Samantha Conte is all about helping others, but she likes to stay out of the limelight when she’s doing it. The teenager served as the Huntington High School Key Club president this past year and she did an awful lot of good for countless folks of all ages.
Ms. Conte is headed to Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey where she plans to study mechanical engineering. One of the leading members of Huntington’s Class of 2016, the recent grad is this year’s recipient of the Quentin Sammis Memorial Award.
“Receiving the Quentin Sammis Award from Kiwanis was very special for me as I spent a majority of my afternoons at the high school volunteering with the Key Club,” Ms. Conte said. “The lessons I learned from Mrs. [Kelly] Krycinski and Mrs. [Gina] Colica about service have been invaluable to my growth as a person. Being recognized by our parent organization for the goals we accomplished in my last year was never the point, but it was greatly appreciated.”
Mrs. Krycinski and Mrs. Colica are the Huntington High School Key Club faculty advisors and they feel the same way about Ms. Conte. They respect and admire her and they can’t help but be impressed by her commitment to helping those in need.
Mr. Sammis was a member of Huntington’s Class of 1942. He went on to serve his country as an ensign in the United States Navy, earn an electrical engineering degree at Georgia School of Technology (he began his college studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) and an MBA at Harvard Business School, serve as owner and president of Coldwell Banker Sammis real estate and Sammis, Smith & Brush insurance and lead Friends World College as its president.
The Quentin Sammis Memorial Award is given to individuals who show “great passion” for service to their school and community, according to Kiwanis Club official Gabe Ciccone, who presented the award during Huntington High School’s senior academic awards ceremony in June.
Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers, dedicated to changing the world, one child and one community at a time. The local chapter believes that Ms. Conte has the ability and determination to achieve great things for society as she moves on to college and an eventual career.
The Kiwanis Club considers the sponsorship of its service leadership programs, such as the Key Clubs, to be some of the most important projects it undertakes. The Key Club seeks to develop leadership, build character and provide service to the school and community.
Considering her efforts on behalf of Huntington’s Key Club, Ms. Conte is an obvious choice for the scholarship presented in honor of Mr. Sammis, who served as town supervisor and as a town board member and who was a charter member and past president of the Kiwanis Club of Huntington.
Ms. Conte was presented with a special certificate by Mr. Ciccone, along with a check for $1,000, which represents the stipend that comes with the Quentin Sammis Memorial Award.
Mr. Sammis founded the Townwide Fund of Huntington and the Huntington Arts Council and at one time or another was integrally involved in the YMCA, Huntington Hospital, the Visiting Nurse Service and the Family Service League. The Huntington High School graduate served in the US Navy during World War II and in the U.S. Navy Reserve for two decades.
Mr. Sammis, whose family has lived in Huntington village for generations dating to the Revolutionary War, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his loved ones on August 29, 2007 after battling cancer for 13 months. He was 83.
It’s been a busy summer for Ms. Conte. “I have been working for the town as a camp counselor and just trying to get ready for my first year at college,” she said.
The teenager is looking forward to embarking on her mechanical engineering studies at Stevens Institute of Technology and participating in various clubs and activities on the campus. “I was accepted into the school’s honor program, which allows me to jump right into research at the school and I’ve already contacted the school’s Relay For Life committee to get involved,” Ms. Conte said. “We’ll see where else I can use my time when I get there.”