Mariana Deicas-Sykora

Mariana has played various roles in her community through volunteer and social work. Volunteering at a hospital confirmed her interest in becoming a nurse to help others during some of the most difficult times of their lives. After her father was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer, she decided to become more involved in Relay for Life and the Glioblastoma Foundation, dedicated to fundraising and raising awareness. 


During regular visits to family in South America, she’s performs community service at Madres de La Cruz, a small home in Uruguay that gives abandoned and poor children a place to get help with homework, have an afternoon snack, and receive guidance from trusting adults. She’s also visited rural public schools and helped organized group games, restore the playgrounds, plus teach geography. In Brazil, she cooked an entire meal to feed 30 children at an orphanage.


Mariana says, “Helping people is an extremely humbling experience, and it has truly changed the way that I go about my everyday life. I realized that despite having almost nothing, these children and teenagers were some of the happiest people I had met in my life.”

Christopher Monaco

Christopher’s proudest moment in service so far was helping organize a pajama and book collection for the Pajama Program as part of his confirmation community service project. He says this work made him realize how fortunate he is and showed how much of a difference people can make when they come together.


This led to him becoming a member of The Brooke Healey Foundation Junior Council, where has helped with casino night planning and execution. Christopher has also supported food programs at Our Lady of Peace Church in New Providence, making sandwiches for St. Joseph’s Soup Kitchen in Newark and reorganizing the food pantry after a drive. He plans to attend a Catholic university where he can take advantage of programs and opportunities for student involvement and service.