2017 Nassau BOCES Education Partner Award Honoree
Hicksville High School, Hicksville UFSD
Charity Board Member, Children’s Hope India 3 (CH3)
Hicksville High School student leader Annamaria Zisimatos is a remarkable young woman who has made tremendous strides in her humanitarian efforts. During her freshman year, Ms. Zisimatos and a few of her friends asked one another, “Why are we just sitting here talking about making a change instead of getting up and doing something about it?”
That simple question led to the foundation of Children’s Hope 3 (CH3), a non-profit charity organization with a mission to help homeless youth in the Hicksville community. With its first event — a Friendly’s Ice Cream fundraiser — CH3 managed to collect more than $3,000 for its noble cause.
Since then, CH3 has partnered with local businesses and community organizations to raise more than $45,000 for homeless children. CH3 has provided meals, backpacks filled with school supplies, birthday gifts and tuition for homeless children to attend summer camp. Ms. Zisimatos currently sits on the board of CH3, helping to guide its ongoing mission of “children helping children,” and to raise awareness about the importance of investing in underprivileged and impoverished children’s futures.
CH3 has partnered with the international humanitarian organization Children’s Hope India, significantly broadening the scope of their efforts. CH3 recently caught the attention of celebrity fashion designer Rachel Roy, head of her eponymous fashion line. “When you realize how much you’ll be given back, you’ll be as eager and as inspired as I am to work with these amazing women,” Ms. Roy said of Ms. Zisimatos and CH3. “For me, the gift came back ten-fold.”
Though Ms. Zisimatos graduates this year, she has no intention of abandoning her legacy. She fully intends to return to Hicksville High School next year to help CH3 continue its good work. She plans to be a mentor for underclassmen involved with the organization and will teach them to raise funds and to effectively target fundraising opportunities.
“Annamaria Zisimatos is an amazing young lady who spends an enormous amount of time helping the underprivileged of our community,” wrote her award nominator. “She genuinely cares about helping others and has dedicated her life to ensuring that no one goes without. She is a true leader.”