Interacting to build a better community

By Jillian Marshall

May 6, 2013 Updated May 13, 2013 at 8:29 AM EDT

Owego, NY (WBNG Binghamton) From reading to children to collecting pennies, Owego Free Academy senior Kathryn Curatolo has logged hundreds of hours of community service.

Curatolo is one of 28 Student Community Service Award winners presented by Sen. Thomas Libous (R-23rd), BOCES and WBNG-TV.

Curatolo started volunteering her freshman year at OFA by joining one club.

"I joined Key Club to just kind of meet people. I was a nervous freshman. And once I got in there, I really realized what good they were doing and how neat it is to get involved," Curatolo said.

Curatolo quickly became a key member of the Interact Club.

The club adviser and OFA guidance counselor Tom Westcott says she quickly turned into a leader and started creating fundraisers and events for the community.

"This year she was the driving force planning a dance-a-thon and the funds benefited American Red Cross and Hurricane Sandy relief," Westcott said.

With only weeks left at OFA, Curatolo is collecting change helping her school raise Pennies for Patients with Leukemia and Lymphoma.

"My community has really supported me and it's good to give back." Curatolo said.

It's hard to believe Curatolo even has any spare time outside of school, given her club involvement and straight-A average.

But she's also involved with the Basset Foundation.

She reads to young kids through the Family Reading Partnership, which inspired her future major at Binghamton University, nursing.

After spending four years making a difference in the Owego community, leaving OFA will be tough for Curatolo and her teachers.

"She's set a legacy. She's set an example, she's set the bar high," Westcott said.

Curatolo received a $1,000 scholarship through the Student Community Service Award.

There are 27 other seniors from around the Southern Tier who also received the award.

To learn more about the all of the winners, visit Senator Tom Libous' website.