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Metta Students Press Releases

03.24.2017

Metta Students Foundation Awards Norwood Teen $1,000

“I try every day to promote love and kindness through all of my actions.” It is that way of life that has earned seventeen-year-old Sarah Mellen of Norwood, MA a Metta Students Foundation one thousand dollar grant.

Now in their third year, and expanding into Massachusetts, the non-profit awards $1,000 grants to students who pay it forward or #sharemetta. To date, they have awarded $42,000.

Friday, March 24 at 11 a.m. there was a ceremony at Norwood High School, located at 245 Nichols St, Norwood, MA. Members of the media attended.

Mellen traveled more than four thousand miles to a Costa Rican refugee camp to help build an addition and better living standards for the people who live there.

“Seeing these intelligent people, forced out of their countries and struggling to meet their basic human needs opened my eyes to the world around me,” states Mellen. “My focus is on human rights, specifically food. In the upcoming months, I plan to participate in the ‘live below the line’ challenge in which I will join others in living off of $2.00 a day for one week to help raise awareness for hunger problems in the U.S.”

Norm Kelly, founder of Software Quality Associates in Providence, created the Metta Students Foundation in October of 2012 after learning of one teen’s act of kindness toward another teen. “Metta means love and kindness,” states Norm Kelly. “We are thankful to all of our winners for making a positive difference in the world and for helping us spread the Metta Students mission to simply be kind and #sharemetta.”

Cynthia Derrane, Foreign Language Department of Norwood Public Schools, nominated Sarah saying,” Sarah has inspired her classmates to give to others through service work. Upon returning home, she immediately looked for opportunities within her own community to continue to help people meet their basic needs. Through helping with our school food pantry, the town food pantry or through her latest endeavor, raising awareness for hunger through a Live Below the Line Challenge, she tirelessly gives of herself. She is a role model and an inspiration.”

“Giving back makes me as in individual feel good, in a swarm of what seems like useless assignments, giving back and helping the community makes me feel like I'm making a positive impact on the world,” states Mellen. “With the $1000 I plan to hopefully put some of it back into community projects and save some of it for college.”

It is for all of these reasons that the Metta Students is proud to have awarded Mellen one thousand dollars.

03.06.2017

Canton Company Honors Canton Student and the Metta Students Foundation

He uses music and metta to brighten the lives of senior citizens. At just seventeen, Noah Simms of Milton, Ma., understands the importance of giving back. “I was inspired by my older brother who is a Nurse Practitioner working in a hospice unit. I learned the end of life is just as important as the beginning. I realized the relationship between memory and music, and people are able to re-member the beautiful events of their life through familiar music.”

Noah spends hours in nursing homes playing his viola and talking to residents about the songs. His passion for music and kindness captured the attention of the Metta Students Foundation and Friday, March 10th at 1:30 pm at the Blue Hills Regional Technical School located at 800 Ran-dolph St, Canton, MA, the non profit is awarding Simms $1,000 for sharing metta. Members of the media are welcome.

When E.M. Duggan, a Canton based plumbing, HVAC and heating company learned of Simms selflessness they wanted to #sharemetta too. The fifth generation family run company is sponsor-ing this month’s winner and donated $1,000 to the Metta Students Foundation. “We are honored to support a teen like Noah. The mission of the Metta Students goes hand in hand with the culture here at E.M.Duggan,” states, Executive Vice President Len Monfredo.

Now in their third year and expanding into Massachusetts the non profit awards $1,000 grants to students who pay it forward or #sharemetta. To date they have awarded $41,000.

Norm Kelly, founder of Software Quality Associates in Providence, created the Metta Students Foundation in October of 2012 after learning of one teen’s act of kindness towards another teen. “Metta means love and kindness,” states Norm Kelly. “We are thankful to all of our winners for making a positive difference in the world and for helping us spread the metta mission to simply be kind and #sharemetta.”

Judy Bass, Communications Specialist at the high school, nominated Simms saying, ”Noah is a superb honor roll student, and is mature, poised, friendly, responsible, capable, dedicated, com-passionate, industrious, and truly caring. He has a sophisticated grasp of end-of-life issues that is remarkable for someone of his age. He recently got a puppy that he brings to the nursing homes and assisted living facilities he visits, thus enhancing the value of the time he spends with the residents. When Noah talks about what he does, his face lights up, and you can see how much it means to him. He is an exceptional young man. I have no doubt that he will use the education he received at Blue Hills to do more great things in the future.”

It is for all of these reasons that the Metta Students is proud to have awarded Simms one thou-sand dollars. To see video of how the Metta Students foundation began or for more information about the foundation, log onto www.mettastudents.org

1.30.2017

Metta Students Foundation Honors 40th Winner $1,000

Her goal is to raise $50,000 in just seven weeks to become Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Student of the Year. It is that drive, determination and caring that makes16 year old Alison Hornung of North Kingstown the 40th Metta Student winner.

“I am on the executive board of “Best Buddies” at my school, says Horning “I have been raising money for pediatric cancer and leukemia since I was in 8th grade.”

Horning says she became involved with this cause because one her friends was diagnosed with leukemia. That sparked her passion for pediatric cancer and leukemia awareness because she wanted to help her friend, It also made her realize how many others are going through the same terrible reality that her friend endured during her treatment. In addition, Hornung has also done some canned food drives and donated the food to local food pantries.

Monday, January 30th the Metta Students foundation awarded Alison $1,000. at North Kingstown High School. Now in their third year and expanding into Massachusetts, the non-profit awards $1,000 grants to students who #sharemetta.

Norm Kelly, founder of Software Quality Associates in Providence, created the Metta Students Foundation in October of 2012 after learning of one teen’s act of kindness towards another teen. “Metta means love and kindness,” states Norm Kelly. “We are thankful to all of our winners for making a positive difference in the world and for helping us spread the metta mission to simply be kind and #sharemetta.”

North Kingstown High School Guidance Counselor Liz Parvo Brown sent in the nomination say-ing, “Ali is a remarkable young lady, who always conducts herself with grace and a kind spirit. Ali is a strong student who has challenged herself over high school career with a rigorous academic course load of college preparatory and honors courses, but has also managed to fit in a number of elective courses that have allowed her to explore her artistic side—including drama, mixed chorus, photography, and most recently, advanced art courses. What impresses me most about Ali is how she utilizes her talents to benefit those around her in need.”

“It is important to give back because it is the greatest happiness anyone can feel. By making someone else happy and spreading positivity and love you are doing what every person was meant to do. Helping others is so important because you are bringing them happiness, giving them opportunities, and in some cases giving them a second chance at life,” states Hornung.

It is for all of these reasons that the Metta Students is proud to have awarded Hornung one thousand dollars.

10.31.2016

Metta Students Honors 38th Winner $1,000

“I try to fill every day by spreading love and kindness.” That sentiment is the reason the Metta Students Foundation picked sixteen-year-old Jodee Frias of Avon, Massachusetts to be there thirty-eighth winner.

Now in their third year and expanding into Massachusetts the non-profit awards $1,000 grants to students who #sharemetta.

“I believe that giving back is the best thing anyone can do for our world,” states Frias. “If you are fortunate enough to have something that you can give or you have the tools to help to improve someone’s life, it really is a feeling like no other. If you give back to one person and then that per-son pays it forward to the next and it continues, then you have made the world a better place just through one small act of kindness.

Giving back makes you feel good, and it can truly change another person’s life. My personal goal is to have someone come up to me and tell me how much I honestly changed their life, and I be-lieve that is a goal that everyone should work towards and try to achieve. If we all give back, we can make the world a better place to live for the future generations to come.”

Norm Kelly, founder of Software Quality Associates in Providence, created the Metta Students Foundation in October of 2012 after learning of one teen’s act of kindness towards another teen. “Metta means love and kindness,” states Norm Kelly. “We are thankful to all of our winners for making a positive difference in the world and for helping us spread the metta mission to simply be kind and #sharemetta.”

The foundation learned about Frias' acts of kindness after receiving a nomination from Amanda Pyne of Middle-High School in Avon, “Jodee is an inspiration. She is constantly looking for a way to improve our school, her community, and the world. She is happiest when she is making some-one else happy. She deserves to be recognized for commitment and passion for helping others. What sets her apart: Jodee seems to have an unending supply of enthusiasm. She is constantly looking for ways to be involved and to be a leader. She is headed for great things and a bright fu-ture.

Some of the activities Frias is involved in include: the African Library Project where she raised $500 and 1,000 children's books to create a library at the Nyamambisi Primary School in Botswa-na, Africa. This included the whole community in fundraising and joining together to get the job done. She is also the co-president of Student Council and president of the Interact Club where students do service projects all around the community, including raking lawns of those who need assistance. Frias was also her school’s Project 351 ambassador, a program for leaders with a strong passion for community service as well as the founder of the Avon sector of Girl Up, which is a program through the UN to raise money and awareness for women’s rights in Third World countries.

It is for all of these reasons that the Metta Students is proud to award Frias one thousand dollars. To see video of how the Metta Students foundation began or for more information about the foun-dation, log onto www.mettastudents.org

9.29.2016

Metta Students Honors 37th Winner $1,000

Selfless, humble and filled with gratitude is how most describe Metta Student Foundation winners’ and that remains the same as the non-profit kicks off their fourth year by honoring a graduate from St. Mary Academy-Bay View with $1,000.

The Metta Students Foundation honored eighteen year old Dakota Grenier at their September 29th, fundraiser, located at the Squantum Association at 947 Veterans Memorial Parkway in East Providence. With this latest winner, the Metta Students Foundation has awarded thirty-seven thousand dollars to students who have done acts of kindness and continue to #sharemetta.

“I nominated Dakota because of her selfless attitude. When Dakota decided to take on the "Student of the Year" campaign, it was personal to her because of her Mom's battle with lymphoma. Over the course of six weeks, students were challenged to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Socie-ty, the "winner" being the one who raised the most money. Being a competitive athlete, Dakota likes to win. Gathering a group of friends to be her "teammates" in the challenge, Dakota did everything in her power to raise as much money as possible. At the end of six weeks, Dakota raised over $35,000. While this in and of itself is commendable, it's not why I nominated her. It's what happened afterwards,” states St. Mary Academy-Bay View, School Counselor, Drea Harms.

“At the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's culminating event, it was announced that Dakota came in second place. For her efforts, she received the Mission Award. This award is given to the student who best exemplifies the mission of LLS. What it tells me is that for Dakota it was never about the money but spreading the word of the great works of LLS. Additionally, the Mission Award came with a $2,500 scholarship. That night at the awards ceremony, Dakota announced that she wanted to give the money to a student at West Warwick High School who had just been diagnosed with leukemia.”

Grenier’s father teaches in West Warwick and had just told her about the student, “Giving back is really what life is all about. Growing up I never really knew what I wanted be, or do as a job, but I always knew I wanted to help people. I have been so blessed with the life I live, it may not be lavish or extravagant, but every day I wake up healthy, in a safe home with my family, and I go to an amazing school with great friends and teachers. However, there are people out there who are sick, who live in danger, who are homeless, who have been separated from their families, there are girls who are killed for trying to get an education, there are kids who are bullied and feel like they don't have friends,” states Grenier.

“There are so many people in the world who will never have the blessings that I have, and that is why it is important to give back. If everyone could just find a cause they were passionate about and give back, we could eliminate so much suffering in this world. People need to grow up wanting to help people. It's important to give back because everyone deserves a good life, with all this world has to offer. Also, by giving back we enrich the lives of not only other's but we enrich our own lives as well. We see life through a new light, and we realize how fortunate we are. Giving back gives life meaning.”

Norm Kelly, founder of Software Quality Associates in Providence, created the Metta Students Founda-tion in October of 2012 after learning of one teen’s act of kindness towards another teen. “Metta means love and kindness,” states Norm Kelly. “We are thankful to all of our winners for making a positive dif-ference in the world and for helping us spread the metta mission to simply be kind and #sharemetta.”

It is for all of these reasons that the Metta Students is proud to award Grenier one thousand dollars.

05.31.2016

Metta Students Honors Dighton-Rehoboth Regional High School Student

“It is important to give back, both to one’s community and others, because it sets a precedent for others to follow,” states eighteen year old Ashley Szczoczarz.

Her deep passion for helping others, especially those with disabilities, makes this Rehoboth teen a perfect fit for the thirty-sixth Metta Student Foundation one thousand dollar grant.

A ceremony will be held Tuesday, May 31 at 6:30 PM at Dighton-Rehoboth Regional High School located at 2700 Regional Road, North Dighton, MA. Members of the media are welcome. With this latest winner, the Metta Students Foundation has awarded thirty-six thousand dollars to students who have done acts of kindness and continue to #sharemetta.

“In my personal and social life, I work to spread the mission of love, kindness, and inclusion by coaching different levels of cheerleading, both 8th grade cheer and challenger cheerleading, and mix the two to teach important acceptance and responsibility roles in the lives of others. Through working at the Little Red Schoolhouse in Somerset, Ma., I teach the essential characteristics of inclusion and kindness by setting an example for students and exemplifying proper language and friendship when playing,” states Szczoczarz.

In addition to all of this, during her sophomore year, Szczoczarz got involved in Best Buddies, a nonprofit organization which works with students who have disabilities.

“Spreading the mission of inclusion is a cause that is very dear to my heart,” states Szczoczarz. “Students with disabilities often have a difficult time displaying their emotions and feelings to others, so it is very important that others convey the message for them.”

Dighton-Rehoboth Regional High School Science Teacher Diana Hopkins nominated Szczoczarz stating, “Ashley is undoubtedly, one of the most conscientious students I have ever had the opportunity to teach. Beyond the classroom, she is a vivacious leader. Having served her peers in student government since 2013, Ashley has worked tirelessly to coordinate events such as the prom and winter ball, the annual blood drive, and the community-wide spirit week fundraisers. Ashley has demonstrated unwavering commitment to the success of her peers and the enrichment of her community.”

Norm Kelly, founder of Software Quality Associates in Providence, created the Metta Students Foundation in October of 2012 after learning of one teens act of kindness toward another teen. Metta means love and kindness,” states Norm Kelly. “The common denominator with all of our Metta Students is their compassion, unselfishness, and dedication to others. Each is unique, but they all want to make the world a better place.” It is for all of these reasons that the Metta Students is proud to award Szczoczarz one thousand dollars.

“It feels absolutely incredible to win a Metta grant because of its importance in allowing me to further my education and spread the mission of love and kindness in the future through new organizations that I will create and manage for those with disabilities,” states Szczoczarz. “With the $1,000 grant, I will further my education at Salve Regina University. I hope to one day open my own nonprofit organization that provides resources and help for families of students with disabilities at the elementary level.”

05.18.2016

Metta Students Honors Cape Cod Academy Student with $1,000

Stepping out to help others is just one way dancer and Cape Cod Academy senior Alexandra Bernardo gives back to her community. The West Chatham seventeen-year-old has been sashaying her way and helping others throughout her high school years.

“I have danced in numerous dance marathons and benefit performances with my dance studio to raise money for Friends of Dana Farber to fund breast and ovarian cancer research. I have also danced in many Shelter from the Storm concerts, a benefit concert with performers from many local high schools. This year we raised enough money to completely renovate the Safe Harbor Shelter for battered women and children. Other years the show has raised money for local food pantries, homeless shelters, veterans, and health centers,” states Bernardo.

A ceremony will be held Wednesday, May 18th at 5PM at Cape Cod Academy, located at 50 Osterville West Barnstable Road, Osterville, MA . Members of the media are welcome. With this latest winner, the Metta Students Foundation has awarded thirty-five thousand dollars to students who have done acts of kindness and continue to #sharemetta.

Cape Cod Academy CSO Advisor, Paula J. Wiley, nominated Bernardo stating, “Alex volunteers unselfishly to promote worthy causes. She seeks no attention for herself, just to give back to the community. She is passionate about helping others and doing whatever she can to bring hope and help.”

In addition to all of this, Bernardo has used her position in school to promote love and kindness. “I have been the president of my school’s Pink Ribbon Club for three years and a member for six. The group raises money through bake sales, car washes, and school-wide pink days for the Cuda Center, a local cancer treatment center, to pay for treatment for those who cannot afford it. It is wonderful to make an impact on people’s lives, especially those who are living in the same community,” states Bernardo. I am also the president of my school’s Community Service Organization, a group that promotes community service for mostly local and school organizations and events.

Norm Kelly, founder of Software Quality Associates in Providence, created the Metta Students Foundation in October of 2012 after learning of one teens act of kindness towards another teen. Metta means love and kindness,” states Norm Kelly. “The common denominator with all of our Metta Students is their compassion, unselfishness, and dedication to others. Each is unique, but they all want to make the world a better place.” It is for all of these reasons the Metta Students is proud to award one thousand dollars to Bernardo.

“I have been privileged to have a wonderful education and the resources to allow me to give back, and it is very important that I use these resources. I am involved in a lot of breast cancer fundraisers because my mom battled the disease when I was in middle school, and I believe that more can be accomplished when there is a personal connection to a cause,” states Bernardo. “I love my home on Cape Cod and it makes me sad knowing that there are people in my community without a safe home, or a home at all. I have taken it upon myself to do what I can to better my local community, because I believe improving a smaller community can yield larger results. Giving back makes those who benefit extremely happy and grateful, and it makes those who give fulfilled as well. It sounds simple, but giving back helps everyone and makes everyone happy!”

05.10.16

Metta Students Honors Blackstone Academy Student with $1,000

“Giving back to the community is important because no matter how hard my life is there is always someone who is living a much harsher life than I am,” states Ariana Carter. Carter’s strong conviction to help others makes this eighteen-year-old a perfect fit for the Metta Students Foundation.

A ceremony was held Tuesday, May 10th, 2016 at Blackstone Academy High 334 Pleasant Street Pawtucket, RI. Members of the media were present. With this latest winner, the Metta Students Foundation has awarded thirty-four thousand dollars to students who have done acts of kindness and continue to #sharemetta.

Despite setbacks in her life, like her Central Falls home being destroyed in a house fire in March of 2015, Carter never gave up her quest to help others. Thankfully, everyone made it out alive, but they lost everything and were forced to live in a hotel. Even then, Carter never stopped helping others and was also grateful to those who reached out to her family. Carter is currently researching the foster care system in Rhode Island and is working to put together care packages for children who are removed from their homes on an emergency basis.

“My main focus is foster youth because those are the people I feel need the most attention. I would do anything in my power to provide comfort and relief to the youth that we have in foster care today, be-cause those are the people who need the most tender loving care,” states Carter.

“I nominated Ariana Carter to be a Metta Student because she epitomizes everything that Metta believes in. Ariana is someone who cares deeply about others and often people who are less fortunate and in the most need,” states Blackstone Academy English Teacher Paul Healy. “Last year, Ariana completed a drive for Pennies for Patients and another drive for the Make a Wish foundation. Through these drives, Ariana and her part-ner were able to raise roughly $1,000. To help with this cause, Ariana also organized a “Ballin’ for a Cause” basketball game in which the proceeds went towards the Make a Wish foundation. This was a great event for Ariana because she is an accomplished athlete who was captain of both the Central Falls High School girls’ volleyball and basketball teams.”

It is Carter’s drive and compassion that proudly prompted the Metta Students Foundation to give a $1,000 grant for sharing metta, making her their thirty-fourth winner.

Norm Kelly, founder of Software Quality Associates in Providence, created the Metta Students Founda-tion in October of 2012 after learning of one teen’s act of kindness towards another teen. “Metta means love and kindness,” states Norm Kelly. “The common denominator with all of our Metta Students is their compassion, unselfishness and dedication to others. Each is unique, but they all want to make the world a better place.” It is for all of these reasons the Metta Students is proud to award Carter one thousand dollars.

04.27.2016

Metta Students Honors Pawtucket teen from Saint Raphael Academy Student with $1,000

Press Release -4//27/16- “I personally believe that it is important to give back, because we are responsible, as cohabiters of this planet, to care for one another. Giving back showcases our self-lessness and our desire to ensure a good quality of life for all people. Even when we are success-ful, giving back shows our humility and in turn, makes us better people,” It is this deep belief that seventeen year old Sara Taborda embodies that makes her a perfect candidate for a Metta Stu-dent Foundation $1,000 grant.

A ceremony will be held Wednesday April 27th at 1:20pm at Saint Raphael Academy, in the East Building, located at 123 Walcott Street, in Pawtucket. Members of the media are welcome. With this latest winner, the Metta Students Foundation has awarded thirty-three thousand dollars to students who have done acts of kindness and continue to #sharemetta.

Taborda is deeply involved in community service at Saint Raphael Academy. She participates in the vacation camps they organize for children living in low income housing units. With the group she helps give children a place to go, which also gives them the chance to create new friendships and to become part of a greater community. The group creates food and toy baskets for the needy in their community during the holiday season.

“I have had the distinct pleasure of knowing Sara Taborda for the last three years at Saint Raphael Academy. During this time, I had exponentially grown to value and admire the impact Sarah has on the students and faculty of Saint Raphael Academy,” states Marc Thibault, Vice Principal of Student Life. “Her wisdom is beyond her years and service to the greater community has been instrumental. Sarah volunteers at soup kitchens, Lasallian Youth, community cleanup projects, participates in sports, nursing homes, preschools, church, peer ministry, student government, and the national honor society. In addition, Sara has been nominated for the Saint Timothy’s Award. This is a national award given annually in the Diocese of Providence to Catholic young people from each Regional Vicariate and one student from each Catholic High School.”

Norm Kelly, founder of Software Quality Associates in Providence, created the Metta Students Foundation in October of 2012 after learning of one teen’s act of kindness towards another teen. “Metta means love and kindness,” states Norm Kelly. “The common denominator with all of our Metta Students is their compassion, unselfishness and dedication to others. Each is unique, but they all want to make the world a better place.”

“Winning the Metta grant has been an absolute honor for me,” states Taborda. “The acts of service and charity that I did during high school were not done to receive recognition, but the fact that an organization honors students like me shows that there is still good in the world’s youth. It is satisfying to know that people still appreciate acts of kindness and this honor has only made me want to continue serving those in my community.”

It is for all of these reasons the Metta Students is proud to award one thousand dollars to Taborda.

04.05.2016

Metta Students Honors Barrington Christian Academy Student with $1,000

4/5/16 - From Mississippi to India to the Dominican Republic, seventeen year old Rachel-Rose Komanapalli of Barrington, has traveled the world, on a mission to help those in need. In addition, the Barrington Christian Academy senior volunteered at Women & Infants Hospital and worked with her parents’ non-profit, Manna International.

“Most of my work has to do with poverty,” states Komanapalli. In Mississippi, I worked in an after school program for underprivileged children in Jackson. In La Romana, DR I worked with a medical clinic to provide medical care for people in the poor sugar cane villages. In India, I help children in the orphan-ages that Manna ministries has.”

Mike Skazinski, Assistant Head of School at Barrington Christian Academy, nominated Komanapalli for a Metta Students Foundation grant saying, “The thing that sets Rachel-Rose apart from other students is that she takes the initiative to help and volunteer, no one forces her to fundraise or take her personal time to spread kindness and goodwill. One other thing that sets her apart from other students is that Rachel-Rose does not draw attention to herself. She does everything quietly and “under the radar.”

Komanapalli’s mission this month will take her to Kenya, “I decided to go to Kenya because I love help-ing people. I want to go into the medical field, therefore working at a hospital in Kenya was a perfect fit. While I am there I will be working in the NICU to study Fetal Malnutrition and Anemia, the topic of my senior project,” states Komanapalli.

It is her quiet passion and empathy that prompted the Metta Students Foundation to proudly give Ko-manapalli a $1,000 grant for sharing metta, making her their thirty-second winner.

A ceremony will be held Tuesday April 5th at 8:30 AM at Barrington Christian Academy High located at 9 Old County Road, Barrington RI. Members of the media are welcome. With this latest winner, the Met-ta Students Foundation has awarded thirty-two thousand dollars to students who have done acts of kindness and continue to #sharemetta.

Norm Kelly, founder of Software Quality Associates in Providence, created the Metta Students Founda-tion in October of 2012 after learning of one teen’s act of kindness towards another teen. “Metta means love and kindness,” states Norm Kelly. “The common denominator with all of our Metta Students is their compassion, unselfishness, and dedication to others. Each is unique, but they all want to make the world a better place.”

“I feel incredibly honored and blessed to receive this grant,” says Komanapalli. “I will put this money towards my college education so that I can become a doctor. I want to help as many people as I can, this grant is giving me the chance to do so.”

03.31.2016

Metta Students Honors Bishop Stang Student with $1,000 #sharemetta

Reliable, enthusiastic, and a leader are words used to describe seventeen-year-old Delilah Johnson of Little Compton. The Bishop Stang junior is passionate about many things. Johnson is a member of the school swim team and serves as the Secretary of the Jr. National Honor Society. In addition, Johnson volunteers two to three times a week after school at My Brother’s Keeper. To date, she has completed close to five hundred hours of service. Each time she goes to volunteer, she tries to bring along another student to introduce them to the organization. It is this drive and dedication that inspired Nicole Dias, Director of Guidance at Bishop Stang, to nominate her for a $1,000 Metta Student grant.

“Delilah is the most reliable student volunteer and has taken on a large leadership role at a young age,” states Dias, “Delilah currently serves as the Student Service Coordinator for My Brother’s Keeper at Bishop Stang and sets a wonderful example for her classmates with her enthusiasm for their work and mission. With a staff of only three people, My Brother’s Keeper relies on local high school students like Delilah to carry out their mission of bringing love and hope to those they serve. Delilah is incredibly or-ganized and she has found creative ways to keep track of student volunteers.”

It is for all of these reasons the Metta Students Foundation is honored to give Johnson a $1,000 grant for sharing metta, making her their thirty-first winner.

A ceremony will be held Thursday March 31, at 9 am at the Bishop Stang High School, located at 500 Slocum Rd, North Dartmouth, MA. Members of the media are welcome. With this latest winner, the Met-ta Students Foundation has awarded thirty-one thousand dollars to students who have done acts of kindness and continue to #sharemetta.

Norm Kelly, founder of Software Quality Associates in Providence, created the Metta Students Founda-tion in October of 2012 after learning of one teen’s act of kindness towards another teen. “Metta means love and kindness,” states Norm Kelly. “The common denominator with all of our Metta Students is their compassion, unselfishness and dedication to others. Each is unique, but they all want to make the world a better place.”

“My Brother’s Keeper’s mission is to deliver furniture along with the love and hope of Jesus Christ to many families living in poverty,” states Johnson, “My Brother’s Keeper became more than just an or-ganization to me, but rather, a family that works together for a greater good. My Brother’s Keeper be-came an important part of my daily life, and it has given me so much joy along the way.

I am a student coordinator for My Brother’s Keeper at my school, and I look at my role as a way to pro-mote love and kindness. I never want to force students to volunteer, I always want to encourage stu-dents to get involved with My Brother’s Keeper for the sake of experiencing the mission and living out their faith. In addition, I have organized a linen collection (sheets, blankets, etc.) for My Brother’s Keep-er at my school. I am glad that I can promote the mission of this organization to my school community in hope that they can love it as much as I do.”

11.1.2015

Mega Metta Mural encourages people to pay it forward and #sharemetta: Foundation honors RI and MA teens

11/1/15 - John O'Meara, Norm Kelly, and Paul Leighton had never met, but they shared a common bond. The trio wanted to raise awareness, pay it forward and make Providence beautiful to the more than two hundred and fifty thousand motorist who drive each week on Route 95 between exits 16 and 19.

SQA and Metta Students Founder Norm Kelly often passed the 14,000 square foot building at 85 Aldrich Street and thought it would make for a perfect canvas to get people to think about what #sharemetta means and to create a beautiful piece of art.

In 2012, Kelly created the Metta Students Foundation, awarding one thousand dollars each month during the school year to students who are making a positive difference in their community. To date, the Metta Students foundation has given out $27,000. Born and bred in Providence Kelly thought the Metallurgical Solutions building could inspire others to also #sharemetta.

When the Metta Students Foundation approached Metallurgical Solutions owner John O’Meara, we knew this family-run business was the perfect fit. They care about their workplace, their employees and they have been proudly serving American manufacturers since 1989,” states Metta Students Founder Norm Kelly.

Despite getting offers from well known reputable businesses who wanted to also create a mural for Metallurgical Solutions, John O'Meara chose to create his own artwork showcasing #sharemetta because he too wanted the massive project to pay it forward and also thank Providence. 

“My partner Gregory W. Dexter and I have always been involved in programs that benefit children. When Norm Kelly first approached us with his request to #sharemetta we were only too happy to let him use the side of our building. Norm is a very unselfish individual with lots of energy, and we wish him the best of luck. All this, combined with the fact that we were always impressed by the “Whale Wall” that had been a mile north of us on I 95 presented us with an opportunity to do something to pay it forward while at the same time helping to beautifying the neighborhood. I believe the mural is breathtaking and will help get others to #sharemetta.”

As fate would have it, Marine and fire fighter Paul Leighton had also passed the massive building. Unbeknownst the Metta Students Foundation he had dreamed of using his artistic talent to create an amazing mural on that very same wall. "When the Metta Students Foundation approached me to paint the mural I was ecstatic,” says Muralist Paul Leighton. "Like most RI residents, I have passed by the Mettalurgical Solutions building hundreds of times. I am a former service member, and have been an East Bay firefighter since my discharge nine years ago. I dreamt of creating a mural that would honor our country and the state of Rhode Island, as well as beautify our state's highway. This has been a tremendous opportunity, as well as a way to #sharemetta and give back to the community."

The mural took four weeks to complete, Norm Kelly and Glen Vanert power washed and primed the building while Leighton’s team created the mural. One hundred gallons of paint were used for the entire building highlighting the five thousand square foot mural that showcases Rhode Island’s beauty, using whales, fish, a lighthouse, the American Flag and #sharemetta.

Leighton documented the artistic endeavor through a time lapse camera. The media is welcome to use any of those pictures and stop by to take video and get interviews. Here is a link to the time lapse video. 

10.22.2015

Metta Students Foundation awards $1,000 to Cumberland Teen #sharemetta

In eighth grade Kayleigh LaPre of Cumberland became extremely ill and spent months sick at home. Rather than feel sorry for herself, she felt inspired by the doctors and nurses that helped her get better.

That’s when Kayleigh began her mission to #sharemetta and give back to the community. While recov-ering, she researched community service to help children. Despite another health setback, her sopho-more year she ran her first dosomething.org campaign. Since then, she has tirelessly worked helping others and also got involved in Teens for Jeans. The seventeen year old has collected hundreds of jeans that go to local shelters.

A ceremony will be held October 22nd at 9:30 at Cumberland High School located at 2600 Mendon Road. Members of the media are welcome. With this latest winner the Metta Students Foundation has awarded twenty-seven thousand dollars to students who have done acts of kindness and continue to #sharemetta.

“I believe it is important to give back in order to appreciate what you have. So far, I have been very for-tunate, and I am thankful for everything, but I realize that one day, we will all need a helping hand,” states LaPre. “Whether you become sick, homeless, or just need support, ‘we all need somebody to lean on. I believe it is important to help people worldwide, especially since we all have the power to help. Even if you don't have money and a car, there are always ways to help! I also think that as the saying goes, ‘actions speak louder than words’ and that you need to ‘be the change you want to see in the world.’ These are the words I live by and that inspire me to lend a hand and help.”

CHS science teacher Jessica Delaney, nominated Kayleigh saying, “I nominated Kayleigh because she is the essence of the Metta mission. She exemplifies kindness on a daily basis and finds ways to en-sure that every person is thought of at least once. She displays qualities that are very rare for high school students. Most teenagers on a Friday night would rather be going to the football games and hanging out at the local pizza place afterwards, but instead Kayleigh devotes and promotes goodwill by spending her time giving back to the community. From making dog toys from old clothing to collecting jeans for needy teens, Kayleigh will stop at nothing to give back. Her heart and soul is dedicated to community service and I could not think of anyone better than her to nominate.”

Norm Kelly, founder of Software Quality Associates in Providence, created the Metta Students. Founda-tion in October of 2012 after learning of one teen’s kind act of kindness towards another teen. “Metta means love and kindness,” states Norm Kelly. “The common denominator with all of our Metta Students is their compassion, unselfishness, and dedication to others. Each is unique but they all want to make the world a better place.”

“I am incredibly thankful to Metta Students Foundation and all that they stand for,” states Kayleigh LaPre. ”It is so important to spread peace, love, and compassion! I am so honored to receive this award, it feels amazing! I hope that anyone who sees this will lend a hand as well, even the smallest acts can make the world a better place <3 #sharemetta.”

It is for all of these reasons the Metta Students is proud to award Kayleigh one thousand dollars. To see video of how the Metta Students foundation began or for more information about the foundation log onto www.mettastudents.org.

5.28.2015

Metta Students Foundation awards Matthew Vargas

Admirable and ambitious are just two reasons Matthew Vargas of Providence is the winner of the 25th Metta Students award. “I chose to nominate him for a Metta grant simply because he deserves to be celebrated. Other students need to hear this story. My hope is that Matthew's journey can inspire others to consider how they can learn from other communities and how they can impact those communities in positive ways,” states Met School 12th grade advisor, Joe Clapprood.

Matthew’s journey took him to Guatemala in February of 2015 where he spent a month working with the organization, Hope of Life in Zacapa Llano Verde. There, Vargas found himself among the poorest of the poor and the eighteen year old took the opportunity to make a difference. Vargas helped feed families, built wheels for fresh water, played with the kids around the villages, and took care of the kids at the Kelly House, a special needs home.

“It is important to give back and help others because that is the way to end poverty working together,” states Vargas. “Also, because my father always told me the best feeling in this world is helping others that can never repay you. The reason I chose this project is because I wanted to go to my parents’ home country and help make a difference, even if it was only a little, I wanted to help.

A ceremony will be held Thursday, May 28, 2015 at 9 am at The Met School at 325 Public St. in Providence. Members of the media are welcome. With this latest winner, the Metta Students Foundation has awarded twenty-five thousand dollars to students who have done acts of kindness and continue to share metta. Norm Kelly, founder of Software Quality Associates in Providence, created the Metta Students Foundation in October of 2012, after learning of one teen’s kind act of kindness towards another teen.

“Metta means love and kindness," states Norm Kelly, “and we are proud to be able to give recognition to all of those bright lights who give back, not because they have to, but because they are truly good hearted and want to make a positive difference.”

“Winning Metta is amazing because I know it would show my family that I am a man of my word and that when I say something I mean it and I’ll do it. It would just help show the type of man I truly am, helpful and hard working,” states Vargas.

It is for all of these reasons the Metta Students is proud to award Matthew one thousand dollars. To see video of how the Metta Students foundation began or for more information about the foundation log onto www.mettastudents.org.

4.21.2015

Metta Students Foundation awards Amy Harff

The art of giving is not just a saying, for one seventeen year old, it’s a passion. A passion that she turned into a nonprofit. Amy Harff of Barrington wanted to share her love for art, poetry and education and created “The Art of Giving”. Through her partnerships with organizations such as the Galigo Housing Development, Tiverton Sandywoods Boys and Girls Club, East Providence Boys and Girls Club and Prospect Housing Development, her project influenced more than 100 students throughout Rhode Island.

“By explaining how their work would impact thousands of hospital patients, I encouraged the children to participate in community service while also instilling them with a sense of satisfaction that comes from helping others,” states Amy Harff. “My final step was to make the cards. The first part of this process was to select a few pieces of work that would be made into cards. I paired ten poems with ten pieces of art. Next, I scanned the art work, typed up the poems, and formatted the cards. Then, Paula Most and I met with the Printing and Food Services departments of the RI Hospital.

Paula Most and I launched the project in May 2014. More than 300 patients received cards in the first week of distribution.” A ceremony will be held Tues. April 21, 2015 at 8 am at Wheeler High School located at 216 Hope Street in Providence. Members of the media are welcome. With this latest winner the Metta Students Foundation has awarded twenty-four thousand dollars to students who have done acts of kindness and continue to share metta. Norm Kelly, founder of Software Quality Associates in Providence, created the Metta Students. Foundation in October of 2012 after learning of one teen’s act of kindness toward another teen.

“Metta means love and kindness," states Norm Kelly, “and we are proud to be able to give recognition to all of those bright lights who give back, not because they have to, but because they are truly good hearted and want to make a positive difference.”

“I nominated Amy because I was impressed by the way she used her interest in visual art, poetry, and entrepreneurship to give back to the larger community. I am delighted to watch her communicate her own passion to children and to use the final product as a way to provide comfort (and perhaps poetic inspiration) to young patients in a local hospital. Amy brings warmth, compassion, and energy to her daily life at Wheeler, and we’re proud that she shares these traits - -and the power of art and poetry -- with others as well,” states Neeltje Henneman, Upper School Head of Wheeler.

“It is important to give back to the community, because I am so fortunate to live in such an amazing community where I have met inspiring people and have been helped by many volunteers during my life, states Harff. “By giving back, I feel like I am thanking them for helping me to learn, explore, and achieve my goals. It is also important to give back because I believe that as moral citizens, it is our duty to contribute to our community.

It is for all of these reasons the Metta Students is proud to award Amy Harff one thousand dollars. To see video of how the Metta Students foundation began or for more information about the foundation log onto www.mettastudents.org.

3.26.2015

Metta Students Foundation awards Lindsay Russell

Believing that every child deserves a fair chance is just one if the reason seventeen year old Lindsay Russell became the co-founder of the Gender Equality Club. The club works to promote awareness about gender inequalities in the community, and the world as a whole.

The club's book drive raised one thousand children's books and $500 through private donations and a fundraiser at Chipotle in Warwick. The African Library Project will take the books over to Africa and put the library together so that the boys and girls in Swaziland, Africa can learn to read. The library will serve about 300 children.

A ceremony will be held Thursday, March 26, at noon at Toll Gate High School located at 575 Centerville Rd, Warwick, RI. Members of the media are welcome. With this latest winner, the Metta Students Foundation has awarded twenty-three thousand dollars to students who have done acts of kindness and continue to share metta, “I nominated Lindsay Russell for the Metta Students award for her organization of a book drive to set up a library in Africa and the organization of a gender equality club here at Toll Gate. Humility sets Lindsay apart from other students,” says her teacher Erin P. Woulfe. “In class she is regularly successful, yet is never one to shout it to everyone that she has done well on assignments. With her club, she has put together this awesome undertaking, and yet, when you discuss it with her, she always defers to the club, and never makes the discussion about herself. It’s clear when the work gets done that she is the leader and the motivating force, yet she always turns accolades to the group and the conversation to the good that is happening rather than herself.”

“It is important to give back because, although the feminist movement is nowhere near finished, women in the United States are so fortunate to have the opportunity to be educated. Every child in this country has the legal right and responsibility to attend public school for 12 years, and the access to local public libraries. The children in sub-Saharan Africa are not so lucky. Although it seems unimaginable, 53 million children there are not enrolled in any sort of schooling. If we have the means to help, we have the obligation to help,” states Russell.

Norm Kelly, founder of Software Quality Associates in Providence, created the Metta Students Foundation in October of 2012 after learning of one teen’s kind act of kindness towards another teen. Each month, during the school year, the non-profit foundation awards one thousand dollars to a student who shares metta.

“Metta means love and kindness," states Norm Kelly, “and we are proud to be able to give recognition to all of those bright lights who give back, not because they have to, but because they are truly good hearted and want to make a positive difference.”

“It feels great to win the Metta grant. I'm so unbelievably grateful,” says Russell, “but what I'm most thankful for is that this story will raise awareness for our cause in Africa. I hope that we can inspire other people to get involved in the both the feminist movement and the African literacy cause. It's been a rewarding process and I'm so excited about being a Metta student!”

It is for all of these reasons the Metta Students is proud to award Lindsay one thousand dollars. To see video of how the Metta Students foundation began or for more information about the foundation log onto www.mettastudents.org.

3.3.2015

Metta Students Foundation awards $1,000 to "Shovel Brigade" creator

Mother Nature has certainly packed a one, two and three punch to start off 2015, so when the Metta Students Foundation learned about the teen who created the “Shovel Brigade” they knew they had discovered their twenty second winner, sixteen year old Libby Walker of Hopkinton, RI. The Shovel Brigade involves students from Charlestown, Richmond, and Hopkinton, and their mission is to shovel out the elderly and handicapped residents of Chariho who have no other way of getting the job done.

A ceremony will be held Wednesday March 4, 2015 at 1pm at the Chariho Highschool located at 453 Switch Road, Wood River Junction. Members of the media are welcome. With this latest winner, the Metta Students Foundation has awarded twenty-two thousand dollars to students who have done acts of kindness and continue to share metta.

“I started the Shovel Brigade because one winter night, it occurred to me that once I had gone off to college, my parents wouldn't have anybody to shovel for them, and they would either have to do it themselves, or find somebody else to shovel,” says Walker, “I knew that as time went on, it would become harder and harder for them to complete this task. Then I started to think about people currently in this situation. I wondered what they did in heavy snow storms. It was then that I decided I needed to create a volunteer program that would come to the aid of these elderly and handicapped Chariho residents.”

The Shovel Brigade is a free volunteer service, with the help of fifteen student volunteers and several parent drivers, the Shovel Brigade has helped more than thirty-six individuals over the past four years on numerous occasions during winter storms.

“It is important for me to give back because I am able to. I have the capacity to help those who need it, and I don't want that ability to go to waste,” states Walker.

“Libby Walker is an exceptional young lady. Not only is she a top academic student, Libby understands the importance of giving back to the community,” says Barry Ricci the Superintendent of Schools at the Chariho Regional School District. “While Libby has been involved in other service activities, her Shovel Brigade project is unique in that Libby initiated, planned, and supported a group activity to assist members of our community unable to shovel their drives and walks. This successful endeavor sets her apart in that she has set a high bar for other students who are interested in giving back to their community.

Norm Kelly, founder of Software Quality Associates in Providence, created the Metta Students Foundation in October of 2012 after learning of one teen’s kind act of kindness towards another teen. Each month, during the school year, the non-profit foundation awards one thousand dollars to a student who shares metta.

“Metta means love and kindness," states Norm Kelly, “and we are proud to be able to give recognition to all of those bright lights who give back, not because they have to, but because they are truly good hearted and want to make a positive difference.”

“I feel honored, humbled, and grateful for being chosen as a scholarship winner by an organization whose mission is to encourage kindness and compassion, the very qualities that strengthen individuals and create stronger communities,” says Walker. It is for all of these reasons the Metta Students is proud to award Libby one thousand dollars. To see video of how the Metta Students foundation began or for more information about the foundation log onto www.mettastudents.org

1.29.2015

Metta Students Foundation awards $1,000 to East Bay Met Student

When you think of the childhood game, rock, paper, scissors, there may be some confusion. Does rock beat scissors? Does paper beat rock? However, when it comes the foundation Rock-Paper-Scissors Children's Fund there is no confusion. The non-profit is on a mission to help Vietnamese children, and a big part of that began with junior Sophie Nerone of the East Bay School in Newport, Rhode Island. Her work overseas has earned her the twenty first Metta Students Foundation one thousand dollar grant.

Members of the media are welcome to a ceremony held Monday January 2015 at 9:00 at the East Bay Met School in Newport located at 115 Girard Avenue. Metta students will honor Sophie for bringing opportunities for students to express themselves through the arts in underserved areas of Vietnam.

Established in 2012, Rock-Paper-Scissors Children's Fund was started by a mother of two children adopted from Vietnam. Wanting to give back to the birth country of her children, and believing it important for her daughters to know and experience the country and culture they came from, the Stevens Nerone family, along with Sara's partner, Patrick O'Brien, moved to Vietnam to work and volunteer in 2011-2012.

The family volunteered through an existing non-profit, and after returning to the U.S., the family opened Rock-Paper-Scissors Children's Fund to continue support of Vietnamese children and families in need.

“The music and art school is located in Cam Duc, a small village in south central Vietnam,” says Sophie Nerone, “there are around forty-five students in the music and art program. Last summer my family and I as well as a group of local volunteers held two three-day long camps for 300 ethnic minority students in the mountains. That was a lot of fun and it was funny since we held the camps for the children but their grand-parents were always lined up by the gate”

Sophie’s advisor at the Easy bay Met School, Desiree Fair nominated the sixteen-year-old saying, “Through starting a non-profit with her family and volunteering through that non-profit in the summers, Sophie shares her love for music and the arts with students who otherwise would not have the opportunity.

Additionally, Sophie shares this unique light she has with her school community by bringing the stories from her work in Vietnam back with her. Sophie is a young person who is filled with compassion for others and a brilliant mind that fights against the injustices of the world with her violin. I am inspired by young people who decide to make the world a little bit brighter by seeing a place where they can make a difference and going after it with all their heart. Sophie is one such young person and it is an honor to be a part of her journey.”

Norm Kelly, founder of Software Quality Associates in Providence, created the Metta Students Foundation in October of 2012 after learning of one teen’s kind act of kindness towards another teen. Each month, during the school year, the non-profit foundation awards one thousand dollars to a student who shares metta.

“Metta means love and kindness," states Norm Kelly, “and we are proud to be able to give recognition to all of those bright lights who give back, not because they have to, but because they are truly good hearted and want to make a positive difference.”

“I think it is important to give back because that is the only way to ensure a positive change. It is unfair that these students are poor and don’t have the opportunities many people take for granted. If every privileged person did a little bit to help, maybe the bridge between classes might not be so big. I hope that by continuing to give back, it will someday help to end poverty,” says Nerone. It is for all of these reasons the Metta Students is proud to award Sophie one thousand dollars. To see video of how the Metta Students foundation began or for more information about the foundation log onto www.mettastudents.org

11.21.2014

Metta Students Foundation awards $2,000 to Hope High School teens

When you think of power couples Brad and Angelina quickly come to mind but at Hope High School in Providence it’s “Blustin”, short for Blanca Colato and Justin Crespo. The high school sweethearts are known for their athleticism both placing first this year in a September triathlon hosted by JROTC.

The two-day triathlon consists of push-ups, sit-ups, and pull-ups, and in the end the victors receive a trophy entitled Iron Man and Iron Woman. Winning the competition is a great feat but it’s what this dynamic duo did after the competition that caught the attention of the Metta Students Foundation. Friday December 5, at 8:30am the Metta Students Foundation will honor “Blustin” and members of the media are welcome to attend the event at Hope High School located at 324 Hope St, Providence.

Rather than taking the trophies home, eighteen year old Crespo and seventeen year old Colata decided to give them away to special needs students who also competed in the triathlon.

“At first I wasn't thinking of giving away the trophy,” says Crespo,”it was when a freshman special needs student took the challenge. Seeing him participate in every event, and getting up and smiling when he completed the challenges made me smile. He was very proud of himself, which he should have been, because he had a great score. At that moment I said to myself he deserves this trophy. I then personally hand delivered it to him.”

Colato says her boyfriend’s act of kindness inspired her to share metta, “To see that happy face made my heart literally melt to the core. It was an eye watering moment because it wasn't just her with the smile it was all of her friends! They were all so proud of their friend and it made me so happy. Even after we left the room they were still cheering and I'm sure that they're still cheering to this day.”

Norm Kelly, founder of Software Quality Associates in Providence, created the Metta Students Foundation in October of 2012 after learning of one teen’s kind act of kindness towards another teen. Each month, during the school year, the non-profit foundation awards one thousand dollars to a student who shares metta.

“Metta means love and kindness," states Norm Kelly, “and we are proud to be able to give recognition to all of those bright lights who give back, not because they have to, but because they are truly good hearted and want to make a positive difference.”

Amanda K. Vetelino, an English teacher at Hope High School, nominated “Blustin” saying, “I found out through Facebook what they had done and hearing their stories nearly brought me to tears. It is rare that you see an adolescent give up something that means so much to them and that they have worked so hard for. I felt like a proud parent that night and gave hugs to them both when I saw them the next day. Doing something charitable for someone else is the mark of great character and citizenship. It's students like these two that give teachers like me hope for the next generation and those to follow.”

It is for all of these reasons the Metta Students is proud to award Justin and Blanca one thousand dollars each. To see video of how the Metta Students foundation began or for more information about the foundation log onto www.mettastudents.org

10.29.2014

Metta Students Foundation honors East Greenwich teen for her acts for of kindness

Dedicated, hard-working, and compassionate are the words used to describe sixteen year old Sarah Schumacher of East Greenwich, making her the 18th Metta Students winner.

A Metta Students Foundation ceremony will be held at 10:30 a.m. on October 29 at East Greenwich High School located at 300 Avenger Dr to honor Sarah. The Metta Students Foundation will present a one thousand dollar check, for her acts of kindness.

Sarah’s teacher Nick Rath says he nominated her “because she a person who has endured a lot, is a big asset to her family, and is an integral thread of the fabric of East Greenwich High School. Sarah is always upbeat and positive.

She is humble, well respected and an asset to her grade. She gives back by being supportive of others and giving up her time."

Sarah is the current president of the EGHS Chapter of Best Buddies, an international organization that helps spread disability awareness through pairing those with and without Intellectual Developmental Disabilities (IDD) in one-to-one friendships.

In addition, Sarah is a member of Student Council and Real Girls Matter. Real Girls Matter works to spread the gender equality movement throughout the EG schools and beyond.

Norm Kelly, founder of Software Quality Associates in Providence, created the Metta Students Foundation in October of 2012 after learning of one teen’s kind act of kindness towards another teen. Each month, during the school year, the non-profit foundation awards one thousand dollars to a student who shares metta.

“Metta means love and kindness," states Norm Kelly, “and we are proud to be able to give recognition to all of those bright lights who give back, not because they have to, but because they are truly good-hearted and want to make a positive difference. After learning of Sarah’s selfless acts we knew she truly deserved to be honored and become a Metta Student winner.

“It is important for me to give back because it makes me realize what I have and how fortunate I am,” says Schumacher. “I enjoy giving back to EGHS because it is truly a great school. So many kids go to schools that can't even afford basic necessities like heat, books, paper and all things we, myself included, take for granted.

It is for all of these reasons the Metta Students is proud to award Sarah Schumacher one thousand dollars. To see video of how the Metta Students foundation began or for more information about the foundation log onto www.mettastudents.org

5.17.2014

Metta Students Foundation announces 16th grant winner

A leader committed to making a difference and a teen that truly has soul is what 16 year old Nick Lowinger of Cranston is all about. At age twelve he created the non profit foundation Gotta Have Sole Inc. Since 2010 Gotta Have Sole Inc. has donated new footwear to over 10,000 children in homeless shelters in 21 states throughout the United States. Lowinger’s commitment to this cause and getting others involved makes him the 16th Metta Student winner.

A Metta Students Foundation ceremony will be held May 20th at 8am in the Morgan Room 12 at the Wheeler School located at 216 Hope Street in Providence.

The Metta Students Foundation will present a one thousand dollar check and members of the media are welcome.

Norm Kelly, founder of Software Quality Associates in Providence, created the Metta Students Foundation in October of 2012 after learning of one teen’s kind act towards another teen. Each month, during the school year, the foundation awards one thousand dollars to a student who shares metta.

“Metta means love and kindness," states Norm Kelly, “and we are proud to be able to give recognition to all of those bright lights who give back, not because they have to, but because they are truly good hearted and want to make a positive difference.”

“This is such a wonderful and exciting opportunity for Nick. As Director of Wheeler's Community Service Learning Program, I've been witness to the varied ways in which Nick and Gotta Have Sole have inspired our community,” states Cali Almy Director of Community Service Learning Wheeler School, “As a sophomore, Nick has begun enlisting the support of older students, supervising and training them to further the work of GHS. Students love the opportunity to volunteer with GHS because Nick creates an inspiring, educational and fun environment.

Nick is also in the process of developing a leadership model so other Wheeler students can become more involved on furthering volunteer initiatives and fundraising for the organization. And he is coordinating plans for his legacy to keep Wheeler students engaged in the service and leadership for GHS after he graduates.”

“I am being raised in a household where my family always gives of themselves to help those in need, says Metta Student winner Nick Lowinger, “Paying it forward comes naturally to me and I think it is very important to give back to your community. I am trying to be a role model to show others, especially teens, that they can make a difference in the world. It is gratifying to pay it forward and to know one's efforts are helping others.

Being honored with a Metta grant is extremely humbling for me. I do not do this work for the recognition but instead to improve the lives of those less fortunate. To be in the company of like-minded individuals who feel strongly about committing acts of kindness within their communities means a great deal to me. The Metta grant will enable me to outfit fifty homeless children with new shoes to call their own, helping to transform their lives one step at a time.”

It is for all of these reasons the Metta Students is proud to award Nick Lowinger one thousand dollars. To see video of how the Metta Students foundation began or for more information about the foundation log onto www.mettastudents,org If you are interested in doing a story please contact Laura Clarizio at 617-852-7784 or lauraclarizio@aol.com.

4.17.2014

Metta Students Foundation announces two new winners

A once in a lifetime chance is the way Coventry High School freshman Cole Campbell describes the evening of February 21st, when he got to play in a high school basketball game alongside his big brother, senior Tom Campbell for the very first time.

Cole suffers from Tubular sclerosis, a rare brain disease that causes serious seizures. By the age of 8 he underwent three brain surgeries and required some special accomodations at school. As team manager Cole normally cheers the players on from the side lines but, with the blessing of both teams, Cole was in the game that night. The magical metta moment came quickly, when Cole took the first handoff from big brother Tom and landed a three-pointer, followed by three other three-pointers to win the game.

What made that game even more magical, is the reaction from not only his teammates, but the exuberant cheers from the opposing team. Afterwards senior Tom Campbell told one news reporter, "That was probably the coolest part. Looking over and I saw the Cranston West bench. All those guys going crazy and that meant a lot to me."

It is for these reasons the Mettta Students Foundation is awarding not one but, both teams $1,000. The character and kindness both teams displayed that evening to make a hoop dream come true is what the foundation is all about. A ceremony will be held April 17, 2014 at 9:15 am at the Coventry High School located at 40 Reservoir Road in Coventry. Both teams and coaches will be together again to honor this special moment and members of the media are welcome.

Norm Kelly, founder of Software Quality Associates in Providence, created the Metta Students Foundation in October of 2012 after learning of one teen’s kind act towards another teen. Each month, during the school year, the foundation awards one thousand dollars to a student who shares metta.

“Metta means love and kindness," states Norm Kelly, “and we are proud to be able to give recognition to all of those bright lights who give back, not because they have to, but because they are truly good hearted and want to make a positive difference.”

“My goal for the night was to have my two sons play together on the court for one time in their lives before my son Tom graduated,” says Coventry Basketball Head Coach, Tom Campbell, “Cole has some special needs and is not able to fully play basketball on a varsity or JV level. I thought the best part was going to be seeing Cole and Tom on the floor at the same time. Honestly that became secondary to what happened for everyone in that gym. To watch the reactions and the sportsmanship of Cranston West and the energy and excitement of all the fans became the best part of the night. I have never been in a gym where everyone was supporting the same thing. Usually the gym is divided for their respective teams. Those two minutes that Cole played everyone in that gym was supporting him and the moment. Truly Special!“

“I was very proud of my team, they did that all on their own,” says Cranston West Basketball Head Coach Jim Moretti, “It was a very good moment during a tough season. To be able to see the reaction of everyone there and be part of Cole's moment. Then when he made all those shots it was icing on the cake! It is an honor to be recognized with this award. Nowadays all you hear is the negative, to be able to accent a positive moment like this is fantastic.”

To see video of how the Metta Students foundation began or for more information about the foundation log onto www.mettastudents,org If you are interested in doing a story please contact Laura Clarizio at 617-852-7784 or lauraclarizio@aol.com.

3.25.2014

Metta Students Foundation announces 13th grant winner

Integrity, courage, and being a doer who takes the necessary steps to make her community a better place are the ways in which one educator describes 17 year old Allison Quicho.

Those qualities, along with all of her accomplishments, qualify Quicho to be the 13th one thousand dollar Metta Students Foundation grant winner.

A Metta Students Foundation ceremony will be held on March 20th at 10:45 am at Tiverton High School located at 100 North Brayton Road in Tiverton, RI. The Metta Students Foundation will present a one thousand dollar check and members of the media are welcome.

Norm Kelly, founder of Software Quality Associates in Providence, created the Metta Students Foundation in October of 2012 after learning of one teen’s kind act towards another teen. Each month, during the school year, the foundation awards one thousand dollars to a student who shares metta.

“Metta means love and kindness," states Norm Kelly, “and we are proud to be able to give recognition to all of those bright lights who give back, not because they have to, but because they are truly good hearted and want to make a positive difference.”

Allison is described as always being there for those in need. “She came to me asking what she could do to help the needy in our school,” says Tiverton High School Guidance Counselor Cathy Winston, “she then put together a holiday basket with gifts and necessities for some of our neediest students.

When her best friend was dying from cancer, she donated her hair to Locks of Love and now she continues to keep Megan's memory alive by coordinating "Miles for Megan" which funds a scholarship in her young friend's name. This summer when she was made aware of a bullying situation, she called me to ensure that the youngster was okay. She has the integrity and courage to do the right thing at all times” “I believe it is important to get involved in your community, because providing help and assistance that other people need is very gratifying to them as well as one’s self,” says Quicho. “The more effort people make to make a difference in someone’s life, the greater reward there is in gaining self-confidence and perspective on how to continue to make the world a better a place. More specifically, when I’m involved, I feel grateful that I made someone else smile. Much like a picture, a smile is worth a thousand words.

“When I learned I won the Metta grant, I was immediately excited and proud of myself. Due to the Metta Student Foundation’s overall purpose, I also felt honored to be recognized as a Metta winner. Coming to terms with the win, I realized how rewarding it is to give back, and receive the recognition in itself. In other words, the grant’s worth will never exceed my appreciation in being recognized as a Metta student.” It is for all of these reasons the Metta Students is proud to award Quicho one thousand dollars.

To see video of how the Metta Students foundation began or for more information about the foundation log onto www.mettastudents,org If you are interested in doing a story please contact Laura Clarizio at 617-852-7784 or lauraclarizio@aol.com.

2.20.2014

Metta Students Foundation announces 12th grant winner

When 17 year old Topaz Leshin-Szewczok stated her career intentions she wrote, “Something that will somehow help people.” That statement along with the numerous other acts of kindness makes her a perfect candidate for a Metta Students Foundation grant.

A Metta Students Foundation ceremony will be held March 5th at 10:20 a.m. at East Greenwich High School, located at 300 Avenger Drive in East Greenwich, RI. The Metta Students Foundation will present a one thousand dollar check and members of the media are welcome.

Norm Kelly, founder of Software Quality Associates in Providence, created the Metta Students Foundation in October of 2012 after learning of one teen’s kind act towards another teen. Each month, during the school year, the foundation awards one thousand dollars to a student who shares metta.

“Metta means love and kindness," states Norm Kelly, “and we are proud to be able to give recognition to all of those bright lights who give back, not because they have to, but because they are truly good hearted and want to make a positive difference.”

Teacher Stephen Levesque nominated Leshin-Szewczok saying, “She is involved in a wide variety of volunteer activities including: B'Nai Brith Youth Organization, free private academic tutoring, volunteering at Temple Sinai, the AIDS Walk in Providence, Operation Smile to raise money for surgery for children born with clef pallets, and Safety Town where she teaches firstgrade students how to safely cross streets.

Leshin-Szewczok is also President of her school's chapter of the Gay Straight Alliance, secretary for LeOlum Mazkirah as part of B'Nai Brith, and is Vice-President of the Chapter Project for the National Honor Society.”

It is important to give back to your community because that is what shows your character,” says Leshin-Szewczok. “By showing that you are willing to give up your time for your community, without any visible award, you are proving that you are worthy of what your community has to give to you. Winning this grant means that I am successfully living up to being the person that I want to be. Kindness is free to give away and doing so comes with priceless rewards.”

It is for all of these reasons the Metta Students is proud to award Topaz one thousand dollars. To see video of how the Metta Students foundation began or for more information about the foundation log onto www.mettastudents.org. If you are interested in doing a story please contact Laura Clarizio at 617-852-7784 or lauraclarizio@aol.com.

1.13.2014

Metta Students Foundation announces 11th grant winner

Reflective, sensitive, compassionate and caring deeply about the world around her—and thus acts without haste when given the opportunity to help others is how Corie McDermott, Assistant Director of College Counseling describes the 11th Metta Student winner Abby Byrne of Newport.

A Metta Students Foundation ceremony will be held January 13th at 1:35 pm at Portsmouth Abbey School located at 285 Cory’s Lane in Portsmouth, RI. Members of the media are welcome.

Norm Kelly, founder of Software Quality Associates in Providence, created the Metta Students Foundation in October of 2012 after learning of one teen’s kind act towards another teen. Each month, during the school year, the foundation awards one thousand dollars to a student who shares metta.

“Metta means love and kindness," states Norm Kelly, “and we are proud to be able to give recognition to all of those bright lights who give back, not because they have to, but because they are truly good hearted and want to make a positive difference.”

“Abby crafted a grant proposal and presented it to a committee in order to secure Haney Fellowship funding for a solo trip to ‘Barrio Solidaridad’ in Salta, Argentina to do volunteer work”, says McDermott,”Communicating only in Spanish (thus, putting her academic language skills to work) Abby helped nuns tend to the poor and needy.

She read Spanish children's books to the kindergarten classes in the public school. She lead craft activities, taught dance lessons (Abby is a skilled ballerina), assisted in music class, and donated about 200 books to the local library, where she would meet with a group of kids twice a week. She also did extensive work in a special education school. Abby reflects that “the reason the FCJ sisters are living in this neighborhood in Salta is centered upon giving support and strengthening the community. They give hope to some of the poorest people in Argentina, and I got to be a part of that.”

Abby also applied for and was accepted to be a volunteer to help the sick and dying in Lourdes. Abby writes the following of her experience: ‘This was a ten day trip where volunteers assist the disabled on their pilgrimage to the grotto to pray for healing. The volunteers mostly had small jobs: setting tables, making beds, wheeling people from room to room, offering someone a cup of coffee, or accompanying them for a service. I had been selected to be a “buddy” for a man named Adam who was unable to feed himself. I sat down with him for each meal and fed him before I ate. It was the most intense, emotional and exhausting week of my life, and really one of the best experiences I've ever had.’

Finally, Abby went to Virginia last March with Appalachia Service Project. There, she spent a week doing hard manual labor: she roofed and sided a house.”

“Winning this grant has made me feel inspired and eager to do more,” states Byrne, “I have been so thankful to be given the opportunities that I've had, and a grant like this shows that there will be more for me in the future. It has shown me how much people care, and how much love there is out there. And for that I am so grateful.There have been times where I have felt like I could not help others, because I did not have anything special to offer. But I've realized that the most I can do is share my whole self. Through my recent community service trips, I've realized the importance of listening, and the effect of a smile, a hug or the sharing of a story. To other students, I would say this: it’s easy. It’s easy and there’s nothing more rewarding.”

It is for all of these reasons the Metta Students is proud to award Abby one thousand dollars. To see video of how the Metta Students foundation began or for more information about the foundation log onto www.mettastudents,org If you are interested in doing a story please contact Laura Clarizio at 617-852-7784 or lauraclarizio@aol.com.

12.18.2013

Metta Students Foundation announces 10th grant winner

Quiet, caring, and unassuming are the words used to describe Andrew Lanni. Despite losing both his parents at a young age, the Bishop Hendricken Junior has always persevered.

A Metta Students Foundation ceremony will be held December 10th at 11:15 am at Bishop Hendricken, located at 2615 Warwick Ave, Warwick, to honor Andrew. Members of the media are welcome.

Norm Kelly, founder of Software Quality Associates in Providence, created the Metta Students Foundation in October of 2012 after learning of one teen’s kind act towards another teen. Each month, during the school year, the foundation awards one thousand dollars to a student who shares metta.

“Metta means love and kindness," states Norm Kelly, “and we are proud to be able to give recognition to all of those bright lights who give back, not because they have to, but because they are truly good hearted and want to make a positive difference.”

Andrew’s Homeroom teacher, Kathy Bellavance nominated Andrew, stating, “Leadership for Andrew is natural thing. The place I see this the most is in school working with the Options Program. This is a program that allows special needs students to be part of the Hendricken community. Andrew works with them in the statewide unified sport leagues, both basketball and volleyball. He was recently asked to be part of the Special Olympic Youth Forum. "I'm honored to receive this award” states Lanni. “I didn't realize working with all the Special Olympics athletes and doing what I love to do would get me an award like this. I like seeing a smile on all the kids' faces and helping them out, helping them to have a better day or a better opportunity."

Andrew is also one of the leaders in the recycling program at Hendricken. He belongs to a homeroom that tries to show the school community the importance of being green and recycling. He is the junior representative for the core group. Andrew is also involved in the Sea Scouts. He is the top youth leader which is called the boatswain. This position allows him to be a mentor and teacher for the younger seamen.

During the last Veteran’s Day, he organized a flag ceremony to honor the vets in the area. Last but not least is his involvement with the Salvation Army. On a regular bases, Andrew spends Sunday nights serving dinners to the people that frequent this facility.

It is for all of these reasons the Metta Students is proud to award Andrew one thousand dollars. To see video of how the Metta Students foundation began or for more information about the foundation, log onto: www.mettastudents.org If you are interested in doing a story please contact Laura Clarizio at 617-852-7784 or lauraclarizio@aol.com.

10.10.2013

Metta Students Foundation announces 9th grant winner

At age 16 Molly Giudice of Westerly lost her mother to lung cancer. Despite her feelings of devastation, Molly turned her private pain into a public crusade to raise awareness and money for the Lung Cancer Foundation.

To date she has raised more than $5,000 and it is her continued efforts and acts of kindness that make her the ninth Metta Students Foundation recipient.

A Metta Students Foundation ceremony will be held Friday at 10:30 am October 11th at The Prout School located 4640 Tower Hill Road in Wakefield to honor Molly. Members of the media are welcome.

Norm Kelly, founder of Software Quality Associates in Providence, created the Metta Students Foundation in October of 2012 after learning of one teen’s kind act towards another teen. Each month, during the school year, the foundation awards one thousand dollars to a student who shares metta.

“Metta means love and kindness," states Norm Kelly, “and we are proud to be able to give recognition to all of those bright lights who give back, not because they have to, but because they are truly good hearted and want to make a positive difference.”

Molly’s swim coach and Director of Admissions at The Prout School nominated Molly saying, “Molly has always been a very driven young lady and I believe she got that strength from her mother. Molly has dealt with so much heartache this past year and never once let it deter her from doing her best. I know her mother is so proud of her!”

Shortly after her passing Molly dedicated a swim meet to her mother and on Saturday October 12th she is spearheading 5K run, at 11:30 a.m. from the Narragansett North Beach Pavilion. The proceeds go to the Lung Cancer Foundation.

“Molly is an 'inspiration' to me,” states Bonnie Addario founder of the Lung Cancer Foundation,” With young people like Molly coming up in the world it is a relief to know our country is going to be in very good hands! The world listens to its young and Molly is a perfect example of what they can accomplish.

“I have seen the effects cancer can have on a person,” states Molly Giudice, “and I want to be a small part of helping to find a cure. I want to make a difference. Receiving the Metta Students Foundation scholarship is a great honor. I am so humbled that people are recognizing and caring about the work I have put into this event.”

To see video of how the Metta Students foundation began or for more information about the foundation log onto www.mettastudentsfoundation.org. If you are interested in doing a story please contact Laura Clarizio at 617-852-7784 or lauraclarizio@aol.com.

4.30.2013

Metta Students Foundation announces 8th grant winner

Kind, generous and caring are the words used to describe Joseph Conway of Coventry. Each year the eighteen year old gets everyone into the holiday spirit by creating a huge Christmas light display.

“My light display consists of 33,000 lights. My main reason for putting up the display is seeing the kids smile,” states Conway. But, the festivities go beyond those smiles, Conway donates the money he raises to worthy causes like the Tomorrow Fund and Coventry Food Bank. It is that spirit and dedication that has made Conway the eighth Metta Student winner.

Metta means love, kindness and compassion. The foundation strives to honor teens that are truly bright lights in their community, Conway literally shines and when Metta found out about Conway they knew he was their next one thousand dollar winner. Conway will be awarded April 29, 2013 at 9:45 a.m. at an assembly at Coventry High School located at 40 Reservoir Road. Media members are welcome.

“I have had some tough times in my life, but I know that there are people that have it worse than I do, so that’s why I do my best at putting up the display. I collected donations for the Coventry Food Bank and The Tomorrow Fund; I chose those places because both organizations help people who are in need. I realize many people suffer tough times so the least I can do is put a smile on their faces during the holiday season,” states Conway.

In addition, Conway volunteers his time in our GYMNTR program, where mentors younger students on the Unified Basketball team.

Conway’s guidance counselor Amy Siemmao nominated him saying, “Joe is the type of young man that you can expect will help others because he truly wants to. His reward is not a grade for a project, or doing community service hours because they are required, it is him making a difference. I have known Joe for about eight years, as both his elementary teacher and now his guidance counselor, he is compassionate, generous, courteous, inclusive, and bright.”

Kathy Connolly, Development Director of The Tomorrow Fund adds, “Joey is a considerate young man who believes in giving back. He raised close to $1,000 for The Tomorrow Fund to help children with cancer and their families. We were so thankful for the donation. Joey has informed us he will be raising funds for the Tomorrow Fund again next year!”

Metta Students Founder Norm Kelly, founder of Software Quality Associates in Providence, says his company has always wanted to give back to the community. “I love the uniqueness of Metta Students,” says Kelly, “we are honoring high school kids for their acts of loving-kindness. You do not have to be the smartest or most athletic to be honored with a Metta Student Foundation Scholarship.”

To see video of Conway’s light show log onto http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJPjK0ONkAY&feature=youtu.be To see video of how the Metta Students foundation began or for more information about the foundation log onto www.mettastudentsfoundation.org. If you are interested in doing a story please contact Laura Clarizio at 617-852-7784 or lauraclarizio@aol.com.

3.26.2013

Metta Students Foundation announces three new Hope High School scholarship winners

Press Release-Putting a smile on other peoples' faces and helping fellow students are just some of the reasons three Hope High School students took charge and got involved in the Special Olympics Project Unify program. This month the Metta Students Foundation is proud to announce they are awarding, Ariel Matos, Jason Roias, and Aaliyah Parham $1,000 each.

Special Olympics Project UNIFY® says their program is built on the premise that in order to have the greatest impact the change process needs to start with young people. Project UNIFY brings youth with and without intellectual disabilities together through education and sports and related initiatives that provide them with the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to create and sustain school communities that promote the acceptance, respect and human dignity for all students.

Roias and Matos coached the school's basketball team while Parham worked with the cheerleaders making Hope High School the first inner city school to participate in Rhode Island. “I like to see others smile and feel good about themselves. I like having an impact on people’s lives," states Matos. That belief reflects the mission of the Metta Students Foundation. Metta means love, kindness and compassion and when the foundation learned about the threesome they decided to award not just one but all three for their acts of kindness, “I thought the program is a great program and not many students help those with special needs," states Roias, "Ariel and I wanted to make a difference in our community in the hopes that other students would follow our example.”

Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at 3pm during a pep rally for the first Hope High School Project Unify home basketball game the Metta Students Foundation will make the presentation. Media, city officials, parents,educators, and students are all welcome.

“Whenever attending a Project Unify game at Hope, you are overwhelmed by the enthusiasm, the energy and the passion of the entire school community," states Dennis DeJesus, CEO – Special Olympics Rhode Island. “Athletes, partners, coaches, cheerleaders, administrators, fellow students and parents - it has become a community of acceptance, inclusion and respect. Hope High School embodies the mission and vision of Project Unify and it's "all in" approach is transforming that school community. Go Hope!” Cheerleading Coach Aaliyah Parham, embodies that go Hope and Metta spirit stating, “I got involved with unified basketball because I’ve always had a good time when talking to special needs children so when I was informed that there was going to be a whole cheerleading team revolved around that, I was ecstatic and knew I wanted to be a part of it.”

Metta Students Founder Norm Kelly is CEO of Software Quality Associates in Providence and says his company has always wanted to give back to the community. “I love the uniqueness of Metta Students,” says Kelly, “we are honoring high school kids for their acts of loving-kindness. You do not have to be the smartest or most athletic to be honored with a Metta Student Foundation Scholarship.”

The ceremony will take place at the Hope High School gymnasium located at 324 Hope St. in Providence, followed by the game. To see video of how the Metta Students foundation began or for more information about the foundation log onto www.mettastudentsfoundation.org. If you are interested in doing a story please contact Laura Clarizio at 617-852-7784 or lauraclarizio@aol.com.

1.16.2013

Metta Students Foundation announces 4th scholarship winner

Caring and spirited are the words used to describe Eliza DeCubellis of Narragansett. Like many seniors, Eliza needed to do a senior project, but this seventeen year old took it to a whole new level. Her mission to Glenmary Farm in Lewis County, Kentucky earned her the Metta Students Foundation’s $1,000 scholarship.

Metta means love, kindness and compassion and when the foundation found out Eliza not only wanted to spend her winter vacation helping one of the poorest communities in the United States but, she also wanted to raise enough money to bring twenty other volunteers, the foundation knew they had found their fourth recipient. Eliza will be awarded January 15, 2013 at a 10:15 assembly at Narragansett High School located at 245 South Pier Road. Media members are welcome.

Eliza’s mission takes place February 16th to the 23rd where she and her team will rotate through various work sites building and repairing houses for the impoverished, administering food to the needy at a local food pantry, and providing services to the elderly and physically and mentally disabled at local health and rehabilitation centers.

“While some students view Senior Project as just another graduation requirement, I see it as an opportunity to do something that I have never done before. For this reason, I have chosen a topic that means a great deal to me and which allows me to give back to those less fortunate than myself,” states DeCubellis. “This trip is so important to me because I have been brought up in an environment where community service is not an option, it is a lifestyle. I have done numerous service hours for various causes, but to do a project that is entirely my own is fulfilling on a much deeper level.”

DeCubellis’ guidance counselor Steve Pinch nominated her saying, “Eliza is one of those students who teachers will remember because of her caring attitude and school spirit. She has completed hundreds of hours of community service and serves as a Eucharistic Minister at her church.” As if the mission trip itself does not demonstrate “an inspiring and compassionate act”, Eliza has further taken upon herself the commitment to fundraise for the entire trip so that even those students who cannot afford to go, but would like to help others, can still participate. This involves Eliza raising in excess of $10,000.

Metta Students Founder Norm Kelly is CEO of Software Quality Associates in Providence and says his company has always wanted to give back to the community. “I love the uniqueness of Metta Students,” says Kelly, “we are honoring high school kids for their acts of loving-kindness. You do not have to be the smartest or most athletic to be honored with a Metta Student Foundation Scholarship.”

To see video of how the Metta Students foundation began or for more information about the foundation log onto www.mettastudentsfoundation.org. If you are interested in doing a story please contact Laura Clarizio at 617-852-7784 or lauraclarizio@aol.com.

11.14.2012

Metta Students Foundation Announces Third Grant Winner

An inspiring sprit, selfless, and positive are the words used to describe the Metta Students Foundation’s third recipient.

In 2010 doctors diagnosed Kendra Cimaglia, a freshman at Johnston High School, with a malignant brain tumor. Over the course of her two year treatment protocol, she overcame many challenges and despite being sick from her treatments Kendra stayed on track educationally with home tutoring. Even more amazing Kendra wanted to give back to the people who helped her at the Tomorrow Fund.

“Through the eyes of an outsider, The Tomorrow Fund is just a pediatric cancer treatment center,” says Kendra, “but through the eyes of a patient, it's so much more. It's a place where you make new friends, make crafts and find your second home. The Tomorrow Fund creates distractions so you don't focus on what's really happening.”

While at the Tomorrow Fund Kendra came up with an idea to make bracelets out of soda tabs and instead of keeping the profits Kendra has raised more then $8,000 and created Tabz-4-Tomorrow.

“She and her parents have been helped by The Tomorrow Fund. They in turn wanted to give back to help others who may need the same kind of support they received. We cannot believe how much money they have raised. We are truly amazed and thankful,” says Kathy Connolly, Development Director of The Tomorrow Fund.

Kendra’s guidance counselor, Tara Teolis sent in her nomination, saying, “It was important to me to nominate Kendra Cimaglia because I believe she is the definition of kindness. I am honored to be her teacher. She has taught me more about compassion, determination, and love in this short time that I have known her. She is an amazing sixteen year old young lady and I feel that her story will inspire others to pay it forward.”

“Metta means love, compassion, kindness, empathy, and Kendra embodies all of those qualities,” says Metta Students Foundation Founder, Norm Kelly, “We are honored to announce Kendra as the third winner of our $1,000 scholarship.”

“Recognizing and rewarding students for being kind to others and doing good deeds is motivation for others to do the same,” says her mother, Kerry Cimaglia, “I am so happy that Kendra is a recipient. She is a fine example of what Metta stands for and I couldn't be more proud. Thank you for rewarding our children in such a positive way!”

To see the inspiring story of how the foundation began or for more information about the Metta Students Foundation or how to nominate a student log onto www.mettastudents.org . If you are interested in doing a story on the Metta Students Foundation contact Laura Clarizio at 617 852 7784 or lauraclarizio@aol.com

10.4.2012

Simple act of kindness by NPHS student inspires a foundation

Metta means love, compassion, kindness, empathy, and caring and now the Metta Students Foundation will honor high school students who share metta by giving them one thousand dollars. Founder Norm Kelly decided to create the Metta Students Foundation after learning of the inspiring story of Stephen and Tayler.

Stephen Carroll of Johnston, RI has lived his life in a wheelchair, born with Cerebral Palsy. His family raised him to be independent and through the years Stephen has overcome many obstacles. Come senior year he wanted to go to his prom but it looked like that would be one obstacle to get in his way.

But when 16 year old Tayler Boardman-Kelly a junior from North Providence, RI heard that Stephen had no one to go with she wanted to be his prom date. “I worked at Stephen's school and asked some of girls to see if they would include Stephen in their group,” says Kaolin Boardman, “but no one came forward, disappointed I shared that with my family and without hesitation my daughter said she wanted to go with Stephen.”

“I thought about how I had just gone to my prom,” says Tayler, “and how much fun it was and how I would have absolutely hated it if I didn’t go.”

If you ask Tayler she will say her gesture is not a big deal, but this act of metta went viral. When students at Stephen's school found out he was going to prom, they became inspired and spread even more metta. Unbeknownst to Stephen they created the Stephen Nation Twitter account urging fellow students to nominate Stephen Prom King. Nearly everyone voted for Stephen.

“Prom night was the best night of my life,” says Stephen, “the whole senior class was chanting my name, it was a moment I will never forget.”

The spirit of that 2012 prom night moved many others to pass on Stephen and Tayler’s story. Norm Kelly from Lincoln heard what happened while taking a Raffa Yoga class in Cranston.

“Jane Viscolosi is one of our most popular instructors here,” says owner Christine Raffa, “and she had stopped me in the hallway and told me about this amazing happening between her young niece and another boy at the Johnston High School and after hearing the story that Jane told very articulately we both walked away with a tear in our eye”

That night Christine Raffa told the story to her yoga class. While laying on his yoga mat Norm realized he needed to keep the acts of metta moving. “I believe there is a lot of good our kids do that we do not hear about. We definitely hear about what kids do wrong,” says Kelly.

October 7th the Metta Student Foundation will honor Tayler and Stephen by presenting them each with $1,000. Kelly wanted the first presentation done at the birthplace of the Metta Student's Foundation, at the Raffa Yoga Studio. Kelly is CEO of Software Quality Associates in Providence and says his company has always wanted to give back to the community.

“I love the uniqueness of Metta Students,” says Kelly, “we are honoring high school kids for their acts of loving-kindness. You do not have to be the smartest or most athletic to be honored with a Metta Student Foundation Scholarship.”

Media members are welcome to come to the ceremony October 7th at 2 pm, at the Raffa Yoga Center located at 19 Sharpe Drive in Cranston, RI. If you are interested in doing a story or want broadcast hi definition video with split audio of the story please contact Laura Clarizio at 617 852-7784 or lauraclarizio@aol.com. To see the video of Stephen and Tayler’s story or for more information about the Metta Students Foundation log onto www.mettastudentsfoundation.org.