Walt Whitman Junior Gabrielle Ramirez Wins Leadership Award

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Each year the Women's Fund of Long Island (WFLI) holds their Women Achievers Breakfast. At this annual event, remarkable young women are recognized with several prestigious awards. One of those awards, the Shapiro-McCormick Young Woman Leader Award, is presented to a deserving candidate for advocating for girls within their schools or communities and making a difference in the lives of young women through philanthropy, advocacy or other community service efforts.

Walt Whitman junior Gabrielle Ramirez was the recipient of this year’s award. Gaby is a motivated young woman who achieves goals that are well beyond those set by your average high school student. Her motivating ideology revolves around the concept that leaders are one-third born and two-thirds made. Leaders like Judge Sonia Sotomayor, who defy society's expectations of Latina women, inspire Gaby. She also looks to her younger sister, Epiphany, for motivation and inspiration.

Well known at school for her sense of responsibility and dedication, Gaby is trusted by teachers to guide her peers. She holds several leadership positions including Secretary of the World Affairs club; Mentor of the Red Cross club, Treasurer of the World Language Honor Society and serves on the Public Relations team for her school newspaper. Gaby has been diligently working with her French teacher to launch the French Culture club in the fall of 2014 and was nominated in her sophomore year as one of the few permanent members of her school's Student Focus Group. Her determination to excel follows her onto the field where she is a three-Varsity sport scholar athlete, participating on the Varsity Soccer, Winter Track and Spring Track teams.

Gaby is an active member of her community and devotes her free time to service and volunteering. This past June, she recorded her 100th hour of volunteer service at Huntington Hospital. Teens who volunteer there not only provide assistance to nurses, but also personal attention to the patients who might not receive it every day. In alignment with her diverse interests, Gaby referees for South Huntington's Soccer club and interns at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory's DNA Learning Center.

Gaby, whose whole family wears glasses, has taken the initiative, with her sister Epiphany, to help others who have trouble seeing. Together, they started Eye Partners Inspire (EPI), which collects unwanted eyeglasses island-wide and gives them to other organizations to distribute to people in need.  Gaby will use her community service award to kick start EPI. In addition, Gaby is working to establish a Girls Learn International (GLI) chapter at her high school. GLI helps students advocate for access to education for women and girls around the world. In the future, Gaby aspires to become an ophthalmologist.

Visit EPI at: http://www.epilongisland.org