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Good News: Students Bridge Culture Gaps; Kosher Food Pantry Opens

Some stories put a smile on your face. Here's our wrap-up from around Northern Suffolk and the East End.

As a local news organization, Patch covers stories of all kinds, from heartbreaking tragedies to nitty-gritty breakdowns of government and school district issues. But some stories are simply inspiring, often showing that at the heart of our communities is a desire to do good. Here are some of the touching headlines from the past seven days.

Girls Head to Empowerment Seminar in Rio

Two Sag Harbor teens will be part of a cross-cultural experience soon as they head to Brazil for a seminar on girls' empowerment.

According to Nancy Lynott, the director of the Southampton Town Youth Bureau, three girls from Riverhead and two from Sag Harbor will join a 30-member delegation of high school girls who will travel from the United States to join their counterparts from Latin America, Jordan and the Ukraine.

"The purpose of the seminar is to engage youth from around the world to build understanding between countries, increase leadership skills, and prepare girls to be positive agents of change," Lynott said.

The seminar is sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in Brazil and the Brazilian Department of Human Rights, Lynott said; the U.S. Department of State and the Mary Kay Foundation are slated to cover all travel expenses, while the Brazilian government will fund all seminar expenses.

Stony Brook Profs Given National Science Foundation Awards

A pair of Smithtown residents who are Stony Brook University professors were awarded the National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development program award.

Assistant Professor of Materials Science & Engineering at Stony Brook University Alexander Orlov, who is also a faculty member of the Consortium for Interdisciplinary Environmental Research at the university and named a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, was selected for his work on Developing Novel Biomimetic Heterostructured Ceramics for Water Splitting.

Local Chabad Launches Kosher Food Pantry

Chabad at Stony Brook has announced a new partnership with Island Harvest to establish a Kosher food pantry at its Lake Grove home.

In an interview Wednesday, Rabbi Shalom Ber Cohen said the food bank is open to all who are in need, regardless of religion.

"There are people really hurting financially," he said. "We’re happy to be of service to the community."

The food pantry, located at 821 Hawkins Avenue in Lake Grove, is open on Tuesdays from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. and on Thursdays from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Commack Grad Spends Spring Break Helping Others

Emily Corr spent a week working with Habitat for Humanity in North Carolina.

Instead of spending her Spring Break catching a tan on the beach, Commack resident Emily Corr joined her fellow classmates at Providence College on a service trip to work with Habitat for Humanity.

Celebrity Dog Trainer Visits Hauppauge Middle School

Celebrity dog trainer Samantha Valle, who has appeared on David Letterman, Steve Harvey and Good Morning America, paid a visit to the Pause 4 Paws Puppy Club at Hauppauge Middle School on Friday.

The club raised $100 and collected 50 cans of pet food for the Little Shelter Adoption Center in Huntington.

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