Preston Ferraiuolo, 12, a seventh grader at I.S. 187 The Christa McAuliffe School, is motivated to make not only Bay Ridge, but the world a better place through community service.
Can you talk about some of the stuff you do for the community?
With community service in Bay Ridge, I founded the Bay Ridge Lemonade Coalition, a group of middle schoolers in our area. We do tons of projects as a group to help other kids in our neighborhood and organizations. We’ve painted Shore Road benches and it’s great being with everyone in the neighborhood. Moving forward, we want to move globally. It’s really empowered me living in Bay Ridge. It’s amazing here and worldly. I have a friend whose family comes from Syria and now seeing everything on the news about it makes me think differently about his family and friends that are back there. No matter where I go in the area, I get a little scoop of the world.
How does giving back make you feel?
There are people in this world still that need water and food and clean shelter. There can never be world peace unless everybody is not thirsty or everybody is not hungry. That’s the only way we can achieve world peace.
I think that helping others, you get that compassionate feeling. I’ve done a lot of stuff throughout my years and I feel good that I grew up and live here. I have a good life and go to a good school, so I think it’s nice to give back so kids have the same opportunity.
Who is a role model of yours?
One of my role models is Mark Zuckerberg who is the founder of Facebook. What he’s doing now is starting this program where he’s flying solar planes over parts of Africa and parts of Asia that don’t have access to the Internet. This is the 21st century. This is something we need to get the whole world on board with. That’s our future. It helps bring the world closer and bring us closer to the future. It has a wide range of benefits.
What are your dreams when you grow up?
I want to get a position in a global business to reach out and help everybody. I want to go into business but I want to be able to give back. But the only way to give back is to make money. I want to have a successful job as a CEO of a hotel. I want to make money and then be able to give back to everybody.
Brought to you courtesy of the Breezy Point Surf Club (718-634-2500; nybreezypoint.com) and the Silver Gull Beach Club (718-634-1500; nysilvergull.com).