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2015-03-26 - 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