Meet Wheelock's Passion Scholars

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.

Danielle Spivack
Danielle SpivakDanielle graduated from Whitman-Hanson Regional High School, where she was heavily involved in service activities. Danielle loves working with children and served as a volunteer at Boston Children’s Hospital for three years. Through her major of political science, she discovered her passion for social justice. This passion led her on a service learning trip to Scandinavia to compare social policies from Sweden, Denmark, and Norway with those in the United States. While there, she visited prisons, schools, municipalities, and nonprofits, and these experiences opened her eyes to alternative systems. Since then, she has become an activist for social issues such as education, sexism, racism, and disparities in the criminal justice system. After graduating in May, Danielle plans on moving to Israel, where she will further pursue her passion for social reform.

Class of 2016

Rae Copans
Rae CopansRae is from Salem, MA, where they graduated from Salem Academy Charter School. Rae is passionate about safe schools, equality, and basic human rights, especially LGBTQ+ rights, advocacy and activism. In 2010, they founded a web-based nonprofit called Stand Up, Speak Out in response to personal experience and hearing stories of young people taking their lives. Stand Up, Speak Out was founded with the mission to educate children and adults about the issue of bullying and its often everlasting and sometimes fatal effects. It also encouraged people to express themselves and their thoughts and feelings through creative means. Since its creation, the organization has expanded to address mental health, suicide awareness and prevention, and to provide LGBTQ+ resources and advocacy. In 2012, Stand Up, Speak Out's anti-bullying efforts gained the notice of Lady Gaga's Born This Way Foundation, and Rae was invited to attend the launch of the Foundation at Harvard University. The University's researchers were assisting the Born This Way Foundation, and Rae was one of a handful of youth doing anti-bullying work already whom they interviewed for input. Recently, Rae became the first Wheelock student to receive a Sylvia Earl Innovation Award. The award supported the improvement of Stand Up, Speak Out's online presence through the expansion and redesign of the organization's website: ,

Seaniece Martin
Seaniece MartinSeaniece is a first-generation college student from Dorchester in the city of Boston. She graduated from the Boston Arts Academy, a school for the performing arts. During her high school years, she played many student roles, such as Peer Mentor, Student-Advisor, Youth Empowerment Leader, and more. Seaniece also volunteered for community service projects that included work at OrigiNation Cultural Arts Center, a dance studio, and elderly homes. It was at A Child's View Early Learning Center that she developed an anti-bullying program for preschoolers. The program was based on song, dance, and poetry. Seaniece was honored for her service by NECN TV in a special titled "Future of Black History." At Wheelock, she is pursuing a double major in Early Childhood Education and Psychology & Human Development, and is continuing her work inspiring young children.

Carmen Piedad
Carmen PiedadCarmen lives in Jamaica Plain and graduated from Concord-Carlisle High School. She is double majoring in American Studies and Juvenile Justice & Youth Advocacy and is in the Honors Program. She participates in the Colleges of the Fenway Chorus and is a member of CAB, a club that organizes fun activities for the students on campus. This year, Carmen is volunteering for a nonprofit organization called the Boston City Singers, where she is an active member of the Board of Directors as well as works with the students in the youth choir. Her most empowering service experience was traveling to New Orleans with fellow classmates. She was struck by Wheelock's positive presence in that community and proud of our commitment to work alongside the citizens of New Orleans to rebuild their city. Carmen plans to study abroad in spring of 2015 and hopes to nurture her passion for service and travel.

Passion for Action Alumni

Lea Bartolo '14 Jacqueline Elias '15 Rachel Robohm '13
Amanda Belair' 14 Ariel Folkerts '13 Lindsey Snyder '13
Tamera Boggs '13 Ava Jennings '12 Melissa Tineo '15
Monique Brunner '12 Emily Jestus '15 Lyonel Traversiere '14
Laylin Chong '12/'13MS Claire Kawski '15
Emily Daddio '13 Lisa Kriszun '12

For information about the Wheelock College Passion for Action Scholarship Program or the Passion for Action Leadership Award Dinner, please contact Rebecca Lombardo, Director of Annual Giving, at 617-879-2328 or

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