Meet Wheelock's Passion for Action Scholars

Class of 2021

Teja HillegasTeja Hillegas

Teja lives in Dorchester, MA, and graduated from New Mission High School, a Boston Public School. She is passionate about supporting the LGBTQ community. In high school, she was President of the Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) and served as an ally and advocate for her peers through school-wide events, rallies, and meetings aimed at spreading knowledge and awareness about LGBTQ issues. She plans to major in psychology and hopes to participate in Wheelock's Child Life Program.

Stephanie JeantyStephanie Jeanty

Stephanie is from Boston and graduated from a City on a Hill Charter Public School. She was an English language learner in high school and offered to support fellow ESL students during her free block, as a way of giving back. As an upperclassman, she also served as a Freshman Academy Mentor, supporting teachers, administrators, and peers during freshman orientation. Outside of school, she spends time at Boston Children's Hospital, serving as a volunteer in its daycare. She is passionate about working with young children and hopes to become a teacher. Stephanie is majoring in early childhood education.

Sarah MejiaSarah Mejia

Sarah lives in East Boston and attended Boston Latin Academy (BLA), a Boston Public School, where she was a strong and involved student. She participated in many organizations, such as the Red Cross Club and the Coalition Against Student Apathy, and also worked on BLA's theatrical productions. She founded a Race-Relations Awareness Program at her school and organized a Multi-Cultural Night with support from a variety of groups. Sarah would like to continue that type of work at Wheelock. Outside of school, Sarah has been a Sunday School teacher at her church for many years.

Hannah SheehanHannah Sheehan

Hannah lives in Braintree, MA, and graduated from Braintree High School, where she was an active and hardworking student. Hannah has been a volunteer for the Special Olympics since sixth grade. In high school, she volunteered for Best Buddies and became the Chapter President in her town. Hannah was one of only a few students from Massachusetts selected to travel to Indiana to participate in the 2017 Best Buddies Global Student Leader Conference. At Wheelock, she is studying early childhood education and hopes to one day receive her master's in special education and doctorate in education. She'd like to found an integrated preschool, or become an administrator to help improve public and/or special education systems.

 

Class of 2020

Anthony Buonopane photoAnthony Buonopane

Anthony 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 is majoring in Political Science and Global Studies, with a minor in Leadership. Anthony hopes to become a special education teacher, but he also has an interest in politics.

Daniela Ramirez photoDaniela Ramirez

Daniela 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 is enrolled in the Child Life Program with a minor in Visual Arts. She also hopes to be able to have more service learning travel experiences during her time in college.

Paige Spence PhotoPaige Spence

Paige, 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 is majoring in Human Development - Developmental Psychology and Early Childhood Education, with a minor in Leadership. She hopes to be an elementary school teacher.

Soyini Wilcox photoSoyini Wilcox

Soyini 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 is majoring in Math/Science for Teaching and Elementary Education, and minoring in Understanding Autism. She is involved in Jumpstart, Campus Activities Board (CAB), and Teach, Learn, Create (TLC).

 

Class of 2019

Carolyn LopezCarolyn Lopez

Carolyn, 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 is majoring in Human Development - Developmental Psychology and Early Childhood Education. In her spare time, she enjoys playing lacrosse, singing, and dancing.

Laura MejiaLaura Mejia

Laura 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. Laura is majoring in Humanities-Literature and Early Childhood Education.

 Lisvet PeraltaLisvet Peralta

Lisvet, 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 is majoring in Human Development/Psychology - Counseling Psychology with a minor in Juvenile Justice and Child Advocacy. She is interested in working with children who grew up dealing with bullying or discrimination.

Meghan RubadouMeghan Rubadou

Meghan, 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 A graduate of Taunton High School, she is currently a Visual Arts and Child Life double major with minors in Political Science/Global Studies and Child Health. 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 MataFreddy Mata

Freddy 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. At Wheelock, he is majoring in Political Science/Global Studies.

Sarah MendezSara Mendez

Sara 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. She is majoring in Social Work with a minor in Leadership.

Amy MoralesAmarielis "Amy" Morales

Amy 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. She is majoring in Yourth Justice and Advocacy.

Jazmin WallaceJazmin Wallace

Jazmin 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 a double major in Math/Science for Teaching and Elementary Education with a minor in Leadership.

 

Passion for Action Alumni

Alexandra "Lexi" Abrecht ‘17
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
Zachary "Zach" Kerr ‘17
Lisa Kriszun '12
Seaniece Martin '16
Karen Morales ‘17
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, Assistant Vice President for Development, at 617-879-2266 or smuzrall@wheelock.edu.

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