Wheelock College Celebrates Methuen Scholar

October 28, 2013

Andover Patch

Zachary KerrWheelock College celebrates Zachary Kerr, a Methuen 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. The fourth Passion for Action Leadership Award Dinner will celebrate the positive social entrepreneurship of the Wheelock scholarship recipients. Year Up and its founder Gerald Chertavian will be awarded the 2013 Passion for Action Leadership Award to honor their work in closing the Opportunity Divide for thousands of young adults across the United States. The event will feature a keynote address by Anuradha Koirala, the Founder and Executive Director of Maiti Nepal, who CNN recognized in 2010 as one of the TOP 10 Heroes of the world.

Wheelock College's four-year Passion for Action Scholarship Program is given to incoming freshmen from greater Boston who already demonstrated an exceptional commitment to community service and involvement.

Kerr graduated from Methuen High School, where he was president of the Gay-Straight Alliance. As president, he developed multiple programs to educate not only his classmates but also his teachers and the staff at the school. In addition, he has spoken to students from more than 200 schools across the state to raise awareness about transgender students. As a member of the Massachusetts Commission on LGBT Youth, he met with Governor Deval Patrick and Commissioner Mitchell Chester (Department of Elementary and Secondary Education) to advocate for updating the regulations on the recently amended student anti-discrimination law to include gender identity, a change that went into effect just a few months after that meeting. Kerr also met with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to discuss ways in which the DOE can support transgender students most effectively. For his tremendous dedication to advocacy for LGBT Youth, Kerr recently received the Massachusetts Advocates for Children 2013 Youth Advocate of the Year Award.

With the funds raised through the inaugural event, the College created the Passion for Action Scholarship Program for outstanding incoming Wheelock students from Greater Boston. The scholarship is paired with a unique academic program which develops these students' leadership and community service skills. The first Passion Scholars graduated from Wheelock in May 2012, and there are currently 17 Passion Scholars enrolled, with an additional five scholarships awarded to each 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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