Author Archives | azielinska

Biotechonology Comes to St. Francis Prep

St. Francis Prep, Fresh Meadows, is one of the first high schools in New York City to design a comprehensive course in biotechnology.

Biotechnology is a fast growing, high-paying field with many different employment opportunities. It utilizes modern technology to harness both the cellular and molecular processes that give rise to various biological functions. This allows advances and improvements on current research by inventing new methods to improve human lives and the health of the planet.

“The greatest aspect of biotechnology is the hands-on work,” said Kristina Anello, senior. “I find it so much easier to understand the concepts and physically display my understanding through the various experiments and continuous practice rather than reading about them in a textbook.”

“The lab work is just what one would do in college,” said Elizabeth Roach, senior. “Students are shown that they must be mature enough to handle the course, and we are shown respect and are treated as adults. This course is more than rewarding, and it’s amazingly interesting for anyone interested in the sciences.”

“As I head on to college, I have already decided my majors: an integration on biotechnology major with a pre-med major,” said Nicole Negron, senior. “Taking biotechnology was one of the smartest moves of my life since I have received an early start towards my dream. It has shown me aspects of biotechnology that will help me throughout college and life as I work more towards my goal.”

“We’re all ready to work in a lab,” said Aman Singh, senior. “This course makes us feel more independent and like adults. Aside from the fact that this is all college-level material, it’s more or less how we want to handle the course. Our input matters, and we are able to be reasonable with our teacher and it’s always worked.”

“I chose biotechnology because there’s no other class like it, and a career in the field could be lucrative,” said Brendan Morgenstern, senior. “Biotech has given me the opportunity to view both the positive and negative sides of modern biotechnology, such as the GMO topic. It was not just a one-sided course. That is what I love about it. And I love the material. Learning about what makes a food organic is unique, and experiencing it hands-on is amazing and fascinating.”

Posted in Youth News0 Comments

Xaverian Men Soar to Rank of Eagle

Eight students from Xaverian H.S., Bay Ridge earned the title of Eagle Scout, the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouting Program of the Boys Scouts of America.

Eagle scouts, from left, Anthony Mecca, Peter Mosconi, Robert Buzzard, Raj Patel and Robert Rowley stand proud in their uniforms.

Eagle scouts, from left, Anthony Mecca, Peter Mosconi, Robert Buzzard, Raj Patel and Robert Rowley stand proud in their uniforms.

They were required to earn at least 21 merit badges and demonstrate scout spirit through service and leadership. Each completed an extensive service project.

Senior Anthony Mecca, a resident of Glendale, collected food to replenish the pantry at Sacred Heart parish. He also collected toiletries and stuffed animals for a Franciscan hospital and orphanage in Honduras.

Sophomore Peter Mosconi, a resident of Park Slope, renovated the food pantry of Elohime Community Development Corporation in Richmond Hill.

Senior Robert Buzzard, a resident of West Brighton, S.I., established a fruit and vegetable stand which sold produce grown at Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden.

Senior Raj Patel, a resident of Rosebank, S.I., coordinated with fellow scouts, Staten Island veterans and Project Homefront to fold and package nearly 1,000 pocket-sized American flags to send to troops serving abroad.

Senior Robert Rowley, a resident of Dyker Heights, created a prayer garden and Stations of the Cross at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, Kensington.

Junior Peter DiSalvo, a resident of Bay Ridge, restored Greenbelt Trail on Staten Island.

Junior Matthew Cappiello, a resident of Bay Ridge, executed a beautification and restoration of the outdoor garden area at Lutheran Augustana Center, an extended care and rehabilitation facility.

Senior Peter Acquafredda, a resident of Westerleigh, S.I., cataloged artifacts for the Noble Maritime Collection at historic Snug Harbor Cultural Center.

Posted in Youth News0 Comments

Joana Muñoz, senior St. Saviour H.S.

Youth Views Senior Edition: If you could meet any fictional character, who would it be and what would you say?

Alexandra Cox, senior, St. Saviour H.S.

Youth Views: Ireisha Vaughn, senior Bishop Kearney H.S.


Joana Muñoz, senior St. Saviour H.S.

Posted in Youth News0 Comments

Youth Views Senior Edition: What does humility mean to you?

Youth Views: Mya Pugh, senior, Christ the King R.H.S.; Sarah Farma, senior, St. Joseph H.S.; Michael Jans, senior, Christ the King R.H.S.; Kaysie Hernandez, senior, St. Joseph H.S.


Posted in Youth News0 Comments

Youth Views Senior Edition: What do you do to get away from stress?

Youth Views: Vanja Matkovic, senior, Archbishop Molloy H.S.; Sebastian Oszynski, senior, St. John’s Prep; Tetyana Skazko, senior, St. John’s Prep; Darryl Carpen, senior, Archbishop Molloy H.S.

Posted in Youth News0 Comments

A Legally Blonde Performance At Fontbonne Hall Academy

Fontbonne Hall Academy, Bay Ridge, put on a production of the musical Legally Blonde.

The production was brought to the stage by the talent and vision of director Susan Huizinga, whose personal goal is “musical theater in every school in Brooklyn.” In addition to many local schools, she is president and producer of the Narrows Community Theater and a performer in the Regina Opera Company.

Seniors Nicolette Shin (Paulette) and Accursia Gallagher (Brooke) spend a moment with Sister Dolores Crepeau, C.S.J, principal, after the Saturday night performance.

Seniors Nicolette Shin (Paulette) and Accursia Gallagher (Brooke) spend a moment with Sister Dolores Crepeau, C.S.J, principal, after the Saturday night performance.

Posted in Youth News0 Comments

Senior Year Memories for the Class of 2013

cathleenReflection by Cathleen Giordano
Senior at Fontbonne Hall Academy, Bay Ridge
Parishioner of St. Bernadette’s parish, Dyker Heights

In honor of Holy Week, Fontbonne Hall Academy held its first overnight stay at school with a small group of students expressly for a time of Eucharistic Adoration and to do works of charity.

The students began to arrive at five o’clock and settled themselves in, laying out their resting areas or blow-up mattresses…even commandeering the floor in our principal, Sister Dolores’ office (which she so generously gave up).

By six o’clock, the girls as well as many faculty members enjoyed a potluck dinner together. The dinner reflected our own diversity: homemade Italian lasagna, a crockpot full of pulled pork, arepas from one of our Latina classmates and the “required” homemade cupcakes for dessert.

By 8 p.m., we gathered in the chapel. We had a beautiful prayer service to remind us of all the blessings Christ has given us. It is very easy to forget about the blessings we are given. Similarly, it can sometimes be difficult to let go of our troubles. In this prayer service, girls were reminded to hold onto good memories and that the Lord Jesus is always with us to celebrate them. In the same way, Jesus is also with us during hardships. Sometimes when we are living through difficulties, we forget that the Lord is with us and is willing to help bear our cross.

After the prayer service, we were blessed enough to be given the opportunity to sit with our Lord in adoration. After an hour of silent adoration as a full group, the girls broke up into pairs and shared stories while doing crafts for charities and for the following day’s prayer service.

One of the projects we adopted was to make about 50 crepe-paper flowers to donate to St. Thomas More parish in Breezy Point for their Easter Vigil Mass.

Other crafts included putting together a scrapbook for our spiritual sisters at Cabrini High School in New Orleans to thank them for all of their generous donations to the families of Fontbonne who were impacted by Hurricane Sandy.

Throughout the remainder of the night, the students took shifts in chapel, each spending an hour or more with the Lord in silent prayer and meditation. The Blessed Sacrament was exposed for several hours. This prayerful experience had by the girls was one that helped prepare us all for Easter and for getting into a spirit of giving, gratitude and hope. It’s by far one of the most memorable spiritual encounters I was able to have during my senior year at Fontbonne. Now that I am moving on to study at Manhattan College, I know that the lessons I learned that night about Jesus always being by my side will be something I can carry with me through all the trials and tribulations that lie ahead.

Posted in Youth News0 Comments

The Tablet’s 2013 All-Scholastic Team

The Tablet is proud to present this year’s All-Scholastic Team, consisting of one graduating student from each of the 20 Catholic high schools in the diocese. These young scholars are successful students who excel in academics, Christian leadership and community involvement. Their schools have recommended them based on these qualities and their demonstrations of integrity and school spirit.

Tatiana Requijo, Archbishop Molloy



Alessia Giarracca, Bishop Kearney High School


Ebony Cadet, Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School


Stephen Ray Martinez, Cathedral Preparatory Seminary


Keshia Lamour, Catherine McAuley High School


April Dolores Weeks, Christ the King Regional High School


Joel Perez, Cristo Rey Brooklyn High School


Gabrielle Mineo, Fontbonne Hall Academy


Francesco Anthony Barongi IV, Holy Cross High School

Anne Catherine Codd, The Mary Louis Academy


Sean Patrick Blaise O'Connell, Msgr. McClancy Memorial High School


Bridgette Thomas, Nazareth Regional High School

Bernadette McCrann, Saint Agnes Academic High School

Alex Christopher Lambros, Saint Edmund Preparatory


Salvatore Cocchiaro, Saint Francis Preparatory School


Ina C. Kodra, Saint John's Preparatory High School

Heidi Rodriguez, St. Joseph High School


Gabriela Carrasco, St. Saviour H.S.


Steven M. Swenson, Xaverian High School

Posted in Youth News0 Comments


Xaverian Junior Michael Darby

Junior Michael Darby, from Xaverian H.S., Bay Ridge, has earned a perfect score of 2400 on the SAT.

Darby, who was both shocked and excited after seeing his scores, is already thinking about his college applications next fall.

“I plan on applying to Princeton, Brown, Columbia, and a few other universities. I’m really interested in math and science.”

In addition to developing his impressive academic talents, Darby also participates in co-curricular activities, including the Clipper Society, the Dramatics Society, Model U.N., Young Democrats Club and the Student Coordinating Council.

The perfect score of 2400 on the SAT puts Darby in the 99.98th percentile of students who have taken the exam.



Posted in Youth News0 Comments

Spring Concert Showcases Fontbonne Talent

Amanda Powers prepares for her performance.

Amanda Powers prepares for her performance.

From Baroque to Broadway, from Hollywood to Hammerstein with a touch of hard-shoe dancing in Celtic or modern stylings, there was something for every musical taste at the Fontbonne Hall Academy’s annual Spring Concert in Bay Ridge.

Fontbonne’s choral groups, the Vocal Ensemble and the Select Chorus, presented well-loved selections from such Broadway favorites as The Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables and My Fair Lady, with a bit of the Beatles for good measure. Both groups were conducted and prepared by Una Marie O’Donnell, instructor of music at the shool, who herself performs with the New York Choral Society and appeared with Andrea Bocelli at Barclays Center and on Live from Lincoln Center.

The Baroque period was represented by a performance of Christoph Willibald von Gluck’s Gavotte in A Major by Sophia Capellini, sophomore at Fontbonne, who also studies at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music.

The quick, intricate footwork of hard-shoe Irish stepdance was represented by junior Tara Muldoon and freshman Amanda Powers, both competitive dancers with tremendous stage presence and experience.

A more modern approach was represented by Krista Polizzotto, senior, whose competition piece, Desert Sands, joined Middle Eastern music with contemporary tap.

Caitlin Escudero’s Wushu exhibition combined Chinese martial-arts style with the music of Two Steps from Hell, more familiar to theater-goers as composers of movie trailers for such major motion pictures as the Harry Potter films, Star Trek and the Dark Knight.

Fontbonne’s Vocal Ensemble delights the audience with highlights from the musical, Phanto

Fontbonne’s Vocal Ensemble delights the audience with highlights from the musical, Phanto

Posted in Youth News0 Comments