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2014-11-21 - 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