Strong Minds. Kind Hearts.
Friends Academy Celebrates Unity Day with First Community Group Meetings

On Thursday, October 10, the Friends Academy community wore orange to honor Unity Day, part of Bullying Prevention Month. The day was also marked with the first meetings of all-school Community Groups, which bring together students and adults in all divisions to strengthen bonds across campus.

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From the desk of MaryJo Allegra

Artfully Yours...

Elizabeth Siris Winchester '91

About 600 people attended the 26th Annual Taste of the Harvest at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury on October 15. The event raises funds for Island Harvest Food Bank's many programs. The hunger-relief organization serves the more than 300,000 Long Islanders living in food insecurity—a state in which people do not get enough food consistently to live active and healthy lives.

Opening speakers at the popular event included Island Harvest president and CEO Randi Shubin Dresner, NBC 4 New York's Pei-Sze Cheng and—Friends Academy's Shivani Patel! The 11th-grade student received an award or her work with the organization over the past year and was designated as the Island Harvest 2019 Student Ambassador.

"I learned so much about hunger on Long Island," Shivani shared in her award acceptance speech, "including that one of 10 Long Islanders seeks emergency food assistance and each night there are tens of thousands of children going to bed hungry on Long Island."

Upon learning about Island Harvest, Shivani said she knew immediately that she wanted to dedicate much of her time to working with the organization. The organization targets its programs to meet the needs of the many people on Long Island who are hungry, from children and parents to veterans and senior citizens. Island Harvest reports that about 70,000 people in Nassau and Suffolk counties are fed through their soup kitchens, food pantries and other programs each week.

Shivani took part in the annual Island Harvest Stamp Out Hunger food drive, the Senior Mobile Pantry, Healthy Harvest Farms and the Summer Food Service Program, where she handed out lunches to kids at their day camp.
"The smiles on all the kids' faces when they received their food is unforgettable," Shivani shared. "It reminded me not to take what I have for granted." Through her work with older people, she learned that "so many seniors have to choose between getting their daily medicine and food. That's heartbreaking to me because no person should have to do that at any age."

Shivani also raised $50,000 for Island Harvest, asking "literally everyone [she] could think of" to donate.

Shivani's parents run a nonprofit that provides access to healthcare to remote villages in India and volunteering for it from such a young age helped instill in her a passion for community service and helping people across the globe. She has been involved in several service-oriented activities at FA including the YSOP trip to New York City, which allows students to work with various soup kitchens and We Are the Community Helpers, which provides activities such as sandwich making, sports and music events with disabled adults, food drives and tutoring/homework help at the nearby Boys & Girls Club.

This year Shivani started a club at school called Choose Your Charity. "Our goal is to diversify how and where we give back," Shivani explained. "We want to help in different ways because I believe we can do more than just donate money." Having been an FA student since fifth grade has greatly helped shape Shivani's views.

"My years at Friends Academy have [highlighted] the importance of service, one of the Quaker values," Shivani said.

"Along with my parents, I believe FA has had a large impact on me by developing my love and passion to give back."
Shivani hopes to one day be a successful business woman who uses her influence to create a foundation that helps people.

"I think it's extremely critical for people of all ages to be involved with community service," Shivani said. "It's so important for people to learn at an early age to help the world."

Read more about Island Harvest honors Upper School student Shivani Patel for her service
Jack Sandler '98's Father Memorializes His Legacy in Book
Andrea Miller

Today marks the fourth anniversary of the passing of Friends Academy alum and storied college lacrosse coach Jack Sandler '98. To honor his son, Jack's father, Lance, has penned his first book, "Live in His Glow: The Life and Legacy of Coach Jack Sandler," in which family and friends share their memories of and insights about this remarkable person. The book was released Oct. 7.

Characterized by Friends Academy's Head of School Andrea Kelly as a "love letter from a father to a son," Lance shares the remarkable life his son led, as a three-sport athlete (football, lacrosse, and wrestling) at Friends Academy, lacrosse coach at first Skidmore and then Colby College, and what he discovered during the research for this book.

"I've met nearly 1,000 people who I never met before," remarked Lance. "And every person said, 'I was Jack's best friend,'" said Lance. "My wife and I had no clue. We knew he was good at what he did, but we had no idea the reach he had."

From the pair of Jehovah's Witnesses Jack invited in to his house because he was fascinated with learning more about all faiths; to the students who would line up, one after another, outside Jack's office at Colby College, just to ask his advice about life; to the over 300 people who delivered Quaker messages out of the silence at his funeral; to the people who continue to be touched by Jack through the Jack Sandler Leadership Foundation, Lance knows one thing to be very true.

"No matter who you were, Jack made you think you were the most important person in the world," shared Lance. "I wanted people to learn about Jack, his values, and what he stood for. I've heard from so many people that the world is deteriorating, but when they hear about Jack, they tell me, 'You've given me hope.'"

Lance shares that this book was necessary for him to write, not only for himself and his wife, but for those who knew Jack, and those who have yet to know him.

All proceeds from the sale of "Live in His Glow" will go directly to the Jack Sandler Leadership Foundation, which invests in the future of less advantaged student-athletes by providing scholarships to attend high-level lacrosse camps. In 2019, the foundation sent 28 kids to camp.

With a thirst for knowledge, Jack possessed this innate ability to lift people up, especially when everyone else had abandoned them. "I don't know if he learned this at Friends Academy, or Friends Academy saw this in my son and brought it out," Lance said. "I just know that he lived the values of Friends Academy and four years after his death, Jack's legacy is not shrinking... it's growing."

Read more about Jack Sandler '98's Father Memorializes His Legacy in Book
Preparing for the Next Steps: Wayne Mazzoni Discusses NCAA Recruiting Process; College Office Hosts College Planning Night

The evening of Tuesday, Nov. 5 focused on preparing students for their educational journey beyond Friends Academy. First, NCAA recruiting expert Wayne Mazzoni delivered his "Get Recruited" seminar, followed by an informative presentation from the Friends Academy College Counseling Office for 11th grade families.

Mazzoni, who has coached college baseball for 25 years, gave insight not only on how to draw the attention of college coaches but how to find a school that is the best fit for the student-athlete beyond the athletic experience. He provided an enthusiastic group of parents and students with important resources about the academic expectations and the process of working with the NCAA. Learn more about Wayne Mazzoni and the "Get Recruited" program.

Following Mazzoni's seminar, Friends Academy Director of College Counseling Ed Dugger and Associate Director Jennifer Dice addressed 11th grade families regarding the college admissions process. Mr. Dugger opened by giving a brief history of the founding of Friends Academy and added, "This is the story of Friends Academy. Our job is to help you articulate your story."

Throughout the event, Mr. Dugger and Ms. Dice discussed the ins and outs of the application process — how to create a list of schools, deciding which standardized tests to take, using the Common App – while weaving in why the college admissions process is unique at a Quaker school. The pair, who begin regularly meeting with students individually in January of their junior year, focused on "meeting students where they are," highlighting who each student is now through processes of self-reflection and helping put them on the path to who they want to be. Additionally, Ed spoke about how, despite the impersonality of the college application review process by admissions offices, Friends Academy students can find a school that is the right fit for them where they can continue to be agents of change.

Learn more about Friends Academy's unique and unparalleled college counseling program.

Read more about Preparing for the Next Steps: Wayne Mazzoni Discusses NCAA Recruiting Process; College Office Hosts College Planning Night
Athletics Update - Girls Soccer Advances to Postseason, Teams Continue to Excel as Regular Season Wraps Up

Friends Academy fall sports teams and athletes have continued to perform impressively as the regular season winds down.

Girls Varsity Soccer advanced to a County Outbracket Game after finishing the regular season with a 10-2 record. The team heads to Locust Valley High School on Thursday, Oct. 24 at 3:15 pm for a must-win game to move on to the next round of playoffs. The Quakers dominated the regular season, ending on a three-game win streak with statement victories over West Hempstead (6-2), Floral Park (4-1) and Carey (5-1).

Field Hockey had a similarly dominant regular season, concluding with a 3-2 non-league win over Sacred Heart and a 2-0 victory over league opponent Seaford, avenging a loss from earlier in the season.

Boys and Girls Varsity Cross Country also continued to put up impressive results. The teams competed in historic Van Cortlandt Park on Saturday, Oct.19 with Zack Ragozino, Richard Li, Olivia Carden and Tina Huang all picking up personal best times in the 4K race. Nassau County Athletics reinstated the traditional North Shore vs. South Shore meet on Monday, Oct. 21. Olivia Como, Tina Huang, Quinn Dougherty, Ethan Labelson, Richard Li and Quinn McLaughlin set personal bests racing for the North Shore. The team will look to continue its success at the County Championship Meet on Saturday, Nov. 2.

On the water, seniors Will Durban and Henry Schoeffel and junior Ella Barry rowed in the Head of the Charles in Boston, the world's largest two-day regatta, on Oct. 19 and 20. Will has now rowed in the event three times and Henry twice, while this was Ella's first time participating.

Boys Varsity Soccer concluded its season with a pair of hard-fought 1-0 losses to Island Trees and Clarke. The team honored its seniors at their final home game, recognizing their incredible soccer careers at Friends Academy.

Football battled neighboring Locust Valley, but fell, 24-6. The team will play its final home game of the regular season on Saturday, Oct. 26 at 2 pm against Oyster Bay.

As the fall season wraps up, every game, match and event are crucial, and the Quakers need your support!

Upcoming events:

  • Girls Varsity Soccer at Locust Valley - Thursday, Oct. 24 at 3:15 pm (County Outbracket Game)
  • Football vs. Oyster Bay - Saturday, Oct. 26 at 2 pm
  • Cross Country at County Championships - Saturday, Nov. 2

Read more about Athletics Update - Girls Soccer Advances to Postseason, Teams Continue to Excel as Regular Season Wraps Up
Athletics Weekly Update - Field Hockey Keeps Rolling, Boys and Girls Soccer Push for Postseason

As the fall sports season begins to wind down, every game and match is crucial for the Quakers! Last week was another impressive week in FA sports, as the Quakers make the push for playoffs.

Varsity Field Hockey continued its impressive season, picking up a 1-0 win over New Hyde Park on Friday for the Quakers' fifth straight win and third consecutive shutout.

Last week, the Boys and Girls Varsity Soccer teams each battled the league's first-place teams in key matchups. The boys lost a tight battle, 1-0, with undefeated West Hempstead last Thursday and are looking for a win this Thursday, Oct. 17, against Clarke to earn a playoff bid.

Girls Varsity Soccer played to an intense 2-1 loss to first-place Seaford last Monday, before rebounding with a 3-1 non-league win over neighboring Wheatley. With three league games remaining, the coaching staff is optimistic about the Quakers' chances of making the playoffs.

Boys and Girls Cross Country had a strong showing last Monday at Bethpage State Park. The boys lost to Island Trees but defeated Valley Stream South. On the girls side, ninth grader Olivia Carden and tenth grader Olivia Como ran personal bests to help lead the team to victories over Island Trees and Valley Stream South.

On the tennis court, Girls Varsity split the week, falling, 6-1, to North Shore before picking up a 4-3 victory over Herrick.

Varsity Football played in front of an energetic home crowd last Saturday, but fell to East Rockaway, 36-15.

Come cheer on the Quakers at home this week as they look to lock up playoff spots!
  • Tuesday, Oct. 15, 4:30 pm - Varsity Field Hockey vs. Sacred Heart Academy
  • Wednesday, Oct. 16, 4:30 pm - Girls Varsity Tennis vs. Garden City
  • Thursday, Oct. 17, 4:45 pm - Boys Varsity Soccer vs. Clarke

Read more about Athletics Weekly Update - Field Hockey Keeps Rolling, Boys and Girls Soccer Push for Postseason
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