Class Act:

Nicole Newman

Nominated by:

Kristen Newman

Nomination Story:

I am nominating my daughter for the Class Act segment. Nicole does a lot of wonderful things that her school and peers are not aware of. Her school is unaware of her volunteering outside of school. Her church is unaware of what she does outside of church. She does all of these things for her own personal benefit and not many people see the total picture. Not many people know of her extensive accomplishments and that is why she is a Class Act.

This June her service began just 2 days after her last day of school. Nicole traveled to Lima, Peru on her own. She signed up for a service trip through Cross Cultural Solutions. She knew no one going and no one there. Eight other high school students from around the country signed up as well. In baggage claim, this 16 year old met a driver with a CCS sign who took her to the homebase to meet her counselor and other volunteers. Nicole spent two weeks volunteering in Via El Salvador, a shanty town on the outskirts of Lima. This town had no electricity and no running water. It is a poverty stricken area due to the past Shining Path terrorist reign. Her two weeks were spent working in a soup kitchen and in a classroom of preschool age children. The group also painted a fence around the school in a beautification project. No one in the school, nor her driver spoke English.

Upon returning from his humbling experience, Nicole decided that there is also much need here in Massachusetts that should not be overlooked. Through her travels, she has been inspired to be a global citizen. Researching where she could locally make a difference she came across the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless’ ” A Bed for Every Child” program. Today, one in 5 children in Massachusetts lives in poverty. A Bed for Every Child has provided beds and linens to many MA children. Nicole made a goal to make 60 pillowcases in the remaining 60 days left of her summer vacation. She spent time each afternoon sewing colorful print pillowcases in themes such as: Dora the Explorer, Transformers, Disney’s  Cars, and Spiderman to name a few. At this writing she is 5 away from completing her goal and plans on delivering them in person next week. Nicole travels a lot and always brings her pillow from home. So when she came to me to take her fabric shopping, I knew that this was something dear to her heart.

Nicole has previously made many items she donated to her school including smock dresses for an orphanage in Costa Rica, walker/wheelchair bags for Elder Services, and table runners for the Appalachian Service trip. Some of these items she just dropped off in Campus Ministry and NDA and did not stay and look for any credit.

She volunteered in 2012 and 2013 teaching a summer session of religious education to first graders at St. Bonaventure Church in Manomet, MA. Nicole also volunteered there unloading several food pantry shipments. She has volunteered at NDA as an International Student Ambassador helping Chinese exchange students adapt with any questions or concerns. Nicole took part in spreading awareness of “The Girl Rising” movie viewing at NDA. She also volunteered as a model at Nieman Marcus in Boston at a fundraiser for the Asian American Civic Association.

In addition to volunteering, Nicole is a member of the NDA track team, a columnist and junior editor for the school newspaper, an elected member of the student council, and a 3 year member of the scholar program.

Nicole is inspired by global awareness and human rights issues and will continue to make a difference both here and abroad for many years to come.

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