Priscilla Consolo, a young parishioner of Our Lady of Grace, Gravesend, is this year’s Rookie of the Year.
The Brooklyn Spectator and Home Reporter newspapers honored her as such during their annual 40 Under 40 Rising Stars event.
Consolo, 19, was the youngest honoree at the ceremony.
A freshman at Fordham University’s Lincoln Center campus, Consolo received the award in recognition of her outstanding commitment to community and public service.
Among the minsiterial roles she has filled at Our Lady of Grace are: altar server, lector and leader in the parish teen group.
“For a long time now, my faith has been the most important thing in my life,” she said. “It’s what drives me to serve others. I have always loved helping people, which is the reason I have been involved at Our Lady of Grace since a young age. Simply, I enjoy what I do because there is no greater satisfaction than knowing I can make someone else’s life a little better or easier.”
Consolo has also been involved in the local southwestern Brooklyn community as an aide to Assemblyman William Colton.
As part of her responsibilities, she has been the head organizer of the assembly member’s “Speak-Up & Clean-Up” grassroots campaign to help keep the neighborhood clean.
The effort attracted thousands of local youth volunteers to clean hundreds of streets and dozens of parks in Gravesend, Bensonhurst and Bath Beach. Volunteers also visited local residents and businesses to spread the word about the importance of protecting the environment and to distribute pamphlets on helpful tips and information about sanitation rules and guidelines.
In addition, Consolo was the project coordinator for Assemblyman Colton’s campaign to restore the B64 bus line. The bus line was regularly used by senior citizens, the disabled and school children. When the line was cut in 2010, all of these groups were negatively impacted as their quality of life decreased and other public transportation options in the area were not adequate to meet their needs.
The initiative proved to be successful when the B64 was restored in January, 2013, improving public transit in southwestern Brooklyn and demonstrating a true community victory is possible when people work together.
“There is too much injustice and evil in this world, and I want to do everything I can to change that,” Consolo said. “I believe that I can be that change, that I can help improve the lives of people in our neighborhood.”