Passion for Action Scholarship Program Alumni
Monique Brunner, Class of 2012
Monique 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 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
EEmily 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 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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.