After Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast, it took Nicole Romano '14 several days to reach family and friends back home in Staten Island.
“When I did get through, I realized the extent of the damage,” Romano recalled. “There was no power, no supplies, no food. But there were a lot of people helping each other, and I felt like I had to contribute.”
Romano immediately reached out to the Student Bar Association and the Office of Student Affairs to help solicit food and other supplies from the law school community. The next day, Friday, she and a friend drove down to Staten Island with a carload of donated goods. Romano also helped with clean-up efforts on the ground all day Saturday, returning to Albany in time for her classes on Monday.
“Even though I’m up here in Albany, this was the one time that people back home really needed each other,” she said. “It was amazing to see just how many people came through in a time of need. I’m honored to be a small part of the overall effort.”
Hurricane relief efforts at the law school are ongoing. The Student Bar Association recently hosted a TGIF fundraiser, raising $565 for the Red Cross and other efforts in Staten Island and Long Beach. Students have also established a collection area, with a special need for cleaning supplies and baby supplies, outside the SBA office.
Romano plans to work on a pro bono project that is in the works to help those affected by the hurricane navigate the insurance claim process. She is also exploring additional ways to help in Staten Island, including partnering with the Tunnel to Towers Foundation on additional fundraising efforts.
Since enrolling at Albany Law, Romano has clerked for the Hon. Robert J. Gigante in the Richmond County Surrogate Court, and one of the decisions she worked on was recently published by the New York Law Journal. She has also worked in the Introduction to Litigation Clinic and competed in moot court competitions.
Romano earned her undergraduate degree in political science at Stony Brook University.