By Ginger DeShaney
Finnbar Starosky is a community leader … and he’s only 12 years old.
“I always want to help out my community,” he said. “It feels nice to do that and it feels like I’m actively participating.”
For his good heart, civic-mindedness, and determination to do good things in this world, Finnbar was recognized at the Andrew Square Civic Association holiday party Monday night at the Polish Club.
That recognition included the Good Citizenship Award from the ASCA and an official City Council Proclamation from City Council President Ed Flynn.
After noticing a rather large hole in the street, the South Boston resident and his family – mom Mary, dad Greg, and younger brother Declan – took action to get it fixed.
“The hole and underground issues are repaired, and all is safe in the neighborhood — thanks to Finnbar,” ASCA president Linda Zablocki said. “Never underestimate the actions of a young person. We applaud Finnbar for his outstanding citizenship and encourage our neighbors to … Be Like Finnbar!”
Councilor Flynn pointed out Finnbar’s outstanding citizenship and diligent work as a young resident of South Boston. “We recognize and applaud your active participation in the community,” he said, noting Finnbar’s neighborhood cleanup work and daffodil plantings.
“We also commend your proactive efforts in identifying and notifying 311 about city issues such as small holes in the streets and the sidewalks … around Andrew Square,” the Councilor continued. “Thank you for your efforts. The hole and the underground issues have been resolved. We admire your sense of civic duty at a young age and you set an example for all neighborhoods and neighbors to follow.”
“It means a lot to me,” Finnbar said after the ceremony. “I’m super happy. It feels great to be recognized.”
The BC High seventh-grader called the proclamation from Councilor Flynn “extremely amazing” because not many people get an honor like that.
Finnbar’s dad, Greg, said, “We are extremely proud of him. He’s a very good kid. He has a really good heart. He’s very civic-minded. He’s in tune with the environment. He really wants to try and do good things.”
According to Pattie McCormick, vice president of the ASCA, “Finnbar is a kind and caring young man who at a young age realizes community. It gives me great comfort to know our future is in good hands, thanks to young people like Finnbar.”
Finnbar has always been community-minded. “I would say I get it mostly from my parents. They’ve pushed me hard to do the right thing. But I do feel like some of it is natural. I just like to help.”
Greg credits Finnbar for leading the way for the family.
“I don’t know if we would be quite as involved if it wasn’t for him,” Greg said. “We love our community and want to do as much as we can, and we know that’s important to him. He wants to try and make the environment cleaner, more hospitable, make people happier. So I think he’s really led the charge for us.”
Shortly after a sinkhole formed in the South End, caused major damage, and swallowed a car, Finnbar noticed a rather large hole on Ward Street while riding his scooter. He went to his mom and told her she HAD to see the hole. It was urgent.
The whole family visited the site to confirm the hole. “My initial thought was that it was a sinkhole,” Finnbar said. “I peered inside and it was kind of deep.”
He had watched videos about sinkholes and his mom had shown him a news article about the South End sinkhole, so he had that in the back of his mind.
The family sat down and decided the next steps. So Mary called 311 to report the hole.
“I was concerned for the buildings around; I saw the damage that can cause,” Finnbar said.
It was a lengthy process to fix the hole and Finnbar inquired every day to see if someone had checked on it. The hole was inspected by several agencies on how best to repair it. Finnbar and his family received communication from 311 that the case was closed.
In addition to taking part in the ASCA neighborhood cleanups and plantings, Finnbar and his brother painted rocks with inspirational messages and placed them in Andrew Square planters. Messages included “Never give up,” “Be yourself,” “Peace,” and “Hope.”
All those messages could describe this amazing young man.