NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. - A New Rochelle millennial has been awarded a prestigious honor for his role in improving the community through Habitat for Humanity.
After spending years assisting the organization, Stephen Veneruso has been named the 2016 Habitat Millennial of the Year following a series of successful donations, builds and projects to benefit the community.
Each year, Habitat members vote to celebrate the accomplishments of one of their younger volunteers who have had an impact on their neighbors’ livelihood. Most recently, Veneruso ran the Yonkers Half Marathon, donating the money he raised to Habitat. Earlier this year, he co-chaired Yonkers Habitat Week, where he built and rehabbed several homes in the city.
“I first got involved with Habitat in grammar school,” he said. “By high school, I saw a great opportunity and decided to start the Habitat for Humanity Club. As a school, we were able to organize builds, donation drives and many other great events to help the local communities throughout Westchester County.”
Following the events of Hurricane Sandy in 2012, Veneruso was one of Habitat for Humanity CEO Jim Killoran’s righthand men (and women) in the months following the storm.
“A few friends and I went out to Breezy Point to help with the cleanup and the devastation was unbelievable. One day, we spent eight hours digging sand and debris out of the basement,” he added. “Jim was out in Breezy and the Rockaways for months and the cleanup was still not finished. His dedication was amazing to witness and the gratitude of the residents in those communities was inspiring.”
Calling the Millennial of the Year award “humbling,” there appears to be no end in sight for Veneruso and Habitat for Humanity.
“I try to do my part whenever I can, but it is only because of Jim and his awe inspiring team that Habitat is the success that it is throughout Westchester County,” he said.
“(I plan to continue with the organization), group builds are the best experiences I have had with Habitat. You are able to change communities while interacting with peers, co-workers and family members in a way in which you normally don’t. I plan on building on the success of Yonkers Habitat Week 2015 and making it bigger and better moving forward.”