By TimesLeder Staff
TimesLedger Newspapers, once again recognized the people in Queens who make a difference behind the scenes.
These are the borough’s unsung heroes who volunteer and work outside the public eye, rescuing vulnerable residents and inspiring youngsters to reach for the gold ring against sometimes formidable odds.
All of our honorees share a remarkable motivation to help others.
One is a nun who has dedicated her life to education. Another is a woman who helped create a Girl Scout Troop exclusively for homeless girls, the first of its kind across the nation. Then there is a Whitestone resident who has tapped into her passion for environmentalism to help seniors and young people in Queens.
Still, others include a doctor who has dedicated his time to making sure young adults with HIV get the care and education they deserve, a former addict who is working to help others beat addiction and find their way, and an Army veteran who is teaching coding and professional skills to students looking to improve in the field of technology.
We have chosen 26 people to receive our fifth annual Queens Impact Awards. There were many hard choices. We had nominations from across the borough and we were again struck by the selflessness shown by so many members of the Queens community who extend themselves year after year.
The nominees were drawn from a humbling list of donors: a Pakistani immigrant who lost a child in a drowning incident and became an advocate for keeping children safe in the water, a development recruiter who wanted to ensure that applicants for a project in Far Rockaway were hired from the community, a thrift store assistant manager whose motivation and honesty led to the return of nearly $40,000 to a grieving family.
There is also a retired home-care contract manager who used his spare time to give back to his community, a doctor who led an initiative that recognized mental health issues in the medical profession during her college days, and a 10-year-old fourth-grader who organized a local coat drive for the second straight year.
And then there are those who help bolster the World’s Borough through initiatives to showcase the local businesses.
We have once again been reminded why we decided to hold this event: to acknowledge the people who have made Queens a kinder and better place to live. And there are many others who donate their time and talent, waiting in the wings to be identified.
We have profiled all of this year’s Impact winners. Here are their stories.