Ridgewood youth activists receive award for community service

jamie jacob sharon
Photo courtesy of the Queens borough president’s office

Ridgewood siblings and activists Jamie Longo and Jacob Altamirano were recognized by Acting Queens Borough President Sharon Lee for their ongoing community service during the months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Siblings Jamie and Jacob could be doing anything else this Saturday. But here they are, handing out free food and feminine hygiene products to their neighbors in Ridgewood with Hungry Monk Rescue Truck,” Lee wrote in a Facebook post. “Queens couldn’t be prouder of our youngest community leaders. Way to go!”

Lee presented the two with the citation on Oct. 24 as they volunteered at the Hungry Monk, where they’ve partnered with previously to help gather donations and deliver menstrual hygiene products. Superintendent for District 24 Madelene Chan also showed her support of Longo and Altamirano.

“I am very grateful that Queens Borough President Ms. Sharon Lee took the time out in her busy schedule to present me with the citation of honor award,” said Longo.

Photo courtesy of Connie Altamirano

Longo, a sophomore at Brooklyn Technical High School, has partnered with several food pantries across Queens to help them stock up on menstrual hygiene products to distribute this summer.

“I find it very rewarding to help other people especially, in their time of need. I enjoy giving back to the community, and especially to people whose hygiene needs are sometimes overlooked,” she said.

Altamirano, who volunteers with the Hungry Monk, said he was surprised to receive the award from Lee.

“I was surprised and happy to meet our Queens Borough President Ms. Sharon Lee. I couldn’t believe I was finally meeting her in person,” he said.

Altamirano said Lee was the first person he reached out to to help stock the Hungry Monk in May, and she responded with boxes of food donations.

“Now, being recognized for my work and receiving a citation of honor, well it just felt good,” he added. “It brought a smile to my face and heart for simply doing what I do best.”

Altamirano is a sixth-grader at P.S./I.S. 128, and credits his mom, community activist Connie Altamirano, for teaching he and his sister to give back to their community.

“I get it from my mom who has been an inspiration to me, my sister and others,” he said. “Thank you, mom, for all you have done and continue to do for us.”

The award marks six months of the siblings and their mother volunteering at food pantries and donating needed supplies for families in need across Queens.

“As the mother, I feel blessed with two young amazing human beings. What Jamie and Jacob have done for their community and others is remarkable. At their age I would never have been able to do this,” she said. “I’m glad to see them active for the good of the community. It’s good to see them thinking of other people and not just themselves. I would like take this opportunity to thank everyone who contributed to their service project.”