Manyara Cuadra, Sonia Chemerisov and Arelis Batista

Sonia Chemerisov Wins HFD Citizenship Award

Manyara Cuadra, Sonia Chemerisov and Arelis Batista captured second place. (Darin Reed photo)

August 9, 2017

The Huntington Fire Department thinks so highly of Sonia Chemerisov that the organization presented its coveted Honorary Chief Robert Henneborn Award for Citizenship to the Huntington High School Class of 2017 member.

Ms. Chemerisov plans to attend Farmingdale State College where she intends to study biology on a pre-med track. Her ultimate goal is to attend medical school and become a doctor.

The teenager spent her freshman and sophomore years in Santiago in the Dominican Republic. After relocating to Huntington, it didn’t take Ms. Chemerisov long to embrace life at the high school and thrive in her classes and extracurricular activities.

“I began coming to the United States at a very young age,” Ms. Chemerisov said. “I would always come during the summer to visit family. I permanently moved here in August 2015.”

Sonia Chemerisov
Huntington Class of 2017 member
Sonia Chemerisov.

Named a Distinguished Senior last spring after compiling at least a 90 academic grade average during every semester of high school, Ms. Chemerisov is a high achiever. She said her parents have always taught her to stay positive, work hard and give her best, regardless of where she is or what circumstances she might be find herself in.

The teenager said focusing on her happiness and education have been the keys to her success. Ms. Chemerisov has enjoyed her move to Huntington and has “learned so much here and met incredible people.” She’s not yet sure what she’d like to specialize in as a medical doctor.

The Honorary Chief Robert Henneborn Award for Citizenship carries with it a $500 stipend. The scholarship was presented to Ms. Chemerisov by high school college counselor Bernadette Walsh on behalf of the Huntington Fire Department during the senior academic awards ceremony in the auditorium before a crowd of 300.

Ms. Chemerisov and dance partners Manyara Cuadra and Arelis Batista captured second place in last winter’s K-Factor talent show coordinated by the high school Key Club. The event raised monies that were donated to Huntington’s Relay For Life fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.

The teenager is also a wonderful artist. Her work appeared at the Huntington Arts Council’s High Arts Showcase XIII at the Main Street Petite Gallery in the village last spring. She also contributed to a group art project created in honor of Huntington High School sophomore Eli Mollineaux, who passed away last fall. It was exhibited at the Long Island’s Best show at the Heckscher Museum and is now on permanent display in a high school hallway not far from the main lobby.

Described as a natural philanthropist, Ms. Chemerisov volunteered to help translate for Spanish speaking students who are not yet fluent in English. She said she feels “privileged” to have an opportunity to help those facing the same types of challenges she once encountered herself.

Ms. Chemerisov was a “planner” for social studies teacher Jordan Gould, working closely with the faculty member and one of his classes. She was also a peer mediator, helping classmates work through their issues.

As she prepares to begin studying at Farmingdale, Ms. Chemerisov has set high goals and has big plans for her future. She participated in a summer program at Farmingdale, “in order to have a better transition into college this upcoming semester,” she said.

Ms. Chemerisov plans to dorm at Farmingdale and she has been preparing herself for the rigors of a challenging schedule. She’s excited to be moving on to the next stage of her life.