2017-12- Griffin Fenton

“Giving back is so important because I have gotten a lot out of living in this community; I think that it is important to repay the kindness that people show you,” seventeen year old Griffin Fenton of Franklin, MA said of his volunteering experiences. "I’m interested in a mix of things. International issues like persecution and famine have become important to me in recent years as a result of seeing and hearing about crises through the news. Besides this, through things like Best Buddies and the Special Olympics, I became interested in promoting a positive culture for students with disabilities."

"For the former, I have been working on fundraising projects related to raising money for UNICEF; I would like to work at expanding the program (alongside the 3 individuals who also run the club), to focus on not just raising money but awareness of critical issues around the world. For the latter, Best Buddies and the Special Olympics have provided incredible opportunities to create new friendships in the context of a culture that’s incredibly positive for all people, regardless of ability.” states Fenton.

Now in their third year, the Metta Students non-profit foundation awards $1,000 grants to students who pay it forward or #sharemetta. To date, they have awarded $48,000. On Wednesday, Tuesday, December 5th, the Metta Students Foundation had an award ceremony at Franklin High School in Franklin, MA. Members of the media attended.

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 mission to simply be kind and #sharemetta.” Mike Walsh, nominated Fenton saying, “When I saw the mission statement for the Metta Students Foundation, I immediately thought of Griffin. At our school, Griffin continuously promotes kindness and goodwill."

"Most students are not currently engaged in paying it forward. Even those that do often do it for the wrong reasons, like being able to say that they do so on a college application. Griffin is different. His community service comes from a place of sincere desire to make the world a better place.”