Valley Stream high schoolers honored for accepting diversity


Three Valley Stream high school students were honored for embodying diversity, unity, acceptance and respect at the Religious Council’s second annual Unity in Diversity awards ceremony on June 2.

“The students were very deserving of the awards,” said Marie McNair, who represented the Religious Council at the ceremony, adding that the students were chosen for the awards by their principals.

North High School Principal Rachel Green recommended Casey Wells for the award, saying she is highly motivated and is a member of both the National Honor Society and Students Opposing Prejudice. Wells also organized the first ever Thon fundraiser to raise money for pediatric cancer research.

Aman Islam was selected as the honoree from Central High School. Principal Joseph Pompilio said he exemplified positivity and acceptance of others and has been an active participant in the World of Difference Club, which highlights diversity and acceptance. In addition, Pompilio said, Islam has collaborated with students and teachers to implement school activities that celebrate diversity and inclusiveness and has been a role model to his colleagues.

From South, Emily Yan was recommended for being a major contributor to their Cultural Society, which celebrates the diversity of the school. Yan is also a member of multiple honor societies, works as a tutor, and is currently ranked fifth in her class with a 100.40 GPA.

“It is great to see young people take a positive interest in their community,” said Mayor Ed Fare, who handed each of the students a citation from the village. “Myself and the village board look forward to seeing many more productive years from all of our village students [and] if these three students are any indication, we have much to look forward to.”