Bay Shore resident Samantha Jaggi is the recipient of the Friends of Connetquot State Park Preserve scholarship, honored for her academic excellence as well as community involvement and volunteerism.
Jaggi, a senior at St. John the Baptist Diocesan High School in West Islip, finished her junior year sixth in her class with a 104.94 GPA and has maintained distinction of summa cum laude honors each semester attending the school. She is involved in volunteer work with the Friends of Connetquot State Park Preserve and said she plans on continuing to educate the public about protecting the preserve.
“I was very excited. It was a recognition of the hard work I’ve put in, both academically and in volunteering,” Jaggi said. “The money was very helpful to help pay for my tuition, and I’m very grateful to have received the award.”
Looking forward to higher education, Jaggi said she plans on majoring in environmental studies.
“This would allow me to get involved in shaping environmental policy and activism, and I’m considering going into environmental law post-grad,” she said.
Aside from her volunteer efforts for Friends of Connetquot, Jaggi has also donated her time to several other causes, including Island Harvest Food Bank, Wicca Way Farms, Nettles Island Green Team and Young Equestrians of America at Heaven Sent Farms. She said she always volunteers for causes she is passionate about.
Jaggi has been riding horses since she was 7 years old and is now the captain of the varsity equestrian team at SJB.
“It has become a big part of who I am,” she said. “Spending time with horses helps me relax and de-stress, which I know I will need a lot of in college.”
Along the lines of athletics, Jaggi also played volleyball for two years on the junior varsity team. Jaggi expressed gratitude for the recognition by the Friends of Connetquot.
“They really do a lot to help educate Long Islanders about the Connetquot River State Park, which is home to countless species of birds, plants, fish and animals,” she said. “The park is somewhere I love to go to get some peace and quiet and just take in nature. I hope more people are able to get involved and find their own passion for the environment.”