Passion for Action Leadership Award Dinner November 14, 2007

Lead Sponsors
  • Emerging Leaders Award Sponsors
  • The Jenzabar Foundation
  • Shawmut Design and Construction
  • Anonymous (2)
  • Larry & Atsuko Fish
  • Ted & Beedee Ladd
  • Robert A. Lincoln
  • Education Equals Prosperity Sponsors
  • Anonymous
  • Keena & Chris Clifford
  • Tufts Health Plan

2007 Emerging Leaders

Laylin Chong
Laylin Chong is a senior year at Brighton High School. Laylin is the Vice President of her school's National Honor Society, where she has volunteered for UNICEF, the Red Cross, and Project Bread. She is a Peer Mediator, where she works to enhance the school environment by resolving conflicts among students. She is an active participant in many school groups, such as the Gay Straight Alliance, the Asian Club, and the Key Club. Additionally, Laylin is a Brighton High athlete and is ranked 7th in her class. While being engaged in so many school activities, Laylin also works 30 hours a week at an ice cream shop to support her family.

"She is a young woman characterized by her leadership, community service, commitment to excellence, and motivation," said John Travers, JROTC Instructor and Senior Class Advisor. Laylin loves active volunteer work, such as participating in Project Bread's Walk for Hunger. "I'm one person who is helping to change the world," she said.

Laylin has a lot of interests and would consider studying international business, forensic science, or psychology in college. Laylin came to the United States from Ecuador when she was 8 years old. Laylin lives with her father and brother. Her mother and 2 half-brothers still live in Ecuador.

Allison Colonna
Allison Colonna is a senior year at Charlestown High School. Allison is a leader of the Beantown Society, a youth created and run after school program whose mission is to unite youth across race and class in Boston to end violence. She serves as the curriculum coordinator of the program and leads a group of four to prepare and facilitate social justice education workshops. She recently created a workshop around Al Gore's movie an Inconvenient Truth. Allison led a group of 30 youth in a discussion on the causes and impact of global warming. In the fall of 2007, Allison will become the co-director of the program.

"Allison is a powerful, intelligent, and creative community leader who uses her gifts to make change in her community," said Seth Kirshenbaum, High School Program Director.

Allison has a lot of pride in her neighborhood and is considered the "unofficial mayor of her street" as she plans community clean-ups and block parties. She is also involved in a number of artistic programs, such as Urban Improv. She is interested in studying pre-med in college and becoming a coroner. She would love to attend Simmons College. Allison has three sisters and five cats.

Jacqueline Elysee
Jacqueline (Jackie) Elysee is a senior at Madison Park Technical Vocational High School. Jackie is also an active participant in The City School in Dorchester, a nonprofit organization and center for civic education that develops leaders for long-term action on social issues. Jackie is a Student Leader in the Youth Outreach Weekend program, service retreats for high school students concerned with poverty and homelessness. Jackie leads overnight programs for Massachusetts teen where she facilitates workshops about inequality and organizes community service visits to Boston shelters and assisted living sites.

"She went beyond her own responsibilities to help others in need, even me, the Director. I was sick during this program…without hesitation, Jackie stepped in," said Amit Sarin, the Director of the Program.

Jackie also works to end youth violence in Boston and recently testified to City Councilors at City Hall. Jackie participated in The City School's rally in front of City Hall to promote youth jobs. Jackie currently works at the Court House in South Boston as Judge's staff. She would like to attend USC and become and entertainment lawyer. Jackie has two sisters, including a twin.

Irene Jor
Irene Jor is a senior at the Academy of the Pacific Rim Charter Public School in Hyde Park. Irene is described by her college counselor as "an amazing young woman - very talented in academics and athletics, and a passionate advocate for social justice." On the national level, Irene is a Youth Council Member of Youth Service America, a group dedicated to building a global culture of engaged youth who are committed to a lifetime of service, learning, leadership, and achievement. Irene helped to found her school's Model UN group through the United Nations' Global Classroom Initiative and is a Youth Council Member for Boston Center for Community and Justice. Irene also volunteers for Youth Enrichment Services, which provides access to outdoor trips (like skiing and snowboarding) for city youth.

Irene is a Peer Educator and Mentor though the STAR program at Casa Myrna Vasquez, which educates teens about dating and domestic violence. Irene is also the co-captain of her Metro Lacrosse team, a program for urban youth that teaches RESPECT - Responsibility, Effort, Sportsmanship, Participation, Enthusiasm, Communication, and Teamwork.

"Traveling has given me a lot of unique volunteer experiences," said Irene. She has visited China and participated in an Outward Bound program in Oregon. This past summer, Irene was in South Africa, Mozambique, and Namibia doing community service work. Irene is a first generation American; her parents came to the United States from China when they were in their 20s. Irene lives with her parents and younger brothers.

Jason Sandler
Jason Sandler is a senior at The Roxbury Latin School in West Roxbury. Jason became involved with Habitat for Humanity when he learned that the organization was building a home in Plainville for a single mother with three children. During the summer, Jason volunteered to staff a concession stand at Foxboro stadium to raise money for the build. He and his friends helped build the house on the weekends. Jason also worked with Habitat's Greater Boston Chapter to build a 22-unit condominium complex in Dorchester.

Jason wanted to provide more needy families with housing so he looked into founding a Habitat for Humanity Chapter at his school and spearheaded the effort. Last February, Roxbury Latin became an official Habitat for Humanity chapter with Jason as president. More than twenty Roxbury Latin students participated in the Hike for Habitat fundraiser, have raised more than $3,000 in support of urban builds, and volunteer at the construction sites.

"Jason is an honors student, a dedicated member of the Cross Country and Track teams, and an award-winning member of the debate and Model UN Teams. He is truly an emerging leader who will continue to work in service to others," said Joan Regan, Community Service Coordinator. His community service work is influenced by role models like Martin Luther King, Jr., President Jimmy Carter, and Mother Theresa. "I've been inspired by their message to give what you have to help other people," he said. He is also influenced by one of his school's mottos, "From those to whom much has been given, much will be expected." "Each of us can only do so much, but by being a leader and getting people together, the more we can accomplish," Jason said.

Jason speaks French, sings on his school's Glee Club, and founded a school recycling program. He is also an artist and currently teaches young students at the Charles River Creative Arts Program. Jason is interested in becoming an M.D., so he would like to pursue science and medicine in college. Jason is an only child who lives with his father, mother, and many family pets, including a horse.

  • Event Leadership:
    • Trish Karter, President and CEO, Dancing Deer Baking Co.
    • Ranch C. Kimball, President and CEO, Joslin Diabetes Center
    • Edward "Ted" Ladd, Director and Chairman Emeritus, Standish Mellon Asset Management
  • Honorary Event Chairs:
    • Governor Deval L. Patrick and First Lady Diane B. Patrick
  • Honorary Committee:
    • Senator Edward Kennedy and Mrs. Victoria Reggie Kennedy
    • Senator John F. Kerry and Mrs. Teresa Heinz Kerry
    • Congressman Michael E. Capuano
    • Attorney General Martha Coakley
    • Senate President Therese Murray
    • Speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi
    • Mayor Thomas M. Menino
  • Host Committee:
    • Judith and Robert Anderson
    • Henry Becton, Jr.
    • Edward J. Benz, MD
    • Sandy and Ted Bowers
    • Ellen Burnham
    • Maureen and Ed Coakley
    • Grace Fey
    • Larry Fish
    • Carol Fulp
    • Paul S. Grogan
    • Barbara and Steve Grossman
    • Frank Hayes
    • Tina and Bill Helm
    • Philip W. Johnston
    • Hubie Jones
    • Robin and Tripp Jones
    • Wendell J. Knox
    • Gloria and Allen Larson
    • Elizabeth and Paige L'Hommedieu
    • Robert A. Lincoln
    • Frances and Monroe "Bud" Moseley
    • Thomas P. O'Neill III
    • Tom Payzant
    • Colette A.M. Phillips
    • James Roosevelt, Jr.
    • Barbara and Robert Sallick
    • Jim Scott
    • Barry R. Sloane
    • Jonathan G. Sloane
    • Meg Vaillancourt

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