisters of Life. The Sisters of Life is a female Roman Catholic religious institute that is dedicated to the promotion of pro-life causes. Donated items can include, but are not limited to, menstrual pads, deodorants, toothbrushes and toothpastes, soap, shampoo and conditioner. All are invited to donate and place these items in the box in front of the security desk. Thank you Women’s Empowerment Club for helping others this Lent!
The Albanian Club had a bake sale for Ronald McDonald House, an organization that helps millions of families with sick children by providing support and resources when they need it most. They sold Albanian treats, including baklava, burek and other delicious goodies. From several of their bake sales, they've raised $200, which will be donated to Ronald McDonald House. A huge thank you to Albanian Club for being a model of charity for all!
Throughout the six weeks of Lent, Compassion Connection is inviting all members of the Preston community to make sandwiches for Lamp Ministries. On March 5, Compassion Connection had a bake sale to support these meetings. They made $94 selling homemade brownies, cupcakes, cookies, and rice crispy treats. All proceeds will be used to purchase materials needed for making sandwiches.
On Thursday March 7, the weekly sandwich making began! Students made 120 turkey and cheese sandwiches for the hungry in NYC. All are welcome to help make sandwiches every Thursday in Room 104. This Lent, let's reflect on Jesus, the greatest sacrifice, and share our gratitude by helping others.
In the spirit of International Women's Day, Italian Club and Italian Honor Society hosted their annual Women's Day Party. At a club meeting preceding this event, students made packages, including nail polish, lip glosses and chocolates. In Italian classes, students wrote letters for the guests of the party.
The event took place on March 7. Guests included senior citizens from Preston's Center of Compassion's Seniors Program and residents of a women's shelter. All were invited to eat pizza and play bingo. Thank you Italian Club and Italian Honor Society for being an example of compassion for all this Lenten Season!
In an effort to bring awareness to the importance of recycling, Preston High School has begun to participate in the Pepsi Rally, a nationwide recycling program that offers opportunities for schools to receive supplies and rewards, motivating students to take care of our environment by recycling. Throughout the school, there are several recycling bins, labeled with stickers and posters, encouraging the Preston community to recycle. Every week, students in Dr. Zeoli’' Earth Science Honors Class weigh, measure and track our recycling activity in order to earn points. With the recycled bottles and cans, PepsiCo Recycling is able to support post-9/11 veterans with disabilities through their partnership with the Entrepreneurship for Veterans with Disabilities.
In several science classes, students were instructed to write their own pledges to themselves to reduce, reuse and recycle. Let's be good stewards of the earth by recycling our cans and bottles!
Every week during this Lenten Season, members of Compassion Connection will be making turkey and cheese and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for Lamp Ministries, who, then, delivers these sandwiches to the poor in New York City. In order to fund supplies for these sandwiches, Compassion Connection will use monies collected from the next 6 Food Fest Friday collections on supplies. Compassion Connection invites the entire student body to dedicate some of their time to help in making sandwiches for the poor. This Lenten Season, let's be present for those in need and sacrifice some of our time to make other people's lives better!
This week's Service Spotlight is on Sam Cruz. Sam is a big sister to a third grade girl named Alexa. At Preston's Center of Compassion's Big Sister Little Sister Program, she helps her little sister with homework and does fun activities with her. In describing her service, Sam said, "Through Big Sister Little Sister, I've gotten to experience what it's like to have a little sister of my own and how I could be a good role model for her."
Our Service Spotlight for this week is on Briana Marmolejos. Briana is a tutor for children ranging from Kindergarten to Eighth Grade. At Preston's Center of Compassion, she helps them with their homework and reading. When asked to describe her service, she said, “my service has taught me to be more patient and understanding.”
During this season of love, Italian Honor Society made 12 Valentine's Day Packages for Lamp Ministries. These bags contain toiletries, including deodorants, toothbrushes, and toothpastes, letters from students in Italian and inspirational messages. Lamp Ministries will be delivering these packages to women in shelters. Thank you Italian Club for spreading the love this Valentine's Day!
This Valentine's Day season, Compassion Connection sponsored a Cookie Gram Sale for the Children's Heart Foundation. Students and faculty were given the opportunity to send a package of 5 homemade cookies to their friends. On Valentine's Day these packages of cookies were delivered. Through this sale, Compassion Connection raised $330 for the NY Chapter of the Children's Heart Foundation. Thank you Compassion Connection for being a true model of love for everyone every day!
This week's Service Spotlight is on Alianna Guerra. At Preston, Alianna is a Campus Ministry Intern. At all of our liturgies, she is there to organize and set up everything that is necessary. Alianna is also responsible for maintaining our chapel and items needed for masses. In describing her service, she said, “through my service I've learned to deepen my relationship with God.”
Every year, the Spanish Honor Society hosts bake sales, dress downs and many other events. SHS, then, uses a majority of the money that they acquire from all of these events to sponsor a scholarship for a Preston student. This week, SHS had a bake sale and dress down to raise money for this year's scholarship. A huge thank you to all those who donated!
In an effort to brighten up the lives of the elderly and those in service, the National Honor Society is sponsoring a letter collection to support two charities, Love for the Elderly and Operation Gratitude. Love for the Elderly is a non-profit organization, devoted to providing seniors with the love and appreciation they deserve. While Operation Gratitude has a mission of expressing gratitude to those who serve our country by providing Americans with the opportunity to share their appreciation. Through this service project, students and faculty are encouraged to write simple, yet creative cards for the elderly and veterans, new recruits and first responders. This shows that a simple act of kindness can truly make an impact on someone's life!
Preston's Albanian Club is preparing for their Quarter 4 Can Tab War, a fun yet compassionate competition among all of our cultural clubs. The main goal of Albanian Club's Can Tab War is to collect as many can tabs for the Ronald McDonald House. Through their can tab collections, the Ronald McDonald House is able to raise thousands of dollars to help hospitalized children and their families. Beginning in April, the Albanian Club will accept contributions from the entire Preston community. It's the little things, like the tabs on your cans, that truly make a difference! Start collecting yoru can tabs now!
Our Service Spotlight for this week is on Tavia Taylor. Here, at Preston, Tavia is an AV intern for Mr. Teemsma, our Director of Audio and Visual. At any events, that require audio and visual, Tavia is there to help set up and oversee all of the equipment needed. When asked to describe her service, she said, "as an AV Intern, I learned a lot about sound and visuals. Most importantly, how to work with them. Working with Mr. T has been a fun and enlightening experience."
After the holiday season, Compassion Connection collected recycled Christmas-themed card tops for St. Jude's Ranch. With these card tops, St. Jude's Ranch makes new cards that are sold to the public. Throughout the year, they accept card fronts for all occasions. The proceeds from the new cards are used to help provide for abused and neglected children in Nevada.
With mid-term exams around the corner, the Preston community sent motivational messages through the Gaelic Society's Good Luck Gram Sale. With these Good Luck Grams, students and faculty were given the opportunity to order packages of candy or cookies to wish good luck to their friends for mid-terms. All proceeds will go to Project Children, an organization that coordinates aid for children in Northern Ireland.
This school year has been the best year for Food Fest Friday collections yet! Thus far, Compassion Connection has raised a total of $260 of spare change! In the first quarter of the school year, with these donations, Compassion Connection was able to support several organizations, including NYC Rescue Mission, Food Bank of NYC, St. Francis Breadline, and CityMeals on Wheels. In the second quarter, CoCo used collected monies to purchase supplies to make turkey & cheese and peanut butter & jelly sandwiches that were donated to Lamp Ministries. This only shows that at Preston, every cent counts! A huge thanks to everyone who donated!
Every year, Compassion Connection participates in Altice USA's Charity Champions Program. This is a contest designed to help participating schools demonstrate their community service by planning and organizing events to raise funds to help a charity of their choice. For simply participating, Compassion Connection received $250 to support and implement fundraising events throughout the school year and another $1,000 to donate to a charity of their choice. This year, they have decided to donate this money to Lamp Ministries, a Catholic missionary association that is closely affiliated with Compassion Connection. Every time Compassion Connection makes sandwiches - it is Lamp that delivers them to the hungry! With these donations, Lamp Ministries and Compassion Connection can continue to do good works for our community!
To start off the year on a positive note, Compassion Connection helped feed the poor in NYC. At their first meeting of 2019, members made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, that Lamp Ministries will distribute to the homeless. With these sandwiches, Compassion Connection was able to feed 120 hungry people. Thank you Compassion Connection for your service to our community!
Our first Service Spotlight of the year is on Cordelia Vohnout. At Fancy Feet Dance Studio, Cordelia is an assistant coach to young children. In describing her service, Cordelia said, "I'm so grateful that I get to share my love of dance and mentor the younger students at my studio."
In honor of the Advent season, the student body was given the opportunity to write Christmas letters to the faculty and staff. All of these letters were then collected, separated, and distributed to our faculty and staff members in time for Christmas by our helpful sophomores. Thank you Sophomores for your service!
For our Christmas liturgy, our sophomores volunteered to package 500 bags of hay for the Preston community. The hay serves as a symbolic representation to all of us of the birth of Jesus, the King of Kings, in a manger. At the mass, these bags of hay were blessed and distributed to everyone.
At the Big Sister Little Sister Christmas Party, Preston's Step Team performed a special routine for their audience of Bigs and Littles. The Step Team always goes out of their way to perform every year. Our little sisters and big sisters really enjoyed this year's performance. Thank you Steppers for sharing your beautiful talent with us!
During the Christmas season, Compassion Connection hosts the Big Sister Little Sister Christmas party. Every year, members of Compassion Connection bakes Christmas goodies and organize several fun activities for the little sisters and big sisters.
At this year's party, the Bigs and Littles enjoyed pizza and home-made Christmas-themed treats, made Christmas sticker posters, sang Christmas carols, and made ornaments. A big thank you to all those who contributed to creating such a wonderful Christmas event!
Our second Service Spotlight is on Chidinma Ohadoma. At Preston's Center of Compassion Afterschool Program, Chidinma is a tutor to children from Kindergarten to Eighth Grade. When asked to describe her service, Chidinma said, "I am so grateful that my service has given me the opportunity to educate kids in my community and make them excited to learn."
To continue to foster their relationships with residents of Providence Rest Nursing Home, members of Compassion Connection wrote letters to their pen pals. In these letters, they spoke about their favorite subjects, hobbies, and extra curricular activities. Throughout the school year, Compassion Connection members will continue to write letters to their new "pals."
This week's Service Spotlight is on Lauren Romeo. Lauren is an intern explainer at the New York Botanical Gardens. At her site, she walks young children through educational activities. In describing her service, Lauren said, "Working in ecological education helped me to spread my love of nature with children and adults of all ages, and being able to give back to a community which nurtured my love in nature has truly enriched my life."
With the donations from previous Food Fest Friday collections, Compassion Connection was able to make 120 turkey and cheese sandwiches for Lamp Ministries. Lamp Ministries ministers to the materially poor in NY City through Catholic evangelization. Thank you Compassion Connection for helping Lamp feed the hungry. And thank you being an example for others this Advent season!
Our Service Spotlight for this week is on Marina Siskos. Marina works as an assistant at Zoodohos Peghe Orthodox Church in the Sunday School Program. When asked to describe her service, Marina said, "I have learned that teaching kids about God is fun and enjoyable."
On December 3, the National Honor Society sponsored a Potluck to raise money for the National Autism Association. At this event, the National Honor Society was able to raise $360.
All proceeds from the Potluck and sale of Autism Awareness bracelets will be donated to this association. Thank you to all those who came and supported!
For years, Compassion Connection has been donating boxes of little gifts through Operation Christmas Child. This is a project of Samaritan's Purse through which people share God's love with children in need through gift-filled shoe boxes. (Last year over 11 million such shoe boxes were collected.) Members of Compassion Connection were able to fill 20 shoe boxes with toys, gloves, crayons, bath products, and other necessities. This holiday season, let's give compassion to those who need us the most!
After four weeks of resisting the razor, No Shave November is officially over! With the help of the Preston community and other donors, Mr. Carneiro, Mr. Pipchinski, Mr. Teemsma, Mr. Edelstein, and Mr. Youngren surpassed their goal and were able to raise $715 for cancer research. Thank you very much for all of your donations. Let's continue to raise cancer awareness and educate others about preventative measures.
To show compassion to those in need this Christmas season, Italian Club made winter packages for Lamp Ministries. (Lamp ministers to the homeless in NY City.)
Each bag included hats, scarves, gloves, candy, and letters in Italian and English from members of the Italian Club. With these items, the Italian Club was able to help 15 families with children and parents. Thank you Italian Club for always offering your time and service to those in need!
This week's Service Spotlight is on Antonia Paturzo. At St. Theresa, Antonia is an assistant coach for the cheerleading team. In describing her service, Antonia said, "Doing my service at my old elementary school, St. Theresa, has allowed me to teach young children the fundamentals of sports and has helped me to get more involved in both the school and neighborhood communities." Thank you, Antonia, for your service!
Every year, Compassion Connection hosts the Big Sister Little Sister Thanksgiving Party. Big Sister Little Sister is an after school program sponsored by Preston Center of Compassion, in which 16 third graders from P.S. 72 in the Bronx are paired with 16 juniors from Preston High School. These juniors act as big sisters and mentors to the little girls by helping them with their homework along with doing fun activities.
At this year's party, the Bigs and Littles enjoyed home-made Thanksgiving-themed baked goods and participated in a variety of activities ranging for Thanksgiving sticker posters to Turkey Kahoot.
To top off the festivities, each little sister received a frozen turkey and a package of food for their families to be able to celebrate Thanksgiving. Thank you to all those who contributed. These packages definitely made the little girls very happy!
In honor of the giving season, Preston's Spanish Honor Society made Thanksgiving baskets for 30 families of Santa Maria Parish. For many years now, the Spanish Honor Society has maintained a close relationship with Santa Maria and annually gives donations to them.These packages included turkeys, stuffing, soup, and canned vegetables and fruit from Preston's Thanksgiving Food Drive. Thank you Spanish Honor Society for taking the time and energy to create these packages to warm others' hearts during the Thanksgiving holiday!
This week’s Service Spotlight is on Leah Chin. Leah is an Admissions Intern at Preston. As an Admissions Intern, Leah helps manage the book store and attends events that advertise Preston to local elementary and middle schools. When asked to describe her service, Leah said, “I’m an admissions intern who helps talk to girls about coming to our school and I work the bookstore. It’s an amazing way to give back to Preston and help in any way that I can!”
After six weeks of bringing in food, we have finally reached the end of the Thanksgiving Food Drive!! The Preston Community just raised 11,077 lbs of food. Throughout the next week, this food will be picked up by 4 different food pantries - Fishes & Loaves Divine Compassion Pantry in Dover Plains, and Mercy Center, OLA Pantry, and St. Raymond's Pantry all in the Bronx. Likewise, food collected is being used to make packages - for families of Preston Center of Compassion's Big Sister-Litter Sisters (through Compassion Connection), for Lamp Ministries (Italian Club), and for Santa Maria Parish (Spanish Club.)
The top 4 highest donating homerooms were Senior 2- Señora Varela, Senior 3- Ms. Wicks, Senior 1- Ms. Connolly, and Junior 4- Ms. Farrell. Thank you so much to everyone who played a role in making our Thanksgiving Food Drive a success! This all could not have been possible without the help of everyone who donated food or money, and offered their time to help organize and weigh the food. Ms. Farrell deserves a special shout out. Since she started teaching at Preston, her homeroom consistently places in the top 4!
And a special thank you to Alumnae Gabriela Johns (Class of 2018), Michelle Luchetti (Class of 2008), and Caroline Ozdemir (Class of 2014) for dropping off food to support our efforts!
In preparation for Thanksgiving, the Italian Club made and delivered packages to Lamp Ministries. With contributions from the Preston Community from our Thanksgiving Food Drive, the Italian Club was able to make 15 packages. These packages consisted of cereal, rice, fruit and vegetable cans, soup, and personal letters from several Italian Club Members. These donations will surely help many families this Thanksgiving!
With just 2 days left of the Thanksgiving Food Drive, the Preston Community is well over halfway to our goal of 10,000 pounds. As of today, we have raised 6116 lbs of food. That's 3884 lbs to go! Please bring in food to help those who need our help. Several pantries are counting on us and there are over 100 Thanksgiving packages to be made... Let’s show everyone that 5 tons of food is nothing for the Compassionate students of Preston!
Compassion Connection also had a bake sale this week, to raise money for Hour Children. In 1986, Hour Children, a leading provider of services for incarcerated women and their children, was founded to acknowledge the important relationship between a mother and her child. This organization continues to help incarcerated women and formerly incarcerated women and their children by providing community-based services and in-prison programs, including housing, employment training, case management and therapy, and transportation and visitation services. Thank you to all those who helped raise $72 for this compassionate organization!
On November 6th, the Italian Club held a bake sale to raise money for future projects that will benefit the homeless. Monies raised will be used to purchase supplies for packages, that will be delivered to Lamp Ministries. During this holiday season, the Italian Club will make and deliver several packages for Thanksgiving and Christmas, including food from the Thanksgiving food Drive, hats, gloves, and scarves. A big thank you to the Italian Club for setting an example of Compassion for the rest of the Preston Community!
Several male members of our faculty and staff have taken on a new challenge… the No Shave Challenge! Mr. Carniero introduced this latest act of compassion at Preston to raise cancer awareness, specifically Prostate Cancer. Throughout the course of the entire month of November, these male teachers will go without shaving.
To find out more information about No Shave November and to donate to this cause, please visit https://no-shave.org/org/David and https://fans4thecure.org/
Let’s team up against Prostate Cancer!
Our second Service Spotlight for this week is on Madison Genovino. At St. Clare’s, Madison helps out at CCD classes. She is responsible for teaching students about the Catholic faith. When describing her service, Madison said, “assisting in a CCD class at St. Clare’s has allowed me to give those younger than me a better understanding of the Catholic religion and to show myself the importance and greatness of giving to others without receiving.”
Our first Service Spotlight for this week is on Karen Espinoza. Karen is a volunteer at Santa Maria School’s After School Program. She helps children from Kindergarten to Eighth Grade with homework. In describing her service, Karen said, “At Santa Maria’s After School Program, I’ve learned to be patient.”
This school year, the Campus Ministry brought back a old tradition here at Preston. Every Wednesday morning, liturgy is celebrated in the chapel. A Jesuit Priest from Fordham comes every week to celebrate the mass. From these masses, our Preston community is given the chance to receive the Eucharist, listen to the Word of God, and worship and praise God to start their day off right. We encourage all members of the Preston community to take advantage of this opportunity to become closer to God!
As of this week, we are halfway through the Thanksgiving Food Drive! We still have an additional 8,467 lbs to go! Let’s bring in as much non-perishable foods to not only get a day off, but more importantly, help those in need of our help. A big thank you to all of those who already donated!
This week’s Service Spotlight is on Tish-Khyla Samuels. She is a junior volunteer at the Humane Society of Westchester. At the animal shelter, Tish-Khyla takes care of various animals by feeding and playing with them. In describing her service, she said, “the joy and experience I get from helping animals in need is something I will cherish for a lifetime.”
Italian Club is grateful for all of the things that administration and teachers do for us! In preparation for the arrival of Thanksgiving, Italian club wrote letters and made candy packages to thank our faculty and staff for all the wonderful things that they do for us. GO ITALIAN CLUB!
With the help of the Preston community, Compassion Connection raised another $50 from Food Fest Friday. Spare change really makes a difference! Donations were given to St. Francis Breadline and CityMeals on Wheels. Thanks again to all those who donated their spare change!
Every October, the month of Breast Cancer Awareness, the Preston community dedicates a day to bring awareness to this important cause. To show their support, Preston had a Breast Cancer Awareness Paid Dress Down Day where students were encouraged to wear “Fight the Cure” T-Shirts or anything pink.
After school, the JV and Varsity Volleyball teams played their last home game for Breast Cancer Awareness. All proceeds will be donated to the American Italian Cancer Foundation.
This week’s Service Spotlight is on Minjeong Kim. At Preston’s Center of Compassion's Big Sister Little Sister Program, Min is a big sister to a second grade girl named Lianna. When describing her service, Min said, “I’m so lucky that I was able to meet my little sister and become a role model for her. I feel a great responsibility to behave in the way that she can follow.”
One of Italian Club’s most popular annual events is the Festivale Culinario! Organized and sponsored by the Italian Club, Festivale Culinario is an event for the senior citizen community of Throggs Neck. Here, they are able to spend quality time with one another, enjoy some food, and play Bingo. The members of the Italian Club served food, hosted the games of Bingo, and most importantly, spent time with the elderly! GO ITALIAN CLUB PANTHERS!
Our Preston community is very eager to give to those in need. In just one week, we've already raised 463 lbs of food for the Thanksgiving Food Drive! With only 5 weeks to go, our Preston community needs to raise an additional 9,537 pounds of non-perishable foods in order to get a day off. We can do this!! A Preston Panther welcomes such challenges!
For the first time ever, we would like to present a Service Spotlight!
This week’s spotlight is on Emily Lam. Emily is a junior who volunteers at Preston’s Center of Compassion Afterschool Program. Emily tutors children ranging from Kindergarten to Eighth Grade. In describing her service experience, Emily said, “By tutoring young children, I’ve learned that I love giving back to others.” Go Compassion Panther!
The Preston students are very excited for our annual Thanksgiving Food Drive! The Food Drive is one of our many traditions, and it encourages friendly competition to achieve a common goal: raising 10,000 lbs of food! For the next six weeks, all the homerooms will compete with one another to bring in the most food, and the four homerooms with the highest number of points will be awarded with Mrs. Dekajlo’s famous oatmeal coconut chocolate chip cookies. If the Preston community reaches this goal, we will get a day off! As the school sang in this year’s Food Drive Kick-Off Song: “Food drives is what we do, we like to bring in food!”
Our Preston students are all about compassion! Compassion Connection members have already raised over $50 from Food Fest Friday spare change collections! Thanks to students' generosity, Preston was able to support the NYC Rescue Mission and the Food Bank of NYC with donations. A huge thank you to all those who donated their spare change!
What a great way to begin the new Compassion Connection School Year! 94 members attended the first Compassion Connection meeting.
Members wrote letters and made packages, including travel tissues and chocolates, for some 50 patients at Providence Rest Nursing Home. Preston High School alumn Michelle Luchetti works as Providence Rest's Director Of Therapeutic Recreation. Recently, she reached out to Compassion Connection in hopes of collaborating with Preston and establishing relationships between the patients and members. GO COMPASSION PANTHERS!!
Compassion Connection raised $197 to help victims of a recent natural disaster. Compassion Connection will be donating the proceeds of their first bake sale to Catholic Charities - Hurricane Florence relief in North Carolina. Be it by baking, purchasing home made goodies, or simply by making a donation... our Preston students are always willing to offer help in times of need.
At all of Preston's liturgies, the Gospel Choir leads us in singing songs of praise to God. Every week, they practice in order to perfect the music that will enrich Preston's many religious services. From singing “We Are The Family” to “Awesome God,” the Gospel Choir motivates our students to participate in the mass through music.
Most recently, Gospel Choir helped to kick off the school year in praise-worthy spirit at the Mass of the Holy Spirit. The members of Gospel Choir showed compassion to the Preston community by sharing their God-given talents of song… GO GOSPEL PANTHERS!!
One of Preston's treasured traditions is Class Parties! At Class Parties, the Freshmen meet their Junior Sisters for the first time and the Sophomores rekindle their bond with their Senior Sisters. The Freshmen are able to learn more about the life of a Preston student, ask for advice, and establish a bond with their Junior Sisters. Meanwhile the Sophomores who met their Senior Sisters last year, are given the chance to spend time with them at a party in Preston's back yard. Throughout the year, our Preston students will continue to spend time with their sisters and do what all sisters do-- love and care for one another!
As Preston's Class of 2022 embark on their high school journey, their Junior Ambassadors will be at their sides. Their role is to guide them and be role models of how Preston High School students should behave - as women of dignity, honor, respect, and compassion. At this summer's Freshman Orientations and during the first days of school, the Junior Ambassadors devoted their time and efforts by making the incoming freshmen feel welcome: giving tours of the school, explaining the student handbook, and answering various questions. Already in their first days in the school, our freshman students see that Preston is a place of compassion!
In just four weeks, the Preston community, students and staff alike, rallied together to contribute to the National English Honor Society’s annual book drive.
Over 1000 books were collected and donated to Jacobi Hospital, the pediatric, adolescent, and adult wards. Believing that knowledge is power, Preston did not hesitate to help those who have never owned a book or have no means of attaining one.
The Italian Club hosted their second Senior Citizen Party of the year. The guests from the Preston Center of Compassion were greeted with refreshments, including beverages, pizza, and freshly baked goods.
The Italian Club offers senior citizens the chance to socialize, play “tambola” (bingo in Italian), and be surrounded by charismatic and helpful Preston students. What a way to spend an afternoon!
The National Honor Society held their annual charity event. This year, NHS decided to incorporate the ideal that we are “diverse yet unified” in an international potluck event. Students coming from various cultural backgrounds all came together to share an afternoon with the intentions of helping the homeless. With the sale of tickets, NHS was able to donate $200 to The Coalition For The Homeless, a social services organization originated in NYC.
Preston High school dedicated their dress down to commemorate the lives lost during the fatal bus crash of the junior hockey league. Faculty and students wore hockey jerseys to pay respect those who were injured and killed.
Compassion Connection held their annual dance marathon event. Dance Marathon entails a variety of dancing activities and wii sports to raise money for a particular charity. Dance Marathon included a professional Zumba session, Wii sports, and Just Dance dancing games.
This year, the proceeds were donated to The Little Sisters of Therese. The Little Sisters of Therese operate in Haiti, a poverty stricken and destitute country, with the purpose of “spreading the word of God, educating peasant children and adults, introducing environmentally sound agricultural techniques, and providing programs for the promotion of women.” The Little Sisters of Therese consist of 250 nuns, all Haitian. The sisters struggle to carry out their vocation due to their lack of monetary and medical resources. In addition to this, the sisters often cannot reach their destinations because of the rugged Haitian terrain. With Preston’s contribution, The Little Sisters of Therese are closer to affording a truck for traveling and moving supplies. At this year's Dance Marathon, Compassion Connection raised an impressive $1800!
Italian Club continues to show their compassion at the onset of the Spring season. Club members wrote letters in Italian and English and made candy packages to show their appreciation for Preston faculty and staff. Likewise, Italian Club members made "Women's Day Spa Packages" with chocolate, hand cream, shampoo and nail polish, and wrote Italian/English cards for the senior citizens of the Preston Center of Compassion.
In the wake of the tragedy that occured in Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the Preston community rallied together to send words and thoughts of comfort. Junior Art classes created cards with simple paintings and touching messages. The entire school also wrote words of comfort on cards. Although these cards are small gestures, they demonstrate the way Preston keeps those who suffer in mind; even if they are 1000s of miles away.
Compassion Connection is making sandwiches... lots of sandwiches to feed the hungry! This year, the community outreach club of Preston has decided to make the Lenten pillar of almsgiving a reality.
Every Friday throughout Lent, spare change is collected during Food Fest Friday collections. Then the money collected is used to purchase sandwich supplies.
Every following Thursday, sandwiches will be made and delivered to Lamp Ministries, down the block from the school. Lamp Ministries ministers to the homeless of New York City, and is very happy to receive our weekly contributions of 100 sandwiches.
This Valentine’s Day season, Preston spread the love through the Compassion Connection Cookie Gram Sale. Students and faculty had the chance to order homemade packages of cookies - to be delivered to their friends for Valentine's Day. All proceeds were donated to the the American Heart Association. Over $150 was donated.
In addition to the cookie gram sale, 60 Valentines with chocolates were made for Preston Center of Compassion Senior Citizens. Compassion Matters... especially on a day when all should feel loved!
The Spanish Honor Society is closely affiliated with the Santa Maria Parish and often partners to spread compassion. SHS members completed a toy drive for children from Santa Maria who are subject to disadvantaged circumstances. Gifts were delivered in time for Christmas.
Each athletic team adopted a family in need this holiday season, and bought personal presents for every family member.
The athletes wrapped the presents in festive paper and bows. Jamie Skrapits, Preston’s athletic director, and the athletes hosted a Christmas party for the families. The athletes helped Jamie prepare a home cooked Italian dinner.
Most of the children are waiting till Christmas to open their presents, but the ones who couldn’t wait were ecstatic because of all the toys and clothing they received. The smallest things mean the most; anyone who’s felt Preston’s compassion can testify to this.
Compassion and Connection hosted their second party of the year for the Big Sister-Little Sister Program. The festivity was heightened by the Christmas decor in the cafe, the seniors' ugly Christmas sweaters, and holiday tunes.
The "littles" were treated with homemade cookies, brownies, and cupcakes. The "bigs" helped their little sisters decorate wreaths with ribbons and ornaments to take home. For entertainment (and to the delight of the "littles,") the Step team performed several routines.
Finally, every sister pair had a chance to decorate a gingerbread house. "Christmas is a necessity. There has to be at least one day of the year to remind us that we're here for something else besides ourselves." At Preston, the "big sisters" take the holidays as an opportunity to make a profound difference in the lives of their "little sisters."
The proceeds from this Food Fest Wednesday-Friday are going to The Food Bank for New York City. The Food Bank of New York City intends to provide 10 million meals to New Yorkers in need this holiday season. Every donation received by the FBNYC is going to be doubled by a benefactor. Although compassion sets the tone every day at Preston, it is amplified during the holidays because panthers cannot bear the thought of anyone being without a warm meal to eat.
The Spanish Honor Society packed 28 bags of groceries for families from the Santa Maria Parish. In addition, SHS provided turkeys so these needy families can enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving.
Preston’s compassion encompasses all charities, small or large. Donating to individual families rather than a large organization, SHS understands the BIG difference they make by helping these SMALLER causes when they see the thankful faces of the people whose lives they are touching.
The end of the food drive is always an exciting day in Preston’s “compassion matters campaign.” In total, the Preston community collected an astonishing 10,240 pounds of food. Students spent hours passing food along assembly lines from the makeshift pantry on the stage to various pickup trucks, a bus, and cars in the faculty parking lot.
Approximately 3,500 lbs went to the Divine Compassion Food Pantry in Dover Plains, 2,000 lbs went Mercy Center in the Bronx, 2,000 lbs went to St. Raymond’s pantry in the Bronx, and 2000 lbs went to Our Lady of Assumption Pantry in the Bronx. 70 food packages were delivered to individual families. With our deeply rooted determination and passion, Preston will never settle for defeat. The charity we accomplish through the food drive every year is the epitome of compassion.
The Italian Club (moderated by Ms. DeMaio) delivered packages of cans to a local organization called LAMP ministry in Throggs Neck. The vocation of LAMP is to help everyone know God’s love. LAMP ministry preaches at St. Thomas Aquinas Church and Corpus Christi, proclaiming the word of God and feeding the poor.
Although LAMP ministry delivers food to three different parts of the Bronx, Preston’s packages will be delivered specifically to homeless families and pregnant mothers since these packages crafted with love. According to the organizers of LAMP, “the greatest poverty that the poor experience is the lack of spirituality.” Here's to spreading God's love!
Big Sister-Little Sister is an afterschool program on Tuesdays in which selected Preston juniors are paired with 3rd grade girls from a public school in the Bronx. These girls often come from struggling families in which the parents work full time and are unavailable to help the girls with homework. These girls are not as fortunate to have the “traditional, ideal family life." Our Preston girls act as their “big sisters,” helping them with homework, and building relationships with them. The “big sisters” instill values such as honesty, determination, commitment, and passion in their “little sisters.” This is an amazing opportunity for girls to have a role model, someone to aspire to be like.
Compassion Connection organized Big Sister-Little Sisters' first party of the year to celebrate Thanksgiving. Students brought in homemade baked goods for the Big and Little Sisters to share. Together they made necklaces, sang Disney songs, and danced.
Shealin Corbett adores her “big sister” Angela Akalonu and exclaimed “this is the best day ever! I never knew school could be so much fun!” Every “little sister” went home with a thank-you card for their parents and a bag of groceries, including rice, cereal, stuffing, and cans (collected in the schoolwide food drive.)
Compassion Connection’s Bake Sale raised $100 for the family of a Preston alumna who passed away, battling cancer. Preston’s compassion extends to everyone, especially one of our own…”Once a panther, always a panther.”
With only one week left of the food drive, the Preston family is keeping their fingers crossed that their goal will be met. Preston has a reputation of generosity to uphold and a goal of 9,000 pounds of food to meet. Every year, the previous year’s success is surpassed. Mrs. Dekajlo, moderator of the food drive, is certain 3,760 lbs will be collected this upcoming week! Stay tuned…
The Italian Club and Honor Society celebrated Thanksgiving early with members of the senior citizen community. The guests were greeted with Italian cookies, pizza, refreshments, and a chance to win cash prizes playing tambola (bingo).
Students were thankful to share an evening with such incredible carriers of their culture, wisdom, and experience. The Senior citizens were amazed by all the charity the Italian Club and Honor Society does!
The proceeds from this week's Food Fest Thursday-Friday will be going to City Meals on Wheels, an organization that serves homebound elderly in all five boroughs. Without this mobile food pantry, many New Yorkers, unable to walk to the supermarket due to age and disability, would be at risk for malnourishment. Preston’s compassion permeates throughout New York, by supporting this organization.
Unfortunately, many elderly individuals are manipulated, disregarded, and taken for granted. However, the Italian Club adopts senior citizens into the Preston community. The Italian Club prepared for the next Senior Citizen Night by crafting candy packages "made with love!" Megi Alikaj (Class of 2019) enjoys engaging with the senior citizens because "they are full of life and excitement especially when playing "tombola" (Bingo in Italian) in hopes of winning prizes." The Italian Club defies the misconception of age barriers as Preston students interact and bring happiness to the senior citizen community.
Some candy packages will also be set aside for a LAMP ministry. Embracing another marginalized group, the Italian Club writes letters to the homeless, hoping to inspire and uplift those who are struggling economically.
Another week down - another 1000 pounds of food donated! The Preston community contends with only 3 weeks left of the food drive. At the midway point of our food drive, students have donated a total of 3345 pounds of non-perishable foods. Compassion Connection members sorted and pulled out food items that will be needed to make Thanksgiving baskets and packages by Italian Club and Spanish Honor Society. The rest was packed up and made ready for a pantry pickup.
Mercy Center came with a pickup truck and assembly lines moved 2000 pounds of food from the stage to the faculty parking lot. If our goal is reached, we will collect 9000lbs and get a day off from school! With the clock ticking and the goal awaiting, incentive is high and the tone in the school is a generous one!
Preston’s Annual Breast Cancer Awareness Game ignites excitement among the volleyball players and individuals whose families have been affected by breast cancer. This game raises funds for The Breast Cancer Research Fund by selling pink shirts and hair extensions worn by members of the Preston Community is these photos.
One of our own, Jamie Skrapits, Preston’s athletic director, battled with breast cancer so the girls played in her honor. The Varsity Panthers won the game. But more improtantly, Preston is the true winner, fighting for a cause. #Prestonstrong
Students continue to bring in food for our schoolwide Food Drive. At the conclusion of the second week of the drive, our donations weigh in at 1876 pounds. A steady stream of canned soups, boxes of cereal, and bags of rice keeps coming in. Compassion Connection has already sorted out stacks of food for the various baskets and packages that will be made by Italian Club and Spanish Honor Society.
Compassion Connection collected donations from its members to fill shoeboxes with gifts for underprivileged children through Operation Christmas Child. 20 boxes were filled with little stuffed animals, boxes of crayons, hair ribbons, toothbrushes, tooth paste, bar soap, knit gloves, and candy.
The Italian Club hosted its annual Festivale Culinario, an event in which Preston students interact with members of the elderly community. Italian Club members serve their guests beverages, Italian pastries, and other hors d'oeuvres. The guests, especially the ladies, were thrilled to take photos with Preston girls! Playing bingo, socializing with one another, both the guests and the Preston students enjoyed an afternoon filled with laughter and shared stories!
The pace is picking up for Preston’s food drive! Homerooms compete to bring in the most canned goods and bags of rice! Compassion & Connection members arrange the items of food and keep an accurate record to track the progress! It’s incredible that in just one week Preston students have brought in 639 pounds! Throughout the course of the drive, all donated foods will be distributed among different organizations, churches, and charities.
Our women of dignity, honor, respect, and compassion represented Preston High School at Orchard Beach’s Walk For Breast Cancer Awareness. Rather than concentrating their energy in one cause, Preston’s compassion is felt by all in need, despite geographical, language, and religious barriers. Our Cheerleaders even cheered for the cause! A special thank you to Preston's Athletic Department and Italian Club for organizing the pink Tshirts.
The students and faculty have started off the 2017 Food Drive on a very positive note. Just in the first week 639 lbs of food were donated. Compassion Connection members are already sorting donated foods, getting them ready for distribution to the various organizations that count on it.
This week, another charitable act took the form of hurricane relief for Puerto Rico. The proceeds from two FoodFest Friday collections totaled $135. They were used to purchase needed items that are being collected by Preston's World Relief Club. Not only do we embrace those in need at the community level, but Preston’s compassion reaches over sea.
Once the calendar reaches October, the acts of compassion officially commence at Preston High School! The Italian club crafted goodie bags to distribute to the elderly community at Preston's bingo night. Also, members sold pink tickets, including lip care items and hair extension, to support breast cancer awareness.
Preston's annual food drive began as well. Last year, the Preston community collected 8823 lbs of canned goods, rice, and other food items. This year, the standard has been set for 9000 lbs among the 482 students and 59 faculty members. Students were exhilarated by a sense of purpose and duty during Food Drive Assembly Sing-a-long!
Preston's most popular club, Compassion Connection, sponsors an endless amount of fundraising events, such as the bake sale in the photo. The members contribute by bringing in exlusively home baked goods to be sold. There are very few times when a Compassion Connection bale sale doesn't sell out!
The proceeds from this bake sale will fund the many projects Compassion Connection will endeavor this fall, such as personal fall themed packages for senior citizens. Compassion Connection embraces all members of society through their acts of charity and kindness!
PHS students really make Preston's Liturgy a captivating experience. The choir provided us with beautiful and engaging songs. Miranda Y. Martinez stated that "she is an alter server because she enjoys serving her Lord and the Preston community."
Liturgy is an opportunity for our community to congregate in the name of the Lord. This year's Liturgy of the Holy Spirit included plaques that represent the members of Preston's family. We started this school year unified, singing songs of praise, and celebrating our faith.
Preston's Food Fest Friday is opportunity for students to donate their spare change to particular cause every Friday in exchange for a lollipop. This is a small way in which Preston's club, Compassion & Connection, make a difference in a world full of people in need.
The past two weeks’ proceeds made a $166 donation to The National Catholic Education Association's hurricane relief efforts possible. "Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart" -Winnie the Pooh
It is a Preston tradition for every junior to "adopt" a Freshman. The Juniors imitate "big sisters" to the Freshmen class in our Preston Community. To many, it may appear admirable how the Juniors are so willing to intercede for the Freshmen, but it's a "norm" at Preston High School, where compassion is in the air. Also, certain girls volunteer to be "Junior Ambassadors". These girls are devoted to positively impacting the Freshmen class.
Junior Ambassadors attend Freshmen orientation over summer vacation to answer questions and give tours of the Preston grounds. Junior Ambassadors also meet regularly with the Freshmen during homeroom to discuss upcoming events and traditions. The Junior class does everything in their power to integrate the Freshmen into the Preston family.