Neighbors in the News

West Hempstead teen honored for volunteerism


The West Hempstead Community Support Association honored Jamie Murphy, a recent West Hempstead High School graduate, with this year’s community service award on June 10. The group visited Murphy and her mother, Mia, at her home to personally award her with a scholarship.

“It’s definitely helpful for college and it feels great to be recognized for doing some good in the community,” said Murphy, who will attend the University at Buffalo to study psychology this fall. “I just really appreciate the help.”

The group recognized Murphy for her volunteerism with TOPSoccer, a program that she has been involved in for the past five years. TOPSoccer, or The Outreach Program for Soccer, is a community-based training program for young athletes with disabilities.

“Making them happy and learning a sport that I loved to play as a kid . . . it’s unbeatable,” Murphy said.

Murphy also thanked her mother for getting her involved in the community. “She gets me involved with so many things in the town and she wakes me up for everything,” she said jokingly.

“It isn’t difficult as a young woman to get out there and do what’s right and what’s helpful to others,” her mother said. “Having the comfort and confidence to take that step . . . others will follow.”

WHCSA President Maureen Greenberg said that Murphy’s diverse background in volunteer work made her an easy choice. “It was important for us to see that someone who’s growing and getting out in the world is not just going down one road, but exploring other paths,” Greenberg said. “We’re happy to see that things are starting to open up and that we can present this award in person and also it gives next year’s person a chance to get out in the community and volunteer as well. I think the younger group coming up now will see that there’s many opportunities out there.”

Greenberg added that the group is discussing the idea of developing a junior league to boost interest in teen volunteers. “It’s hard to get new people involved, and so if we can get younger people and their friends involved, it can all make the community much stronger,” Greenberg said.