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2018 Dr. Harold Keltz Distinguished Public Health Service Award: Norman HaightNorman Haight, 2018 Distinguished Public Health Service Award Recipient

Norman Haight has demonstrated a lifelong commitment to improving the health and well-being of Westchester’s most fragile populations. A passionate member of the board of The Preservation Company since 2012, Mr. Haight currently serves as a vice president and trustee of this not-for-profit agency, where his efforts support the construction and preservation of affordable housing throughout the Hudson Valley. He is especially proud of the Preservation Company’s role in bringing more affordable housing to Main Street in Peekskill, and to its work in preventing evictions and assisting first-time home buyers.

Mr. Haight works as a rehabilitation specialist and job coach for Community Based Services, an organization in North Salem that provide supportive services to adults with autism.

After earning a Masters of Divinity in 2013, he is now an ordained Elder and serves as an itinerant preacher for the Reform Church in America.

A lifelong Peekskill resident, Mr. Haight had served earlier in his career as a youth counselor at Lincoln Hall in Lincolndale, NY, where he helped teenage boys turn their lives around after they were placed in this residential treatment facility by the New York State Court system. He also has served as the leader of several youth groups in Peekskill, where he mentored at-risk youth and engaged them in positive and constructive activities.

 

2018 J.R. Tesone Youth Public Health Service Award Winner: Paul Presendieu-Cuesta

Paul Presendieu-Cuesta, J.R. Tesone Youth Public Health Service Award Recipient

Paul Presendieu-Cuesta, 27, is a lifelong New Rochelle resident who cares deeply about the environment and is being recognized for his efforts to promote environmental awareness on the Westchester Community College campus. 

While serving as the student liaison to the faculty senate environmental committee at Westchester Community College, Mr. Presendieu-Cuesta learned that Earth Day had not been commemorated on campus for several years. He worked hard to revive Earth Day, encouraging the support and participation of 26 campus clubs.

Even after he graduated from WCC in 2015, Mr. Presendieu-Cuesta has continued to help assure a robust Earth Day at the Westchester Community College campus by reaching out to a variety of outside agencies to secure presenters.  As a Westchester Community College student, Mr. Presendieu-Cuesta co-chaired the College President’s Advisory Committee for Campus Sustainability, and was a valued student member of the President’s Advisory Committee for a Tobacco-Free Campus, which reviewed college policies and recommended changes.

As his education has progressed, Mr. Presendieu-Cuesta’s concern for the environment grew so deep that although he had originally planned on a nursing career and was working as a nursing technician, he switched his focus to environmental policy. Mr. Presendieu-Cuesta currently works as a renewable energy consultant while he continues his studies at Manhattanville College.

Mr. Presendieu-Cuesta also serves as the volunteer director of community gardening for Habitat for Humanity of Westchester County. In this role, he is responsible for 14 gardens in about a dozen communities. He is expanding the organization’s outreach to involve more county residents in community gardening and plans to start a youth club.