Courtney Martoochia: 2020 Anne Mackay Scholarship WinnerBARBARA PFANZ2020-06-12T11:04:41-04:00
By Courtney Martoochia
Greenport High School
2020 Scholarship Winner Courtney Martoochia
“Service above self’ is a quote that is prominent in my daily life. Helping those around me provides me with a sense of purpose and overall happiness because I see how just the little things can make someone’s day. With the help from my school it allows me to join clubs that have a main purpose of making a change in this world. I get to make a difference right in my own backyard with some awesome people.
When I got into high school I knew I wanted to join a club where community service was their main cause. When I heard of the club, “lnteract” and saw what they’ve done for those in our community I instantly fell in love. After being in the club for three years, I finally became president. This year with the help from fellow officers and members we’ve helped not only our community but our country. Earlier this year when we saw those affected by the hurricanes we knew we had to help. We made collection bins for individuals and animals that were affected by the hurricanes. Also, with the weather so cold this winter we made collection bins for warm clothing for the homeless and veterans in our community. In the past years I have also taken part in Feed America. During this, I packaged meals that were distributed to our community and Suffolk county. Lastly, one of my favorite thing we did last year and this year was raising money for a school in Haiti. With the devastation of hurricanes and earthquakes in Haiti a local doctor who was born in Haiti has created a school for Haitian students. Last year we raised six-hundred dollars for the school so they can get new computers. For this year we are donating books for their new library and sending letters to the student in the school so they can have contact with the outside world. After being in Interact for three years I have over 225 hours of community service. Seeing the people’s faces and the animals who received the donations lifts my whole soul every single time because you see the hope in their eyes that there are people who actually care for them.
In addition to being in Interact, I am also in Student Government. For the past three in a half years Student Government has helped me with leadership skills in not only school settings but work setting as well. Being the Vice President of the student body I have volunteered in many school functions. For instance, I took part in school fund raisers, pep rally, homecoming, local food drives, car washes; Run 2 Remember 5K and Riverhead High School angel tree. One of my favorite things that we have done was recently. After the Parkland shooting in Florida we bought bracelets that say “RHS Stands with Parkland #NEVERAGAIN.” All the proceeds will go to the National Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. By selling these bracelets we stand with the Parkland students and are moving one step closer to end gun violence in public areas. Doing little things like this show how much kids like me can make a change in this world. I’ve seen students from all backgrounds come together to make a difference not only in their school, but in their country. In the past three in a half years, I have over 100 hours in community service. Taking part of these functions has really given me a sense of motivation and responsibility to take action.
Doing little things as making cards for senior citizens to serving pancakes and spaghetti to our community makes you feel like you have a role and an identity. Every single year at back to school night l talk with parents about some clubs that my high school offers. By sharing what we’ve done I get to see the astonished and thankful faces after hearing what us adolescents do. Getting more kids involved is something that’s prominent in today’s world. It allows kids to be social and feel like they have a place in this world, I like to always think I’m changing lives, but really the people- I’ve helped have changed mine. I realize that I’m lucky and fortunate to live the life I live. I have people that support me and provide me with a life that’s worth living. By putting those before you, your the change that we need in this world to make a: difference,