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Stories

Friday, August 4, 2017
More so than most, Gina Merante understands that teamwork makes the dream work. The eleventh of fourteen children, this recent college graduate grew up playing soccer with her siblings as teammates and her father as coach. In middle school, Gina traded soccer for track – which was later swapped out for cross country in her sophomore year of high school. Cross country introduced Gina to both a love for running and two friends – Samantha and Megan – who would stay with her in the years to come. Although she didn’t have the time to continue with a team in college, Gina still managed to stash a... Read more
Friday, August 4, 2017
Christine Tamney, Vice President at Flushing Bank, promised herself that she would run her first marathon before turning thirty-nine. Now, at the age of fifty-one, she prepares to run one of the world’s premier marathons for a third time.   This latest race will join an impressive list of marathons Christine has run throughout the country – everywhere from Long Island and New York City to Vermont and Philadelphia. For all her experience, however, Christine admitted that she still feels nervous as this year’s TCS NYC Marathon nears. “My last marathon was in 2012, and at fifty-one things are... Read more
Friday, August 4, 2017
When Albert Redmond decided to become a devout daily runner five years ago, he did so without holding back. Now, even a pre-sunrise run at 3:30 a.m. doesn’t faze this business banker, who covers an impressive 2,500 miles a year. “It doesn’t feel right if I don’t run for a day. It gives me time to myself – time to collect my thoughts,” Albert said. His commitment has taken him all the way to the TCS NYC Marathon twice before, and now, as he joins Team Mission United, it will lead him through the five boroughs for a third time. After running the past two marathons independently, Albert decided... Read more
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Meet Mary - a 9 year old girl with a bubbly personality and a participant in Choice for All's Student Success Center, a program supported by United Way of Long Island. Mary's mother was referred to the program by a community member that had a child in the program with similar academic concerns. Mary’s mom is a single mother of two with Mary being the youngest. She expressed concerns about Mary's struggle with reading comprehension, decoding and spelling. She has to work two jobs because her eldest is on his way to college and she doesn't have the extra time for Mary as she did with her first... Read more
Wednesday, June 7, 2017
When U.S. Army Reserve Veteran Oswaldo lost his job, he found much needed support from United Way's VetsBuild program to help get him back on his feet. Here is his story in his own words:  "I served in the U.S. Army Reserve from 1990-98. Recently, I had a steady job that I had held for many years working in the healthcare field. Unfortunately, I was laid off when the contract with my company was not renewed. New York state now requires a certification that was not mandatory when I began in the position. It’s hard to compete with todays workforce that have college degrees and advanced... Read more
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
The Anthony J. Stupore Memorial Scholarship Fund was created to provide a pathway to success for students who have shown a passion for giving back to their community, and demonstrated a commitment to excelling in academics. Kierra is a 2016 graduate of Valley Stream South High School. She served as President of the Class of 2016, an AP Scholar with Distinction and is a talented athlete. With a weighted average of 101.63, she was ranked 7th in her class of 205 students and ranked in the top percentile on her SATs. As an active member of numerous clubs and extracurricular activities including... Read more
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Josephine is many things – a woman, a mother, and a domestic violence survivor. One thing she is not, is a statistic. "I'm just happy to be alive, that I'm not a statistic, because I do know that a couple women in Nassau County lost their lives. I could have been one of them," she reflects. Born and raised in Nassau County, Josephine became involved with a man who was her best friend. He later turned into the father of her third child and consequently, her abuser. When her son was born, she made the heart-breaking choice to put him up for adoption for his own protection due to the constant... Read more
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Meet Ashley, a resident of Wyandanch, 2015 graduate of United Way of Long Island’s YouthBuild Long Island, and current union-trained carpenter. Although she is living a successful and self-reliant life today, her life has not always been so bright. At the age of 14, Ashley dropped out of school and soon after ended up in a juvenile facility for troubled teens. A series of bad choices led to her spending three years and eight months in detention. While in the system, she often thought of how her life could be better, and how to make those dreams a reality. She knew that she was better than the... Read more
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
If you first met Gabe today, you would know him as a smart and successful man. He is a husband, a father, and currently part of the NorthEastern Apprenticeship & Training Program as an IBEW Local 1049 lineman. What you wouldn't know was what he's had to overcome to get to where he is now. Here is YouthBuild graduate Gabe's story in his own words: "I grew up in Brentwood, Long Island and lived there for most of my childhood life.  When I was 10 years old, my brother’s life was taken by a gang - He was only 19 years old when he died and today he would have been 38.  He was my closest... Read more
Sunday, March 19, 2017
Daryl is a U.S. Army veteran and a single father raising his 14-year-old daughter in Freeport, doing the best he can to provide her with a happy life. He had been working as an MTA bus driver in Brooklyn for over 10 years, when in 2009 the bus he was driving rolled over a loose construction plate and was dropped into a hole in the street. His hip and back were injured, forcing him to leave work and undergo extensive physical therapy to alieve his pain. In 2013, he was involved in another accident less serious than the first but it aggravated his already sensitive lingering injuries. He... Read more

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