Meet Wheelock's Passion Scholars

Class of 2020

Anthony Buonopane
Anthony Buonopane photoAnthony lives in Revere, MA, and graduated from Revere High School, where he was an athlete and active volunteer. He is a recipient of the Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America memorial scholarship award. Anthony volunteers as a special education basketball coach for the Challenger League in Wakefield, MA. At Wheelock, he plans to double major in Special Education and Political Science, with a minor in Leadership. Anthony hopes to become a special education teacher, but he also has an interest in politics.

Daniela Ramirez
Daniela Ramirez photoDaniela lives in Boston and graduated from Boston Community Leadership Academy, a pilot high school in the Boston Public Schools system. Daniela was an active volunteer at her local church, serving as a spiritual mentor for teenagers going through the confirmation process. She also was involved with an organization called buildOn that provides international service learning opportunities to high school students. She traveled to Malawi in Africa, to construct a school and she learned the value and beauty of humanitarian work and working together. At Wheelock, Daniela plans to enroll in the Child Life Dual Degree Program with a minor in Visual Arts so she will be well prepared to help children and families in need. She also hopes to be able to have more service learning travel experiences during her time in college.

Paige Spence
Paige Spence PhotoPaige, from South Boston, graduated from Boston Latin Academy. She was involved in a number of volunteer and extracurricular activities while in high school, including softball, swimming, Keystone Club, and work at the South Boston Boys and Girls Club. Paige is passionate about working with children, particularly being a mentor and supportive influence for those in need. At Wheelock, she plans to major in Elementary Education, with minors in Understanding Autism and Leadership. She hopes to be an elementary school teacher.


Soyini Wilcox
Soyini Wilcox photoSoyini is from Mattapan, MA, and graduated from New Mission High School in Hyde Park. During high school, she was involved in the Gay Straight Alliance, and served on the Boston Student Advisory Council (BSAC) through the Mayor's Office. Soyini's most rewarding service experience was teaching children through Teach Boston. She has known that she wants to be a teacher since the third grade and considers working with children to be her life's passion. At Wheelock, she plans to double major in Elementary Education and Math/Science, with a minor in Understanding Autism. She has already gotten involved in Jumpstart, Campus Activities Board (CAB), and Teach, Learn, Create (TLC).


Class of 2019

Carolyn Lopez
Carolyn LopezCarolyn, who grew up in Chelsea, MA, graduated from Cristo Rey High School in Boston, where she developed and co-led the first cooking class at the school during her sophomore year. She spent time volunteering at Ellis Memorial, a nonprofit providing inner-city working families with high-quality education, and care for children, youth, and vulnerable adults. While volunteering at Ellis she began working with younger children, which has turned into the driving passion for her future career. At Wheelock, Carolyn plans to major in early childhood education in hopes of making a difference in younger children's lives as they develop. In her spare time, she enjoys playing lacrosse, singing, and dancing.

Laura Mejia
Laura MejiaLaura is from East Boston. She graduated from Boston Latin Academy where she was heavily involved in Talented and Gifted (TAG), a program designed to ensure that Latino and English Language Learners excel academically, socially, and personally, so they can succeed in high school and at the postsecondary level. She also volunteered at Massachusetts General Hospital and taught Sunday school at her church. She plans to major in elementary education because she hopes to have an impact on the daily lives of children.


Lisvet Peralta
Lisvet PeraltaLisvet, from Jamaica Plain, MA, graduated from City on a Hill Charter Public School. While she attended, she spent time volunteering at the YMCA on Huntington Avenue, playing on the volleyball team, and participating in the Art Club. She plans to major in psychology at Wheelock. She is interested in working with children who grew up dealing with bullying or discrimination.



Meghan Rubadou
Meghan RubadoMeghan, from Taunton, MA, is deeply passionate about her religion and has used this passion to impact different areas of her community through her volunteer work. As a short-term missionary, she traveled to Guatemala with her team from Christ Community Church and took part in building resources for the village of El Arco. While in Guatemala she found a love caring for and interacting with children in hospitals. Now a graduate of Taunton High School, she intends to major in child life. With a growing passion for missions and travel, she's looking forward to returning to Guatemala and other locations. In her spare time, Meghan enjoys the performing arts and creating visual art.


Class of 2018

Freddy Mata
Freddy MataFreddy is deeply passionate about racial equality and has started a group that helps minority students with their college applications, which he hopes to continue while a Wheelock student. Freddy is a first-generation college student from Randolph, MA. He graduated from Cristo Rey Boston High School, a college-preparatory school for low-income students. Since the age of 10, he has been involved in service at his church, and he helps teach Sunday school. He volunteers in many youth programs, as a math tutor, and as a mentor to younger high school students. During his junior year, Freddy took an international trip with his school to Nairobi, Kenya, where he uncovered his passion for service. He is planning to double major in Communications & Media Literacy and American Studies.

Sara Mendez
Sarah MendezSara graduated from Boston Community Leadership Academy, a pilot high school in the Boston Public Schools system. She is passionate about Wheelock's mission, improving the lives of children and families, and would like to assist those who are homeless or lacking a support system. Sara has always had an inner passion for service, but an experience during her junior year of high school solidified her calling. Working with buildOn, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to break the cycle of poverty, illiteracy, and low expectations through service and education, Sara volunteered in multiple locations monthly. Her most empowering service experience was when she traveled to Senegal to help build a school in a village, and learned about a new culture and the importance of education. When she returned to school, she became part of Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción (IBA), a program that empowers individuals through education, workforce development, and arts programs and creates vibrant affordable housing communities. Sara was motivated to come to Wheelock because of its mission and commitment to service and social justice, and she plans to study Social Work.

Carishmar "Cari" Moore
Cari MooreCari graduated from the Commonwealth School in Boston. Her passion is working with children. During high school, she volunteered at Excel Charter School and Beacon Academy and served on her school's Diversity Committee. Cari was a pivotal member of the committee and represented her school at the national Student Diversity Leadership Conference. She also helped the Commonwealth School to engage in challenging conversations about race and class. Her favorite service experience was through the Amigos de las Américas program, where she was able to travel to Mexico and work with young people. The experience was empowering for Cari, because as she educated others about healthy living and intercultural acceptance, she learned about herself and grew as a person. Cari is pursuing a degree in Early Childhood Education at Wheelock and hopes to manage her own child care center one day.

Amarielis "Amy" Morales
Amy MoralesAmy graduated from Boston Community Leadership Academy, a pilot high school in the Boston Public Schools System. Her passion is helping families in need. She strives to create opportunities for all members of her community, including children, adults, and animals. During high school, Amy volunteered in homeless shelters and animal shelters, but her most meaningful service project was through the organization buildOn, which aims to build a better future for the youth of America while building schools in some of the world's poorest countries. With buildOn, Amy traveled to Senegal, stayed with a host family, and built the foundation of a school. While at Wheelock, she hopes to devote her time to early intervention reading programs for young people and would like to engage in service learning opportunities to other communities and countries. Amy is pursuing a degree in Juvenile Justice and Youth Advocacy.

Jazmin Wallace
Jazmin WallaceJazmin is a graduate of Taunton High School. Her passion is working with underprivileged kids and she feels that her core purpose in life is to serve others. As a high school student, Jazmin was actively involved in community service from organizing canned food drives and tutoring to volunteering at a nursing home. She was the president of her school's Key Club, a student-led service club, and used her leadership position to organize students' efforts to support several programs, including collecting donations for Toys for Tots and creating Thanksgiving baskets for families in need. Her most meaningful service experience was being involved in the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life. As a team captain, Jazmin recruited 20 students to walk and fundraise for the cancer-prevention program, and raised $5,200. At Wheelock, Jazmin is pursuing a degree in Elementary Education and hopes to become an elementary school teacher.

Class of 2017

Alexandra "Lexi" Abrecht
A;exandra AlbrechtLexi graduated from Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall School in Waltham, MA, where she was a member of the National Honor Society and received the Headmaster’s Book Prize for social consciousness, bravery, and leadership. At Wheelock, Lexi is double majoring in the child life dual-degree master’s program and counseling psychology and minoring in autism. She is passionate about working with children and providing healthy support systems. She currently volunteers on the hematology/oncology unit at Boston Children’s Hospital. Lexi is also a member of the Pi Gamma Mu chapter at Wheelock, an international honor society of the social sciences whose mission is to “encourage and promote excellence in the social sciences and to uphold the ideals of scholarship and service.”

Zachary "Zach" Kerr
Zachary KerrDuring his time at Methuen High School, Zach became a national spokesperson and advocate for transgender students, speaking at schools across the state. As a member of the Massachusetts Commission on LGBTQ Youth, he successfully advocated for updating the regulations in the student anti-discrimination law to include gender identity, and met with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to discuss ways in which the DOE can support transgender students most effectively. In 2013, Zach received the Nickelodeon HALO Award for his work to support LGBT students. He was featured in Out Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the LGBT community. Zach recently completed a training with the U.S. Office for Civil Rights, and he serves as a Youth Advisory Board Member of the Born This Way Foundation, where he has helped young people develop new skills to enhance their advocacy and find strength in a new community of peers. He also serves as the president of Wheelock’s Gender and Sexuality Alliance. Zach is studying social work and plans to continue his work to support transgender youth.

Karen Morales
Karen MoralesKaren graduated from Fenway High School in the Boston Public Schools, where she developed her commitment to supporting others and building community. Through her church, she has helped disadvantaged communities improve their access to food and basic health screenings. She is currently one of the leaders in her youth group at church and is a Sunday school teacher who works directly with infants and toddlers. As a Wheelock student, Karen had two transformational service learning experiences with fellow students and faculty: She traveled to New Orleans to support ongoing rebuilding efforts, and she visited West Africa and worked with children in schools. Karen is passionate about child welfare and working with survivors of trauma around the globe. She is majoring in social work.

Passion for Action Alumni

Lea Bartolo '14/'15MS
Amanda Belair '14
Tamera Boggs '13
Monique Brunner '12
Laylin Chong '12/'13MSW
Ryley Copans '16
Emily Daddio '13
Jacqueline "Jacky" Elias '15
Ariel Folkerts '13
Ava Jennings '12/'15MS
Emily Jestus '15
Claire Kawski '15
Lisa Kriszun '12
Seaniece Martin '16
Carmen Piedad '16
Rachel Robohm '13
Danielle Spivack '16
Melissa Catherine Tineo '15
Lyonel Traversiere '14

For information about the Wheelock College Passion for Action Scholarship Program or the Passion for Action Leadership Award Dinner, please contact Stephen Muzrall, Director of Major Gifts & Planned Giving, at 617-879-2266 or

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