GREAT NECK, NY – Four Hempstead High School students were awarded $2,500 college scholarships Wednesday by the North Shore-LIJ Health System in recognition of their academic achievements and community service as part of North Shore-LIJ’s commemorations of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the health system announced today.
Mayelin Hernandez and Karen Beatriz Lopez are students of the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ Medical Scholars Pipeline Program, which works to increase diversity in the health-care field. The young women created the “Future Doctors Club of America” at their high school with the help of mentors Stephen Barone, MD, and Nancy Palumbo, MD, pediatric physicians at Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New Hyde Park. Ms. Hernandez anticipates studying either biology or chemistry in college and Ms. Lopez expects to study chemistry.
The two other students presented the scholarships Wednesday at the ceremony at North Shore-LIJ’s corporate office in Great Neck were Kadeem Brown and Aaron-Michael Rines, both members of the Hempstead Select Chorale, Voices of Virtue. Mr. Brown anticipates studying social work in college while Mr. Rines expects to study business and finance. These two young men sang “Lift Every Voice and Sing” for North Shore-LIJ staff at the event, one of North Shore-LIJ’s Dr. King commemorations. The Hempstead Select Chorale is internationally recognized and has performed the last two years at North Shore-LIJ’s Dr. King commemoration at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset.
“We wanted to provide something tangible to these deserving students,” said Michael Dowling, president and CEO of the North Shore-LIJ Health System.
In addition to the high school students who received scholarships, four students were recognized for their essays about Dr. King’s message about the importance of service. Each of these students has a parent who works at North Shore-LIJ. Vishal John won the contest with his essay about service through sacrifice as it relates to military personnel, health system employees and other role models. Other honorees recognized for their essays were: Camylin Blake, Zara Baig and Ryan Cleere. Mr. John received an iPad mini for winning the contest, Ms. Blake got an iPod Nano and Ms. Baig and Mr. Cleere each received $50 gift cards to Barnes & Noble.
To honor Dr. King’s legacy of service, 27 North Shore-LIJ facilities participated in a food drive for Island Harvest and City Harvest. More than 10,000 pounds of food were donated to Island Harvest, which will impact about 8,000 people, Island Harvest CEO Randi Dresner said. Ms. Dresner applauded North Shore-LIJ for not only feeding so many people through its donations but also raising awareness about hunger on Long Island with its food drive.