(Above l-r: Sixth-Form students Bridget S., Marina M., Sara D., Dani L., Sophia C., Alexis D., Natalie J., Dami O., with advisor and Director of Parent Relations Meghan Fonts, on their way to the East Bay Food Pantry.)
The annual Sixth-Form Day of Service, organized by Assistant Head of School for Student Life Paula Walter, was an opportunity for our seniors to give back to and learn from the local community before completing their time with us. Several groups volunteered at local nonprofits including My Brother’s Keeper, the Norman Bird Sanctuary, the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center and the Abbey’s St. Thomas More Library. Director of Music Michael Carnaroli led a group to pick up trash along Corys Lane, the western beachfront, the train tracks and the Melville Ponds. Another group, led by art faculty member Allie Michelletti, helped with landscaping at Green Animals Topiary Gardens. Throughout the week, students also collected non-perishable food items and delivered them to the East Bay Food Pantry and Thrift Shop on the day of service.
Walter reflected on the School’s Mission statement, which asks us to nurture a commitment to community life. Similarly, “our Vision Statement,” she says, “encourages our students to provide energetic leadership and service in our own community and throughout the world.” Combined with our Benedictine roots of being a good neighbor and steward of our land and wildlife, the Day of Service is, as Walter says, “One way to put into action the ideals we cherish.”
At Portsmouth Abbey School, we seek to grow young men and women in knowledge and grace. One such facet is providing extensive opportunities for growth through academics, athletics and servant leadership. Ultimately “we hope to spark an interest, ignite a passion, or simply provide a different perspective. In large and small ways, we wanted to make a difference,” Walter said.