With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it is the perfect time for us to celebrate students and faculty who have gone above and beyond to serve their communities this year. As readers will see below, supporting others can look like anything from community service to a seemingly small act of kindness that makes people’s days. While there are many in our school communities who exemplify “giving culture,” we were only able to highlight a few. So, as we enter the Thanksgiving season, we encourage you to take a moment to reach out to those who have made a difference in your life this past year.
The Winsor School is grateful to have students like Claire Ackerman ’21. Claire comes from a strong Catholic upbringing, so she has always valued “dedicating oneself to serving others.” She is co-head of both the Greater Boston Food Bank Club and Boston Outreach Club, both of which have “reminded [her] of the power of volunteering one’s time in collaboration with friends and peers.” This past October, Claire, along with her other club members, collaborated with Boston Area Gleaners. It is a non-profit dedicated to rescuing surplus farm crops for people in need. This event highlighted “the impact that we as Winsor students and young individuals can have if we are able to apply our intelligence, physical ability, and devotion to our communities.”
Also, a Winsor faculty member who The Banner would like to recognize for their overwhelming Thanksgiving spirit is Mr. Didier. During a particularly hectic exam week for the junior class, Mr. Didier brought Bruegger’s Bagels for the students in his global studies courses. He also held classes outside so that people could enjoy the fresh air. Lily Levitzky ’23 shared, “When Mr. Didier brought us bagels that morning, it really made my day. I felt especially appreciative because I didn’t eat breakfast that day, so it was so nice that a teacher had thought about our class.”
At Belmont Hill, there are multiple students and teachers who make a difference in the school community and in the greater Boston area. Mrs. David, the long-time nurse of Belmont Hill, has been leading the school through multiple community service projects including the renowned Belmont Hill Turkey Drive. Just prior to 2020, though, Ms. David took a step back from the community service aspect of Belmont Hill prior to leading the health office through the challenges of COVID-19.
Many may know Mrs. David from the all-school emails where she outlined new initiatives and guidelines surrounding school protocols during COVID-19. However, Ms. David has been doing a lot more for not just the school, but for the Belmont community. Ms. David has been the chair for the Belmont Board of Health throughout the pandemic leading the charge in lowering transmission in town. She has dedicated herself to Belmont Hill and the Belmont community through all of her selfless work over the past few years. Asked about Ms. David’s impact on them, RC Keomurjian ‘22 stated, “Ms. David has been so kind throughout my time at Belmont Hill through her role as the nurse, but she has also really supported the community through her community service projects and genuine care for students.”
Dan Moran ’23 has recently started the Belmont Hill “Think Pink” initiative to raise awareness and money for breast cancer research. Dan has been leading this program after his speech relating his personal experiences to the issues. In his recent email, Dan encouraged the Belmont Hill community to “Just think of the 8 women you love the most– whether sibling, best friend, girlfriend, or teammate– statistically, one of them will be diagnosed with breast cancer.” He has been effectively bringing awareness to this awful disease while simultaneously making a difference.
Most recently, his team opened up the Think Pink Store which allowed students and faculty to purchase merchandise – like hoodies, t-shirts, lapel pins, and more – to support the Dana-Farber Breast Cancer Care and Research Center. “I really feel like the community is contributing to making change for those around the globe who suffer from this awful disease. I didn’t exactly understand the full implications of breast cancer until hearing more from the Think Pink team,” Howard Huang ‘22 stated.
Thanksgiving is famous for delicious food and social gatherings with loved ones. However, community outreach and being grateful for people that are constantly giving back to others are equally important. Claire put it well: “Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to reflect on how you are allocating your time to support your community.”