Emma DeGennaro is just weeks away from beginning her freshman year at Brown University in Rhode Island, but last Thursday night the Huntington High School Class of 2016 member was presented with a special award by Young Leaders at the youth development organization’s annual dinner at Crestwood Manor in Northport.
Ms. DeGennaro captured the John Bosco Student-Athlete Award in recognition of her leadership and community service as well as her sensational academic and athletic achievements over the past four years.
A member of Huntington’s Class of 2012, Mr. Bosco was struck by a car and killed in January 2015 while crossing a street in Florida during a vacation with his family.
A participant in the Young Leaders club, Mr. Bosco played lacrosse for the Blue Devils. A fine student, he was studying at SUNY College at Oneonta at the time of his passing.
Young Leaders co-founder Kevin Thorbourne told a crowd of about 125 that Mr. Bosco was a special individual, with the charm to rapidly win over people of all ages and inspire them to join together for a good cause.
Emma DeGennaro with the ball for Huntington.
(Darin Reed photo.)
Mr. Bosco and Ms. DeGennaro share plenty of similarities, especially their magnetic personalities and their love of lacrosse. She was recruited to play on Brown’s NCAA Division I women’s lacrosse team and is expected to make an immediate impact on the field as a freshman.
Mr. Thorbourne said that Ms. DeGennaro’s qualities and accomplishments are nothing short of awesome. When the teenager was called to the dais to accept the award she was stunned. “I never thought that I’d be receiving an award tonight,” she said.
The teenager won All-County honors in both field hockey and lacrosse. In field hockey she covered the entire field, displaying a remarkable ability to dribble the ball the entire length of the field and score an unassisted goal. She gave everyone a thrill last fall when she scored on a penalty shot against East Islip.
Ms. DeGennaro is even better on the lacrosse field. One of Suffolk’s most explosive scorers, she tallied 52 goals and 23 assists this past spring. She scored 165 goals and added 67 assists for 232 points over the past four years.
“But, as great an athlete as she is, Emma is an even better person,” Mr. Thorbourne said. “Her classmates and teachers trust, admire and respect her. Her friends turn to her in time of crisis. Our community holds her in high esteem. She genuinely cares about others.”
Some of Ms. DeGennaro’s leadership and community service activities include:
• Captained the field hockey and lacrosse teams.
• Participated in Huntington High School’s chapter of Habitat for Humanity, helping to rebuild Breezy Point, Queens, which was decimated by Superstorm Sandy.
• Participated in Christmas Magic charity, collecting and delivering gifts to underprivileged children during the holidays.
• Participated in Huntington High School’s Relay For Life fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.
• Assisted at the Special Olympics.
• Participated in the Jana Piccola Walk 4 Love, which raised monies to benefit pediatric cancer research.
Ms. DeGennaro has been working with young people for the past six weeks in a town summer camp at Jack Abrams STEM Magnet School. “Emma made her time at Huntington High School count,” Mr. Thorbourne said. “She is a true role model for children of all ages in our community.”