WellesleyWeston Magazine

FALL 2018

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: https://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/1011917

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program and notes, "People had never seen this at the park before. The booth had no reputation, there was no advertising." The library quickly became popular with park visitors, and Voci learned to spread the word. She now publicizes the mobile library, post- ing flyers at the Waltham public library, in supermarkets, and at the Waltham Boys and Girls Club. Since the first summer, the mobile library has continued, and grown. Voci now has about 10 volunteers working with her. The library has received additional funding from a Wellesley Hills Junior Women's Club scholarship and through social media fundraising. The group also organizes book drives for gently used book donations. Two years after starting the mobile library, Voci noticed a need within her school community. "I saw a divide between students who lived in the town and those who came from Boston. I really wanted to bridge the gap between students through volunteer work." With this goal in mind, Voci started the Wellesley High School Diversity Club in 2016, during her junior year. Club members — from diverse racial, reli- gious, and socioeconomic backgrounds — meet weekly and work with advisor Grant Hightower, the METCO coordinator for WHS. Members volunteer in various capacities at homeless shelters in Boston and Cambridge, mentoring elementary school students in reading and math, and collecting and distributing new books at events like the World of Wellesley's Community Gathering. At the conclusion of her senior year, Voci was awarded the Youth Centennial Service Award by the Wellesley Service League. Voci, who will attend the College of Science and Mathematics at the University of Massachusetts this fall, encourages any student interested in getting involved in community service or starting a school club to just do it. "Even if you start out small, keep going. Don't give up." Lily Harmon At the time of this interview, 15-year-old Lily Harmon was preparing to spend a month in Tanzania — hiking, exploring, camping — and helping. Harmon was part of a group of Wellesley High School students on a trip organized and run by World Challenge. The month consists of four phases: acclimatization, challenge, project, and R & R. During the proj- ect phase, which lasts five to eight days, students visit a village and do whatever is needed as directed by local contacts there. It might be build- ing, painting, clean up, or other projects. The group is led by a leader from World Challenge as well as a teacher from WHS. For the last two trips, in 2014 and 2016, WHS computer science teacher Dr. Robert Cohen has filled the WHS leader role, and has felt very fortunate to do so. World Challenge was started 30 years ago by a group wanting to bring students to developing countries to experience other cultures. On Cohen's previous two trips, the groups visited Nepal and Ecuador. While the leaders are there to guide and support, Cohen notes, "The kids are responsible for the travel arrangements once we arrive. We know our accommodations the first few nights but after that, the kids make hotel reservations, buy food, work within the budget, and manage daily expenses." Adriana Voci 158 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | f a l l 2 0 1 8 good works " inspire a love of reading and learning"

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