I’m madder than Spiccoli when Mr. Hand started handing out all his slices of pizza in “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” over all the bad press teenagers are getting these days — especially since there are kids out there who ought to get mentioned in the papers for the great things they do.
Look, you all know that Carmine is as old-school as it gets when it comes to gathering information about what is going on in our neighborhoods, and the fact that I call it the “press” instead of something more hip and trendy like “media” or “interweb,” certainly shows my age.
But for me, it’s important to get my information from the source — and to block out all that interference that could get in the way of true understanding and enlightenment. So you won’t catch me catching up on things through the Facebook or the Tweeter, because, quite frankly, I don’t believe anything unless I see it with my own lying eyes.
So when I read about all those juvenile delinquents out there in the police blotter every week, I feel bad for all those good kids who don’t get their names in the paper for doing something great.
Now, I’m not saying that I don’t understand why newspapers do what they do: look, I know as much as the next guy that if it bleeds it leads, bring out the conflict, bring in the context, I get it.
I mean, people won’t necessarily pick up a paper that only tells them good news. And if they did, and that was all they wanted, I would be out of a job.
But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t shine a light on the good kids out there at least once a year.
So, without further ado, I’m going to do just that, just like I did last year.
This week’s column is dedicated to the hard work of one such teenager: Priscilla Consolo, who also works for my boss, Assemblyman Bill Colton.
This 18-year-old powerhouse has done more good than her years should have allowed, most recently during the Colton-sponsored Earth Day clean-ups that have helped make our neighborhoods as squeaky-clean as humanly possible.
Look, I don’t need to tell you that Priscilla has done her part to keep our streets clean, because you can look right outside and see it for yourself.
But if you don’t believe your own lying eyes, let me tell you how it happened.
The Midwood HS senior put together an army of teenagers, broke them up into platoons, and sent them out to the streets to pick up things like wrappers from Snickers bars and the like.
This was Priscilla’s army’s fourth campaign cleaning up various areas of the Gravesend, Bensonhurst, and Dyker Heights communities.
Needless to say, her army has grown 10-fold these past eight months.
Priscilla recruited more than 440 kids from various schools, organizations, and community groups, set them up into platoons, and then sent them out to sweep designated streets and avenues, collecting the filth and debris and bringing it to Department of Sanitation collection points. And now, 18th Avenue between Bath Avenue and 82nd Street, and 86th Street between 18th and 23rd avenues are as good as new.
But the kids didn’t just clean, they talked a good game, too.
She and her teen co-leaders spoke to shopkeepers, explaining to them why keeping business streets clean is essential and makes the community attractive for everyone.
They even had the businesses sign “Awareness Pledges.”
Priscilla Consolo is a role model to follow because of her selfless examples of giving back to the community that is really making a difference!
Because of her success with these neighborhood clean-ups, Assemblyman Colton has put Priscilla in charge of another — the campaign to get Bensonhurst’s B64 bus, which was severed south of 25th Ave along Harway Ave to Stillwell, back.
Priscilla has been speaking at Community Board 11 and 10 meetings, as well as other civic meetings, informing everyone of the half-billion dollar windfall the MTA has, which should be used restoring the service cuts that occurred these past two years.
Hopefully, the drastic cuts that have paralyzed the area will be restored so that the community can survive the MTA’s gross stupidity. Go get them Priscilla!
Screech at you next week!