Wheelock College Celebrates Southborogh Scholar

October 16, 2013

Marlborough Patch

Gwendolyn SaffranWheelock College celebrates Gwendolyn Saffran, a Southborogh local and member of the Wheelock Class of 2017, along with 16 other Passion for Action Scholars at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, on Wednesday, November 6, 2013 from 6-9 p.m. This fourth Passion for Action Leadership Award Dinner celebrates the positive social entrepreneurship of the Wheelock scholarship recipients. The Wheelock College four-year Passion for Action Scholarship is given to incoming freshmen from greater Boston who have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to community service and involvement.

At the celebration, the College honors Year Up and its founder Gerald Chertavian who will be awarded the 2013 Passion for Action Leadership Award for their work in closing the Opportunity Divide for thousands of young adults across the United States. The Leadership Award Dinner features a keynote address by Anuradha Koirala, the Founder and Executive Director of Maiti Nepal, recognized by CNN in 2010 as one of the TOP 10 Heroes of the world.

A graduate of Algonquin Regional High School, Saffran has spent more than seven years volunteering in life skills classes for intellectually, developmentally, and physically disabled students and was hired as the youngest employee in the program as a special education aide. The friendships she developed and skills she learned through her volunteering work and working with her brother, who has autism, led to her work with the Special Olympics, where she was a coach for 12 years. While a middle school student she started a local version of the "R-Word: Spread the Word to End the Word" campaign. This campaign was designed to educate students about the negative use of the word "retarded." She is also an active member of Best Buddies.

Wheelock College created the Passion for Action Scholarship Program in 2007 for outstanding incoming Wheelock students from Greater Boston. The scholarship provides a $20,000 annual award toward Wheelock College tuition and is paired with a unique academic program which develops students' leadership and community service skills. The first Passion Scholars graduated from Wheelock in May 2012; there are currently 17 Passion Scholars enrolled. Five scholarships are awarded every year to members of the incoming class.

The proceeds from the 2013 Passion for Action Leadership Award Dinner will support the growth of this special scholarship program.

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