• Stephen Bovino, Bethany Coates, Helen Huang and Jill O'Malley

    Bethany Coates and Helen Huang, Kenmore East High School Students

    When Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico in September 2017, two Kenmore East students took it upon themselves to think globally, with a very strong local impact. Kenmore East Spanish teacher Senora Padin was raised in Luquillo, Puerto Rico, a small town east of San Juan. All of her extended family resides in a neighborhood called Pitahaya. Due to the conditions of the island, most of this area was decimated. That is where two remarkable Kenmore East seniors stepped up.

    As a part of their Community Action Service Project for the International Baccalaureate program, seniors Helen Huang and Bethany Coates co-sponsored a collection for the people of Puerto Rico, including monetary donations and necessary items, such as the following:

    • Batteries
    • Antibacterial wipes
    • Protein bars
    • Freeze dried food
    • Personal hygiene products
    • Benadryl, Tylenol, Advil, etc.
    • First aid supplies
    • Cortisone
    • Neosporin

    Due to the generosity and drive demonstrated by these two wonderful students, Kenmore East raised $2,778.50, $100.00 worth of flashlights, and many necessary supplies. Bethany and Helen epitomized the service beyond self that Kenmore East, and the Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda School District, epitomizes. They set up collection areas throughout the school and followed through on the charitable process. But more important, they demonstrated that we are here for one of our own, and Senora Padin expressed an enormous amount of gratitude toward the girls after their efforts. They serve as shining examples of selflessness, caring, compassion, and generosity.