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2015-01-29 - 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