SBPLI Honored with Innovation Award at IMAGINE AWARDS Ceremony

Wednesday, May 25, 2016
School-Business Partnerships of Long Island Development Council and Board Members celebrate winning the Innovation Award at the 2016 Imagine Awards, sponsored by Cerini & Associates held at Crest Hollow Country Club on Tuesday, May 3.

School-Business Partnerships of Long Island (SBPLI) was among those honored at the Fourth Annual Imagine Awards, founded and presented by Cerini & Associates and presented to the region’s top non-profits, on Tuesday, May 3 at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury, New York. SBPLI was the winner of the Empire National Bank Innovation Award for the organization’s innovative approaches to meet its mission and dedication to offering hands-on opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to Long Island youth. One of the most popular initiatives SBPLI offers is a continuum of competitive robotics programs for children and young adults known as FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics.

Over 135 non-profits submitted applications to the Fourth Annual Imagine Awards. Applicants hoped to win a $5,000 grant in one of five categories: Innovation, Leadership Excellence, Rising Star, Social Entrepreneurism and Social Impact. Of the many exceptional applicants, only 20 non-profits were selected as finalists and one in each category was ultimately awarded the grant. A sixth organization was provided a Fan Favorite Award through an open online vote.

The Imagine Awards encourage commitment and success in Long Island’s non-profit sector. “We are so excited to be presented with this recognition and honor from Empire National Bank and Cerini & Associates,” says Joani Madarash, former Executive Director of, SBPLI. “Everyone in this entirely volunteer organization works incredibly hard each year to provide Long Island youth with the ultimate in STEM experiences, and it is wonderful to be acknowledged for our efforts by such prestigious organizations.”  

This year’s winners included Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island, Best Buddies New York, the COPE Foundation, Long Island Gay and Lesbian Youth (LIGALY), Family and Children's Association and SBPLI. 

SBPLI is currently offering sponsorship opportunities to local businesses for the 2017 Long Island Regional. For more information, please visit 

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About School-Business Partnerships of Long Island, Inc.
School-Business Partnerships of Long Island, Inc. (SBPLI) was founded in 1984 by Fred Breithut with the goal of developing partnerships between local high schools and businesses that would provide students with practical experience and curriculum development, while helping the business community develop its future workforce. Over 100 partnerships have been formed. In 1999, SBPLI brought the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition to Long Island, in which eight high school teams participated. Since then, the Long Island Regional FIRST Robotics Competition has grown to 50 teams competing each year. SBPLI also hosts Long Island’s annual FIRST LEGO League Qualifying and Championship Tournaments and the Junior FIRST LEGO League Expos, in which more than 2,000 elementary and middle school students from Nassau and Suffolk Counties take part each year. For more information, visit