Second Street Youth Center – The community is invited to the Second Street Youth Center Spelling Bee on Wednesday December 18, 2109 at 3:30pm. There will be two ages groups participating in a spelling bee, based upon their grade level. Our children have benefited from being trained for the spelling bee by two of the Nation’s best spellers. The sister and brother spelling dynamos, Danielle Serrao and Christopher Serrao have been volunteering and working with our SSYC After School Program to make them ready.
Danielle Serrao is a senior at Hunterdon Central Regional High School in Flemington, N.J. She was a finalist at the 2016 Scripps National Spelling Bee. As the regional winner, she represented school champions from multiple counties in western Pennsylvania and eastern New Jersey. Since 2017, she has been volunteering as the Associate Pronouncer for the Regional Scripps Spelling Bee finals in Bethlehem, Pa.
She started a literacy pilot program at Second Street Youth Center (SSYC) to help kindle a passion for reading in children. She has organized and conducted two spelling bees for the center’s children.
She was selected for the 2019-2020 class of the New Jersey Governor’s STEM Scholars and is collaborating with other students from across the state on a STEM research project.
As the founder and president of Hunterdon Girl Up, a chapter of an organization that mobilizes girls to strive for global gender equality, especially in STEM, Danielle helps girls in developing countries gain access to education through United Nations’ programs.
Additionally, as a core member of the Women in STEM committee at her high school, Danielle is instrumental in encouraging young women to get involved in upper-level science classes and consider STEM as a career.
Danielle is passionate about music and is part of several choral groups at her high school and church. In August 2019, she performed as part of the International High School Honors Choir at the Sydney Opera House in Australia. She regularly performs the National Anthem as a soloist at varsity soccer games, basketball games, and wrestling matches.
Danielle plans to major in Biology or Molecular Biology with the goal of becoming a geneticist and conducting research that will ultimately improve the lives of others.
Christopher Serrao is a 13-year-old eighth-grader from Readington Middle School in Hunterdon County. He is one of the historic co-champions of the 2019 Scripps National Spelling Bee. He was a three-time regional winner besting school champions from ten counties in western Pennsylvania and eastern New Jersey.
Additionally, during this past summer, his team won the International Team Spelling Olympiad in Princeton.
To help kindle a passion for reading in children, Christopher assists his sister in teaching spelling patterns and words at SSYC.
In 2018 and 2019, Christopher and his team of inventors placed first at the Smithsonian Museum’s SparkLab Invent It Challenge. Their invention, FIG, a portable vertical garden equipped with sensors, is currently on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.
For their Catastrophe Care Kit invention, Christopher and his team placed third at the 2018 STEAM Tank challenge organized by the New Jersey School Boards Association and U.S. Army at Atlantic City.
Christopher has always been passionate about the environment. As one of the leaders of the school’s Global Goals Green Team, he acts as a student ambassador focused on making his school more sustainable.
Additionally, Christopher was a state finalist in the You Be The Chemist Challenge in Florham Park last year.
In his spare time, he enjoys listening to classical music. Additionally, he plays the piano and acoustic guitar. He also loves to travel and try new cuisines.
Please come out and cheer our children on as they demonstrate their improved literacy skills as we host our final spelling be of 2019.
For more information, please contact Ms. Sheila Doyle or Ms. Altarica Ruff.