Tag Archives: Stars

Star of Queens: Din Stewart

| mchan@queenscourier.com

Din Stewart

Chair of Community Service, Haraya, Pan-African Students Association, St. John’s University


Community Involvement: As the Community Service chair of Haraya at St. John’s University, Din Stewart is involved in a number of service projects. The one he is most excited about, though, is Haraya’s Fitness Challenge for Kids, which he has been planning since the summer. Taking place on November 5 at a local Boys and Girls Club, the program will promote a healthy lifestyle, encouraging exercise and healthy dining alternatives to what they might be eating now.

Personal: Born in New Rochelle, Stewart moved to Valley Stream at five years old. When he is not busy with school, Haraya or the NAACP, he enjoys playing basketball and throwing parties with his promotion team, Highlife Society. After he graduates, he wants to be an entrepreneur with his own media company.

Occupation: A full-time undergraduate student studying legal environments of enterprise, Stewart also works at Jumpstart, a St. John’s based early child development program. There he teams up with other employees and goes into classrooms, where they sing songs and read to children ages three to five.

Biggest Challenge: “I’m not really getting help from anybody. Reaching out to the director of the Boys and Girls Club and to all of the general body members, promoting the event, and finding resources to fund the event were all done by myself.”

Favorite Memory: “At my old house, playing basketball with my friends and my brother.”

Inspiration: “I think I’m a child at heart. If people had something like the Fitness Challenge when I was a kid, I would have had more fun eating the right foods and eating healthy.”

Star of Queens: Princy Ann Abraham

| mchan@queenscourier.com


Volunteer at St. Nick’s Men’s Shelter

Community Involvement: Through Campus Ministry at St. John’s University, Princy Ann Abraham discovered St. Nick’s Men’s Shelter in Jamaica, where homeless men around the city are brought for dinner and overnight accommodation. Abraham works with other volunteers to cook complete dinners for small groups of men. After cooking, she sits down to enjoy dinner and conversations with the individuals.
Personal: Abraham was born and raised in Rockland County, New York. She currently lives in Queens, where she is an active student at St. John’s. During her free time, she loves to kick box and enjoys trying different forms of dance, including two Indian forms – bharatanatyam and bhangra. She feels that maintaining as much physical activity as possible is the best way for her to release any negative energy.

Occupation: A full time undergraduate student studying legal studies, philosophy and government & politics, she will be graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in May and plans on going to law school shortly after. She also works on campus with the Department of Student Development to serve as a liaison between first year students and the university.

Biggest Challenge: “Sometimes it is difficult to make the individuals as comfortable as possible at the shelter. We try to keep dietary restrictions in mind when we cook each meal. We also limit ourselves from sensitive topics to make sure the men are in a positive and supportive atmosphere. I do my very best to assure the men that they can talk to us about anything, but sometimes they do not converse with us.”

Favorite Memory: “One day the meal we made (tacos and rice) was completely devoured in a matter of minutes. I am still learning how to cook, so this made me very happy.”

Inspiration: “My inspiration to volunteer is knowing that I am capable of making a difference in the lives of individuals no matter how great or small. In the future, I want to have the knowledge and resources available to address women’s issues and ethical dilemmas. I think it is important to humble yourself and understand the predicaments others are going through.”

Star of Queens: Frank Kotnik (President of the Glendale Civilian Observation Patrol)

| jlane@queenscourier.com


COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: For the past 11 years, Frank Kotnik has been the president of the Glendale Civilian Observation Patrol (G-COP), an organization that patrols the area in the 104th Precinct in private unmarked vehicles and reports all police, fire and medical emergencies to the proper authorities via radio. He has also been the Democratic District Leader for about three years and has been involved with the St. Patrick’s School advisory board in order to raise their enrollment.

PERSONAL: Kotnik has lived in Glendale his whole life. He has been married for 26 years and has a 10-year-old son. He enjoys spending time with his family, such as going to the beach, taking his son to karate and playing Lionel trains with him. Kotnik also stays in shape by playing golf twice a week.

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: “Trying to recruit new members. Due to the lack of police manpower in the 104th Precinct, G-COP urges all concerned residents of Glendale, Ridgewood, Maspeth and Middle Village to help us preserve, protect and enhance the quality of life in our communities. In other words, get off your rear and volunteer.”

FAVORITE MEMORY: “Meeting my wife and watching the birth of my son.”

INSPIRATION: To “preserve, protect, and enhance the quality of life is what keeps me going. I still have my 1976 Firebird parked in my garage. I would like to restore it one day and possibly take it around with my wife and my son, like the good old days.”

Dorothy Matinale

| jlane@queenscourier.com


President of the Chamber of Commerce of Douglas Manor

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Dorothy Matinale is currently the president of the Douglas Manor Chamber of Commerce and helped start the chamber. She participates in local events in Douglas Manor including: the Douglaston arts festival, the Turkey Trot, the Holiday tree lighting and caroling, the mega yard sale and Douglaston Community Day. She also volunteers at her two sonss schools, the School for Language and Communication Development in Woodside and Holy Cross High School in Bayside.
PERSONAL: Matinale has been married to her husband Lou, for 24 years. She has three children, Mark, 16, Andrew, 13 and Dorothy-Ann, 12.

OCCUPATION: Matinale has a Masters in Elementary Education and taught for 11 years. Currently she is a licensed real estate broker and has had her own office for nine years.

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: “Trying to balance everything in life. Between being a good mother and wife, keeping up with my job and giving back to my community it gets a little stressful at times but I always seem to manage it all.”

FAVORITE MEMORY: “The day I adopted each of my children.”

INSPIRATION: “My mother – she was always involved in the community. She taught me to give back and now I do the same, as I hope my own children would.” – Georgia Panagi