Stellar Xaverian student makes giving back a priority

Being exceptional in the classroom is a gratifying experience, but not as much as giving back to the community, for one Brooklyn student.

Dominick Santo, a senior and National Honors Member student at Xaverian High School, is known for his community service.

Giving back during the holidays has become a tradition for him. In 2014. he said,  “I raised $2,300 for the Sansone Foundation to help with a Christmas party for underprivileged children. I was present at the party and helped set up. It was great to see the five and six-year-old kids so excited to see Santa and receive a gift.”

One of his more recent accomplishments was spreading holiday cheer for families that have a parent in the military, asking attendees at a Christmas party held by his family “to please bring a gift card for a military kid age 13 to 17. I focused on the older kids this year as I felt that it was very important.”

In addition, he held a toy drive for younger children. “I am also very lucky and grateful that my Xaverian family has always supported me, especially with this event by donating over 200 toys for the younger children of the military families,” Santo said.

For Santo, the cause was gratifying and hit close to home.  “My mom’s uncle served in the Korean War which helped show me how important our military is to our community and our country,” he said.

However, Santo never rests on his laurels. “I am most proud of a scholarship I started at Xaverian last year in memory of Detective Brian Moore,” he said.

Moore was shot and killed in the line of duty on May 2, 2015 at 25 years old. Santo organized a fundraising campaign, raising $3,500 which was used to create a yearly scholarship in the detective’s name at the Bay Ridge school.

In addition, Santo raised $1,300 for the Resource Training Center, a facility that provides counseling and other services for people with substance abuse problems and helped coordinate a swim-a-thon to raise $1,355 in donations for the American Cancer Society in Pennsylvania.

With all the positive impact he has made in his community, Santo attributes his desire to help to his family. “My mom has been my biggest supporter as well as my dad and sisters,” he said. “I would have to say I was born into community service as my parents have always been very active participants in their community. My mom has taught me everything I know when it comes to giving back.”

Although Santo graduates in May, he will take the positive memories he had at his high school with him. “When I look back on my four years at Xaverian, I am very proud of my education and my time I spent there,” he said. “I will never forget the values and relationships that the school has provided to me.”

Santo will be attending college in the fall majoring in accounting. “Math has always been my best and favorite subject,” said the student, who also was on the track team and has played on the lacrosse team for the past four years.

Santo encourages other students to consider giving back. “My advice to everyone who would like to help or start a project in their community is never to be afraid of doing something good,” he said.

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