Howard and Warren Kleet love their community. The brothers own Kleet Lumber on Park Avenue in Huntington. They care about the young people who live here so they decided to honor two of the top seniors in Huntington High School’s Class of 2019.
The Kleet brothers funded a pair of $500 scholarships and earmarked them for exceptional students who combine academic and athletic excellence with doses of leadership and community service and all the other ingredients needed to be regarded as a good classmate and teammate.
Kleet Lumber was established in 1946. It is located on Park Avenue in Huntington
The Kleet Scholar Athlete Awards were presented by Huntington Booster Club President Timothy Pillion at the 51st annual Blue Devils senior athletic awards banquet in Louis D. Giani Gymnasium. Alyssa Sorensen and Henry Cartwright were chosen from a group of very strong candidates for the scholarships.
The Kleet brothers grew up in Huntington and the pair has retained an affection for the area’s youth. The two scholarships they fund demonstrate their desire to recognize and reward all-around excellence.
Alyssa Sorensen is headed to Drexel University in Philadelphia to study public health. She gave serious consideration to the University of Rhode Island, but said Drexel was a “better fit” for her career goals.
“At Drexel, I will be studying to earn my master’s degree in public health,” Ms. Sorensen said. “I will be minoring in both biology and Spanish. I am hoping to join the club soccer or lacrosse team because I have played sports for a long time and it is something I would love to continue doing. I will also join leadership organizations and get involved with service activities around Philadelphia that correlate to my major.”
The teenager was integrally involved in school and community activities. President of Young Leaders, a local youth development organization and vice president of Huntington High School’s student government, Ms. Sorensen also served as the treasurer of the National Honor Society. She earned varsity letters with the Blue Devil soccer, basketball and lacrosse teams.
“At Drexel there is a cooperative education program in which you attend school for two years and then apply for a paid internship for six months and then go back to school,” Ms. Sorensen said. “I’m planning on going abroad for my co-op and working within areas that have limited resources, providing medical aid to people that don’t have access to basic medical care. This is a main reason why I am minoring in Spanish because a big issue within the medical field is the language barrier, which I hope to conquer.”
Ms. Sorensen earned many honors through the years, including the Town of Huntington Youth Philanthropy Award and the Health and Welfare Council of Long Island Leadership Award. She was recognized at the Suffolk Interfaith Anti-Bias Task Force’s 18th annual spring convocation and awards breakfast.
“In the future I hope to become a physician assistant and use everything I have learned from experiences around the world to become successful,” Ms. Sorensen said. “Huntington made me develop passions that I would’ve never discovered if it wasn’t for the people around me. I will cherish the memories I have made and I am hopeful to make new memories wherever I go.”
Henry Cartwright plans to study aerospace engineering at Virginia Tech on a Naval ROTC scholarship. He earlier considered SUNY Maritime College, University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the University of Michigan.
“I plan to be involved in the Corps of Cadets graduate as an officer in the United States Navy and eventually become involved in the aerospace field,” Mr. Cartwright said.
Mr. Cartwright’s desire to become an US Navy officer while studying engineering meant searching for schools that offer both the NROTC scholarship and were ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering) certified. Virginia Tech is one of the top six military colleges in the country with a highly regarded engineering program.
The teenager’s parents both worked in the aerospace engineering sector for many years. Mr. Cartwright said he expects the Corps of Cadets to dominate his time at the university. It offers leadership training to all cadets.
Mr. Cartwright has been awarded an Emerging Leaders scholarship, which is given to incoming freshmen with outstanding leadership and academic potential who join Virginia Tech’s Corps of Cadets.
Mr. Cartwright said his family has been the “motivating factor” in encouraging him to do his best academically and in athletics. He earned varsity letters with the Blue Devil football, swimming and lacrosse teams.
The teenager got his start in the district as a kindergartener at Flower Hill Primary School. Mr. Cartwright was a longtime member of the high school student council and was the schoolwide student government treasurer as a senior. He was also involved in the Young Leaders youth development organization.
Kleet Lumber Scholarship Recipients
2016 Katie Reilly, Vincent Fredericks
2017 Leanne Daly, Donald Stewart
2018 Tyler Gerbavsits, Isabella Annunziata
2019 Alyssa Sorensen, Henry Cartwright