Star of Brooklyn: Theresa Scavo



COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Theresa Scavo has always lived in Community District 15, which consists of Homecrest, Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach and Gerritsen Beach. So it’s only fitting that she would grow up to play a pivotal role in improving the area.

“I am basically in the office every day,” said the hardworking Scavo. She’s been chairperson of Community Board 15 since 2006. In addition, Scavo has served as the treasurer of the 61st Precinct Community Council, the second vice chair of the Coney Island Advisory Board and team leader of the Community Emergency Response Team for District 15.

“Even prior to become chair, I was always actively involved in the community,” she said.

Of all her achievements and work, which included the attempt to restore Plumb Beach after Superstorm Sandy, the most meaningful one continues to be bringing a community of all races and religions together.

“I would say that we’ve really come a long way unifying the different parts of community from Turkish to Pakistanis and Orthodox Jews. We stands as a very united front as a community,” Scavo remarked. When proposals to build a Sheepshead Bay mosque were met with criticism and opposition, Scavo sided with the existence of the mosque.

Since becoming board chairperson, Scavo has seen great improvement in the neighborhood. “I think we’ve really developed, especially since Superstorm Sandy,” she said. “After that, the community has tried to help each other. I think every issue is being addressed at the moment.”

CAREER: Scavo was owner of Fantasia, a very successful jewelry store for 25 years, which had been located in the Lundy’s building in Sheepshead Bay. “I’ve been very fortunate that I had a very successful business until 2008,” she mused. “And I’m lucky because I now give all of my time back to the community. I’ve always tried to give in my spare time. Now I can dedicate all of it.”

PERSONAL LIFE: Scavo was born and raised in Brooklyn. “I’ve done everything here. I was born and went to school in District 15,” she said. “The only time I left was to go to college.” Scavo attended Hunter College for her BA. She then received her Master’s at Richmond College.

CHALLENGES: Scavo remains optimistic about the future of the area. “There are always challenges,” she noted. “There will always be people that think that what you’re doing is the wrong thing. But I’m happy because the community is really joining and coming together.”

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