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Metta Winners - 2017-2018

Carl Jean Charles

June 2018

Pawtucket, RI

Metta Students visited Blackstone Academy in Pawtucket, RI in June to honor Carl Jean Charles. Carl Jean is our June 2018 and 54th Metta Students recipient. Our mission is to recognize high school students who perform random acts of love and kindness. Carl Jean epitomizes what we are all about.

Carl Jean, a senior, displays active kindness on a regular basis and goes out of his way to help others out. He has been an essential member of the Rhode Island Youth Advisory Council. For two years, Carl Jean has worked with other young people to plan and run the Dare to Dream conference. This is an annual event focused on empowering students with special needs. He facilitated multiple sessions and played a crucial role in the organization of the conference as a whole. His contributions impacted hundreds of people. This year, Carl Jean is focusing his community improvement efforts internationally. He did extensive research on technology needs in schools outside the US and has partnered with a school in Haiti to help them get technology that will support their students' education. He has already embarked on a fundraising effort and is going to send as many books and computers as he can.

We are proud to have Carl Jean join the Mette Students family. Special thanks Brianna Balke and the administration at Blackstone Academy for giving Metta Students the opportunity to share Carl Jean’s story.

Robert Holden

April 2018

Boston, MA

Metta Students visited Boston College High School in Boston, MA on Monday, April 9th to honor Robert Holden. Robert is our April 2018 and 52nd Metta Students recipient. Our mission is to recognize high school students who perform random acts of love and kindness. Robert epitomizes what we are all about.

Robert, a senior, spent six weeks in Kenya Africa volunteering at an orphanage. He helped with gardening, maintenance repairs, and cleaning. Robert serves as mentor and friend to the kids as they dealt very challenging circumstances. He paid for his trip on his own by doing fundraising activities.

We are proud to have Robert join the Mette Students family. Special thanks Eddie Simmons and the administration at Boston College High School for giving Metta Students the opportunity to share Robert’s story.

Sarah Figueroa

March 2018

Groton, MA

Metta Students visited Groton-Dunstable Regional High School in Groton, MA in March to honor Sarah Figueroa. Sarah is our March 2018 and 51st Metta Students recipient. Our mission is to recognize high school students who perform random acts of love and kindness. Sarah epitomizes what we are all about.

Sarah, a senior, is involved in many community service opportunities and school-based clubs. Sarah had a unique opportunity to travel to Charleston, South Carolina for a week to work in a local community doing various tasks. She helped build a handicap ramp for a family.

Sarah prides herself on her commitment to helping in the community. She volunteers with several organizations such as Our Lady Grace Parish as a religious teacher. Sarah is an assistant at the Groton Dunstable Education Foundation. She volunteers at the Pepperell Aid from Community to Home at the local food pantry. Sarah is a member of the Shed a Little Light Club at the high school which assists to raise money to support education in South Susan.

We are proud to have Sarah join the Metta Students family. Special thanks Sarah Shoemaker and the administration at Groton-Dunstable Regional High School for giving Metta Students the opportunity to share Sarah’s story.

Lily Poor

February 2018

Providence, RI

“Throughout my years at LaSalle, I have been very involved with the community service club, LaSallian Youth and have participated in numerous service excursions throughout Rhode Island,” seventeen-year-old Lily Poor of Cranston, RI states of her volunteer experience addressing poverty.

“I have been able to help organize several holiday parties for the children of McAuley Village, serve the homeless through breadlines, work at the Amos House and help during the Black Friday coat drive. 

“It was this past summer that my passion surrounding the extreme issue of poverty grew as I spent a week in Homestead, Florida running a summer camp for the children of migrant workers. That week was an absolute life-changing experience as it opened my eyes to the reality of what poverty looks like and realization that poverty has many faces."

"These children in Homestead, who lived in extremely impoverished conditions, did not appear to be poor in spirits. Each morning I was greeted by their ear-to-ear smiles and was tackled with hugs - these were some of the happiest kids I had ever seen.”

“For me, giving back is something that has always felt so natural. Growing up, I was always taught to be grateful for the wonderful fortune my family and I have. Working with children and fighting child poverty is something I 100% plan on continuing to do throughout college and the rest of my life.”

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.” 

Christine Estes, Director of Campus Ministry at La Salle Academy nominated Ms. Poor stating, “Lily has used her time and skills while being a student at La Salle to make life better for so many others. She is passionate about the issue of child poverty and what sets her apart from so many other students who serve is the humility and cheerfulness with which Lily approaches her volunteer work.”

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

Do you know a high school student who stands out for being kind and making a difference for others? Nominate them here to be a Metta Students grant recipient.

Phoebe Nerone

January 2018

Wakefield, RI

“My most meaningful achievement so far has been starting my reading glasses project in Vietnam, supplying reading glasses to elderly men and women,” sixteen-year-old Phoebe Nerone of Wakefield, RI said of her volunteer experience to promote wellness to those in need.

“In 2012, my mom, sister and I started a small non-profit to help poor children in Vietnam. After spending some summers volunteering there, I saw the need for people to have reading glasses. I first started collecting the glasses in 2014 and so far, have been able to donate 735 pairs to people who need them.”

"In the future, I am thinking about receiving a degree that relates to human health and well-being, ultimately traveling the world to the poorest countries to help those in need as my family currently does in Vietnam.

“I have also wanted to give back to my local community, so I created a small cookie baking service called, “Cookies That Care.” I bake cookies two to three times a month and donate them to shelters. Overall, I have been able to donate over 1,600 cookies thus far.

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.” 

Rozanne Fuller nominated Nerone stating, “Phoebe has a very kind heart and generous spirit. She is very compassionate and has the courage to act when she feels something needs to be done to help others. Phoebe has started projects all on her own such as raising money to provide reading glasses to the elderly in Vietnam and regularly bakes cookies for the local homeless shelter.”

It is for all of these reasons that the Metta Students Foundation is proud to have awarded Phoebe 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.

Do you know a high school student who stands out for being kind and making a difference for others? Nominate them here to be a Metta Students grant recipient.

Griffin Fenton

December 2017

Franklin, MA

“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.”

Sarah Yvonne Doyle

November 2017

New Bedford, MA

“I've been working with veterans since the 2nd grade, when my Girl Scout Troupe went to the Veteran’s Transition House. We were volunteering during the Holiday Season, and handed out fresh baked breads while singing in order to earn our Christmas Caroling and Cooking Badges. A few veterans were moved to tears because of our actions that Christmas. It was truly a transformative experience, and has stuck with me all these years.” sixteen year old Sarah Yvonne Doyle of New Bedford, MA said of her volunteering experiences. 

"I now run two separate veteran based non profits through my school. Operation Care Package allows people to donate non-perishable food and health products. We have raised over $20,000 in charitable donations that have been sent to service members deployed Iraq, Afghanistan and Korea. This organization started four years ago, and has grown with the help of my school and the local Veterans of Foreign Wars post.Military Pen Pal is the second organization I run. Student volunteers are encouraged to write letters to soldiers and build written relationships with them. The hope is to spread joy while they are away from their loved ones and friends.” states Doyle.

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 $47,000. On Wednesday, November 15th, the Metta Students Foundation had an award ceremony at the Greater New Bedford Vocational Technical High School in New Bedford, 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.” 

Henry DeGrace, nominated Doyle saying, “She is a remarkable young woman. She is so selfless in her daily life. If not with her two organizations, she is always trying and helping others. Never does she put herself above others, and she always accomplishes what starts out to do.When other students are talking about what fun they had the night before or over the weekend, she is talking about what she did for the veterans. Sarah’s commitment to veterans and retirees is definitely a lifelong engagement.”

James Botelho

October 2017

Berkley, MA

“To be honest I don’t think that I did anything differently than anyone else. I simply just treat people the way I want to be treated.” seventeen year old James Botelho of Berkley, MA said of his volunteering experiences.  "I found that my purpose in life is to help others and if you want to change the world, it’s as simple as making one person’s day better. Since I was young I’ve always wanted to go into the military and when I was in 9th grade I found out about the JROTC at my school so I quickly joined.I became a known face in the corps because I went to almost every community service event there was. I didn’t do it because I wanted rank or anything to do with me. I fell in love with helping others and putting smiles on people’s faces. It makes me feel good which allows me to share that feeling with others,” states Botelho.

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 $46,000. Thursday, October 19th, the Metta Students Foundation had an award ceremony at Taunton High School in Taunton, 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.” Major David Anderson, USAF (Retired), nominated Botelho saying, “he embodies the principle of service before self.  He is a very humble young man who believes it is everyone’s responsibility to take good care of their neighbors.  He puts those beliefs to work every day as he leads the THS Air Force Junior ROTC cadets along a path of selfless excellence.  He has participated in hundreds of community service activities during his time here at the high school, and has helped raise money for charities, fed the hungry at local soup kitchens and supported our military veterans, among many other charitable acts of love.”

Emily Gaboriault

September 2017

Central Falls, RI

“There are so many people that need our help and I refuse to ignore it. I also just love knowing that I could’ve made someone’s day or brought some light into their life,” Sixteen year Emily Gaboriault of Central Falls, RI said of her volunteering experiences.  

“The soup kitchen is right across the street from my school and I’ve been volunteering there since freshmen year and I had always wanted to get involved helping a soup kitchen. My mother is a teacher assistant at Central Falls High School and she works with the special education students and I’ve always gone to all the events with her and started volunteering when I was in 8th grade. When I came to Saint Rays as a freshman, I noticed that there were no recycling bins in our cafeterias so I made it my personal mission to get them there. The recycling program has been up and running since January of 2017 and I am the president of the recycling club and we are in charge of maintaining and changing the recycling bins every week,” states Gaboriault.

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 $45,000. Friday, September 29th, the Metta Students Foundation had an award ceremony at St. Raphael Academy in Pawtucket, RI. 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.”

Mrs. Doreen Engel nominated Gaboriault saying, “We have many students who are enthusiastic about service options that we provide.  Emily has the added characteristic of spotting an unmet need that had to be addressed.  She was willing to work hard toward the goal of encouraging those around her that we needed to recycle, and she overcame many obstacles to make this happen.  This was in addition to being quite active in many other service activities

In addition to volunteering at the soup kitchen, and starting her school’s recycling program, Emily also volunteers at multiple events for Special Olympics. Special Olympics gives people with physical and emotional disabilities the chance to actively participate in athletics year-round and gives them another sense of sportsmanship and pride.