Passion for Action Scholarship Program Alumni

Class of 2014

Lea Bartolo, Class of 2014

Lea BartoloLea graduated in 2009 from South Shore Christian Academy in Weymouth, where she was a member of the National Honor Society and participated in many outreaches to children and families. Since high school she has been a part of service trips to New Orleans, Mexico, and Belize, on which she helped bring medical supplies to health centers and clothing to children and families in need while also working alongside educators at local elementary schools. These trips have enabled her to apply all that she has learned in the classroom to real-life situations. Her experiences have allowed her to be an encouragement and a light to less fortunate children and families in different countries. She hopes she has planted a seed of motivation to see change in those communities. Lea is currently pursuing a dual degree in Human Development and Psychology with an expected graduation of 2014 and a master's degree in Child Life that she hopes to receive in 2015. She hopes to establish her career in Boston, assisting hospitalized children with acute and chronic medical conditions and supporting families as they begin their journeys of caring for children with severe medical needs.

Amanda Belair, Class of 2014
Amanda BelairAmanda Belair is from Lynn, MA. She graduated from St. Mary's Jr./Sr. High School, which she attended since the seventh grade. At St. Mary's, she played varsity lacrosse her junior and senior years. She also danced for 15 years at LeAnne Leslie's School of Theatrical Dance, where she has volunteered assistant teaching and helped organize summer dance camp programs. In February 2010, Amanda volunteered at Camp Sunshine, where she worked with toddler-age children, some of whom had terminal illnesses. She is studying Elementary Education and Mathematics and is a Senator of the Sign Choir club on campus. Amanda has been to New Orleans to rebuild houses destroyed by Hurricane Katrina three times since her first trip in January 2012. She has also been to Belfast, Northern Ireland, to learn about the anti-violence curriculum they use in their early childhood classrooms.

Lyonel Traversiere, Class of 2014
Lyonel TravesiereLyonel was born in Boston and grew up in Mattapan. He is the youngest son of a couple who left their native land of Haiti to search for opportunity and try to create a future in this country. As he watched the struggles and hardships of his parents, he always said to himself that he would give to them, and to anyone else with whom he was fortunate enough to come into contact, the gifts of affection, safety, and motivation. At Wheelock, he is studying Human Growth and Development with a concentration in Psychology, works in the Student Life Office and the Library, and serves as a resident assistant. Through his studies, hard work, and extracurricular activities, Lyonel feels he is one step closer to helping the world around him and showing his parents that their sacrifices were not in vain.

Read more about Lyonel in the Boston Haitian Reporter.

Class of 2013

Tamera Boggs, Class of 2013
Tamera BoggsTamera graduated from Boston Community Leadership Academy and was a member of the National Honor Society. As a member of the Reebok 4 Real Human Rights Student Advocate Program there, she worked with peers to raise awareness around Boston about human rights issues in Zimbabwe. She worked with the same group of students and Reebok employees to teach people about the water shortage in Swaziland and raise money to build a water irrigation system at a school there. Outside of school, Tamera enjoys mentoring and spending time with the younger kids in her neighborhood. As a Wheelock sophomore, she volunteered as an Ubuntu Youth Corps SPARK the Truth mentor, working with high school students to campaign against Boston violence. A Social Work and Juvenile Justice & Youth Advocacy major, she has also worked as a Human Growth and Development tutor. This year, Tamera is also vice president of the Juvenile Justice and Youth Advocacy/SPARK the Truth Club.

Click here to read about Tamera in the news.

Ariel Folkerts, Class of 2013
Ariel FolkertsAriel, a graduate of Winchester High School, is zealous about community service. She has traveled to six states with Habitat for Humanity, and this past spring she participated in Wheelock's New Orleans service-learning trip. As part of a peer leadership program through the Winchester Youth Center, Ariel volunteered at countless local events and even planned her own, including a group called Pact, where eighth-grade girls gathered to discuss body image, peer pressure, and the transition from middle school to high school. Ariel hopes to start a similar program in the future. Passionate and excited about becoming a role model for and mentor to other young women, she strives to create in them a sense of self-acceptance during times of transition. Ariel is a Humanities major with a Literature focus, and she is also part of the Community-Based Human Services certificate program. She hopes to someday be a college adviser or high school senior guidance counselor.

Rachel Robohm, Class of 2013
Rachel RobohmRachel is a graduate of Oliver Ames High School in North Easton, MA. There, she succeeded in being a very active part of her school's student mentor program and athletic department. She has continued being active in school activities during her time at Wheelock as well: Since she was a freshman, she has been a starter on the Wheelock College field hockey team while still maintaining a high GPA. Off the field she has also been a student adviser for the freshman class as well as a math leader. This past summer she took part in a service-learning trip to New Orleans, where she helped with the rebuilding from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Some of the things Rachel is looking forward to this year are her international service-learning trip and her participation in the Policy Fellows Program. She is majoring in Elementary Education and Math/Science.  

Lindsey Snyder, Class of 2013
Lindsey SnyderLindsey graduated from Mansfield High School, where she was a member of the Music National Honor Society and the Performing Arts Club. Lindsey worked with the Project Teammate program at her school to help special needs children with their classes. Her love of working with children with special needs has prompted her to take her work outside the classroom, where she helped start a business where Project Teammate alumni could go to work after high school. She was also a Girl Scout and took part in multiple community service projects to help feed the hungry over the years, such as community soup kitchens, the Cook for a Cause program, Heifer International, and Hope for the Future.  Lindsey is majoring in Performing Arts and Special Education at Wheelock.

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

Class of 2012

Monique Brunner, Class of 2012
Monique BrunnerMonique joined the Wheelock community from the first public high school in the U.S., The English High School. She graduated both as the vice president of National Honor Society and a Student Council member. Monique was one of 16 teen ambassadors at the Boston Nature Center, an internship program designed to help build leaders and responsible members of their communities. Monique worked with the Teen Empowerment Program to organize a Youth Peace Summit for Boston teens. She is keeping her commitment to creating positive change within both her school and her neighborhood community. Monique was the co-vice president of the Black Student Union and a co-facilitator of a program called Campus Conversations on Race (CCOR). She double majored in Human Development and Juvenile Justice & Youth Advocacy, and she is attending graduate school.

Monique is currently working as a boat shop instructor for the Maritime Apprentice Program (MAP), offered by the Hull Life Saving Museum. MAP is a year-round exploration training opportunity for at risk young men and woman. The program creates an environment where these young individuals gain the necessary skills to live as productive citizens. As an advocate for Social Justice and Positive Youth Development practices, she could not have found a better fit for a post-graduate job.

Laylin Chong,  Class of 2012
Laylin ChongLaylin came to Wheelock from Brighton High School in Boston, where she was an athlete and was ranked seventh in her class, and she was one of five high school students recognized as an "Emerging Leader" by Wheelock at the November 2007 Passion for Action Leadership Award Dinner. Laylin was vice president of the National Honor Society of her school, where she volunteered for UNICEF, the Red Cross, and Project Bread. She was a peer mediator, working to enhance the school environment by resolving conflicts among students. She was also an active participant in many school groups, such as the Gay Straight Alliance, the Latinos In Action Club, the Asian Club, and the Key Club. At Wheelock, she was a member of La Herencia Latina.

Laylin finished her undergraduate degree with a Social Work major and is currently continuing her education with Wheelock, pursuing a Masters in Social Work.

Emily Daddio,  Class of 2012
Emily DaddioEmily joined the Wheelock community from Somerville High School in Somerville, MA. She majored in Human Development and Special Education with a focus in Children, Families, and Culture. As a part of the Passion for Action Program, Emily had the unique opportunity to work in an Early Intervention Program in Jamaica Plain, MA, where she learned the ins and outs of the process of creating an IEP for children with exceptional needs. Emily also had the opportunity to travel to New Orleans and West Africa, which became the time when everlasting bonds between the members of her cohort first began. She uses the knowledge she gained from her experiences in the professional world.

Emily currently works in the Somerville Public Schools as a one-on-one paraprofessional in a fourth through sixth grade self-contained classroom. She looks forward to being a classroom teacher in the next year and pursuing her Master's degree at that time. "Although learning about your field in school teaches you some things, it is not until you are fully encompassed into your field that you truly learn the meaning of changing the lives of children and families."

Ava Jennings,  Class of 2012
Ava JenningsAva graduated from the John D. O'Bryant School of Mathematics and Science (of the Boston Public Schools). She has been committed to working in her community since her adolescent years, starting as a teen editor and peer leader for the magazine Teen Voices, a journalism mentoring and leadership development program for teenage girls. Ava first became part of the Wheelock community in 2006, when she participated in the TEACHBoston Summer Academy, and she later joined the TEACHBoston Advisory Board. She was also a member of Wheelock's Jumpstart program, has interned for Massachusetts Rep. Kay Khan as a Wheelock Policy Fellow, and has traveled to Ghana and Benin in West Africa to teach English literacy. A participant in Wheelock's Upward Bound program, she also worked with the BPS Teacher Diversity Task Force as a student alum adviser. Ava majored in Human Development with a focus in Children, Families, and Culture and Early Childhood Education, and graduated with honors.

After graduation, Ava was a lead preschool teacher for seven months at a private school in Roxbury, MA, but decided she wanted to return to the Boston Public Schools setting. She is currently a fourth grade paraprofessional in a sheltered English immersion (SEI) and regular education classroom at the Curley K-8 School in Jamaica Plain. Although her degree is in early education, she enjoys teaching fourth grade and is taking this time to gain more teaching experience and work toward her teacher's license for fall of 2013. She hopes to have her own classroom next year and pursue a graduate degree.

Lisa Kriszun,  Class of 2012
Lisa KriszunLisa is originally from Berlin, Germany, where she went to the John F. Kennedy School. She moved to the United States in 2007 with her family and graduated from Newton South High School in 2008. At Wheelock she majored in Elementary Education as well as in Math & Science with a focus in Environmental Science, and maintained a near perfect GPA. Through the Passion for Action Scholarship Program, she participated in the Women's Forum in New Hampshire, completed an internship at the Massachusetts Statehouse, and traveled to New Orleans and Guatemala City to expand her perspective as an informed leader. She is actively pursuing greater cultural and environmental awareness in society. After graduation, she began engaging in policy and education practices to realize positive change.

Lisa is currently teaching Senior Anatomy and Physiology at Newton North High School through the Newton Teacher Residency Program. As part of the program she will earn her high school licensure. In addition, Lisa also teaches sixth grade at the German Saturday School and hopes to pursue a Master's degree in the next year.

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

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