Elmont Grad, Jacqueline Aquino, Speaks Out Against Sexual Abuse, Helps Others Cope with Trauma through Storytelling

Our voices are powerful.  By Karl Valere This isn’t simply true for when we yell at the top of our lungs, but rather each time that we are able to share ideas or stories that are meaningful, we exercise a form of power.  Stories to which others can relate have the power to resonate deeply … Continue reading Elmont Grad, Jacqueline Aquino, Speaks Out Against Sexual Abuse, Helps Others Cope with Trauma through Storytelling

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Elmont Senior Loses His Mom on ‘9/11,’ Remembers Her Through Photography

A picture is worth a thousand words and a lifetime full of memories. Just ask Elmont Memorial High School senior and aspiring photographer, Sebastian Bass, whose passion for photography connects him to a bittersweet past but also to a promising future. "I love seeing growth," Sebastian told us in an exclusive email interview. The 17-year-old … Continue reading Elmont Senior Loses His Mom on ‘9/11,’ Remembers Her Through Photography

Letter to the Editor: Edit Your Rhetoric for Evolving Elmont

Words by Alexandria Harvey* If I were leading a seminar about Elmont, I would probably begin with the following inquiry: When you tell people that you are from Elmont, what is their reaction? If you are like me, you are all too familiar with the widened eyes, raised brows, and gaping mouths. Some recipients of our … Continue reading Letter to the Editor: Edit Your Rhetoric for Evolving Elmont

A Letter to Petro: 10 Years Later

Words by Sophia Sunshine Vilceus (Class of 2007) A decade ago, on a cold February night, the legendary Elmont Memorial High School Basketball Coach and Guidance Counselor, Gregg “Petro” Petrocelli, passed away. It was February 27th, 2007 -- I was seated directly next to him during our Championship Game. I can never forget my shrill … Continue reading A Letter to Petro: 10 Years Later

Holiday Special: #WeAreElmont ‘Community Pride’ T-Shirts

Happy Holidays, Elmont! For years, Elmont has lived in the shadows and has been pushed to the margins of Long Island and New York. But today is a new day and age. Join fellow Elmont residents, Alumni, students, parents, & community members as we showcase community pride and celebrate our beloved hometown. Get your hands … Continue reading Holiday Special: #WeAreElmont ‘Community Pride’ T-Shirts

Elmont Graduate Becomes a Doctor, Triumphs in the Face of Sickle-Cell Disease

  Meet Melissa Jackson. Melissa graduated from Elmont Memorial High School in 2006. After graduating, Melissa attended the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education at the City College of New York, where she was a Jackie Robinson scholarship award recipient from 2006-2010. Melissa graduated magna cum laude from Sophie Davis and was accepted into Dartmouth Medical School. She then graduated … Continue reading Elmont Graduate Becomes a Doctor, Triumphs in the Face of Sickle-Cell Disease

Fosters Family: Why Elmont & Rosedale Are Like Brother & Sister

For those of us growing up in Elmont, the lines between Elmont and Queens have always been blurry. This fact endures today -- whether geographically, culturally, socially, or politically -- Elmont and Queens undeniably share a great deal in common. We reached out to Bill Florio -- a Valley Stream resident, historian, and author -- … Continue reading Fosters Family: Why Elmont & Rosedale Are Like Brother & Sister

Young Black Women Sponsor All-Girls School in Haiti

  Endless possibilities abound when you follow your passion. A prime example of this fact can be found in the life and work of 24-year-old Elmont native, Rachalie Barthelemy, whose passion led her to join forces with family and friends to create a nonprofit organization that offers health, education, and inspiration services to underdeveloped regions … Continue reading Young Black Women Sponsor All-Girls School in Haiti

Public Allies New York alum: ‘I was born to serve, love, and lead’

We Are Elmont Founder and Public Allies New York (’14) alum, Karl Valere, featured in a recent interview:

“Let us not shrink and allow anybody even our own selves to make us feel small. Get big. Dream big. Do good.”

PUBLIC ALLIES

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When Karl Valere was growing up on Long Island, he remembers hearing a lot of anti-Haitian sentiment expressed on TV and across the world. His parents, who were born and raised in Haiti, would say to him: “We’re not what they say we are. We’re more than that. We have dignity. We respect ourselves and this country, and we love living in this country. That’s who we are. That’s why we’re here.”

Despite his parents’ encouragement, when he was about 7 years old, Karl admits that when someone would ask him about his background, he sometimes responded by saying he was Cuban. “I actually sort of bent under the pressure of the stigma that was associated with Haitians,” Karl says. “For me, that was a survival tactic.”

Today, Karl is not only proud of his Haitian heritage, but the 26-year-old young man has committed himself to fighting for Haitian and other Caribbean communities in New York. Karl graduated from Public Allies New York’s…

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Higher Heights: An Interview with High Jumper Alexander Bowen Jr.

Higher Heights. For us, the phrase isn't just a hashtag or a tagline, but a powerful declaration. A call to action. An affirmation of excellence. An aspirational ideal rooted in a relentless work ethic and a commitment to always improving. We needn't look any further for the physical embodiment of excellence than to behold Elmont's … Continue reading Higher Heights: An Interview with High Jumper Alexander Bowen Jr.