Students of Maspeth High School received recognition from a local lawmaker for their selfless work of volunteering in their community.
Assemblyman Brian Barnwell paid a visit to Maspeth High School on May 6 and presented proclamations to 12 students in the Making a Difference club, which is dedicated to cleaning up graffiti and helping out around the neighborhood.
“The city places unfair burdens on those who cannot shovel snow due to health reasons. While our office has done what we could in regard to shoveling snow, we need more volunteers,” Barnwell said. “This year, our office partnered with Maspeth High School through the coordination of Assistant Principal Jesse Pachter.”
The student club was created for the first time last year amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as Pachter said they looked for a way to get students to participate in an extracurricular activity while keeping in accordance with safe and social distancing guidelines.
Barnwell then enlisted the students in Making a Difference’s help to remove snow from the homes of senior community members — and Pachter said “students lined up to help.”
“I greatly appreciate him providing proclamations to the students, as it reinforces the importance and appreciation of community service. I want the students to be proud of what they’ve done and to be recognized for all the good they’re doing,” Pachter said. “We look forward to continuing to make a positive impact on the surrounding areas and working with members of the community to keep this area safe and clean.”
Students in Making a Difference have also partnered with local organizations to help clean up other areas in the neighborhood, including Metropolitan Avenue.
Tatiana Roa, an 11th-grade student in Making a Difference, said receiving the proclamation from Barnwell was “very exciting.” Roa said they have been able to meet their main goal of helping community members.
“Receiving an award for helping others is amazing, but what fills my heart with joy is that I was able to help members of our community during difficult times,” Roa said. “I greatly appreciate the proclamation that has been given to us.”
Barnwell, who represents Assembly District 30, said he felt it was important to recognize the Maspeth High School students for their time shoveling snow for seniors in the district.
“This partnership helped many people in our district not have to risk their health when it came time to shovel,” Barnwell said. “We cannot thank these student volunteers enough.”