Turning a personal loss into a positive force for change, P.J. Gelinas Junior High School ninth grader Joseph Nizza helped to raise thousands of dollars for the American Cancer Society and to fund a scholarship for Ward Melville High School graduates.
“Ever since my mother, Natalie Nizza a renowned doctor in this community passed away after an 80 day battle with cancer at 45, I knew I had to do something to not let the grief overrun me but I had to use it as the tip of my sword,” Joseph said. “My mother was a doctor for 20 years and gave her all to her job and patients, and with this fundraiser I gave my all to the community.”
Last spring, Joseph made a presentation at each of the Gelinas spring concerts and raised donations from the audience. As a result of the community’s generosity, more than $2,000 was raised for the American Cancer Society and another $8,000 was collected to build a scholarship that will be given to a graduating high school female student who is pursuing a career in a medical field like his mother.
Photo Caption: P.J. Gelinas Junior High School ninth grader Joseph Nizza, with the help of several of his classmates, raised $10,000 last spring to benefit the American Cancer Society and a scholarship in his late mother’s name, collectively.
Photo courtesy of the Three Village Central School District