The French Honor Society at Huntington High School has always been a remarkable force for good in the world. The organization has reached far beyond the local community, raising monies to benefit the poverty stricken school children in Paulette, Haiti and establishing a bond with those energetic youngsters in a faraway land.
Huntington’s French Honor Society chapter is led by Gemma Pellegrini (president), Rebecca Hoffmann (vice president), Mary Grace Rorke (treasurer) and Mia Brown (secretary). Sophie Laserson, Allie Neber, Regan Sansiviero, Sarah Berry and Cassidy Casabona round out the organization’s membership. Teacher Deidre Mayer serves as the group’s indefatigable faculty advisor.
The French Honor Society’s influence and enthusiasm extends far beyond Huntington, the group has annually fundraised to send aid to Haiti for the past seven years, primarily going toward the education of underprivileged elementary school children.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has put a crimp in the organization’s normal activities, the executive board and the organization’s members are working hard nonetheless.
“This year we have been selling blue and white tie dye masks for $5,” Mrs. Mayer said. “We still have masks left. We will be donating monies to either elementary schools in Paulette Haiti or a local Francophone charity. The members are still researching. Although, we can’t have our annual dodgeball tournament this year we still plan on making a difference locally or in paying for tuition in Paulette, Haiti.”
Ms. Pellegrini said the group is hopeful it will be able to stage some events and pursue some initiatives. It has reached out to Principal Brenden Cusack to determine what is possible under the restraints imposed by the pandemic.
Determination. It is a word that applies to the French Honor Society as a whole. “We meet via Google Meet, but that hasn't stopped members’ enthusiasm and passion for helping others,” Mrs. Mayer said. “Last year we had bake sales with waffles with all the fixings. This year our fundraiser is masks. Members are quite creative. Where there is a will there is a way!”