Patch Whiz Kids of the Week: Anjila Shrestha, 12, and Emely Ulloa, 11.
School: Winter Hill Community School
Accomplishment: Anjila and Emely are leaders in their school’s new volunteer club, which practices local and far-reaching community service.
How they got there: After school on a recent Friday, middle school students Emely Ulloa and Anjila Shrestha, along with other members of the school’s volunteer club, gathered in the cafeteria to work on their first international service project.
The girls sat together gluing sequins and beads on jewel-toned fabric bags. Later, they would fill the bags with candy, crafts, photos and mini biographies of Winter Hill students and send them to children living in an orphanage in Colima, Mexico.
The girls decided to make the gifts after their afterschool instructor, Jennifer Brown, arranged for them to be pen pals with the children in Colima, whom she met on a service trip with her church last year. Brown will deliver the gifts to the children when she visits the orphanage over February vacation. She’ll return with photos and bios of the children to show her students.
Six months ago Emely told Brown that she wanted to help more people in Somerville and the world and it inspired Brown to start the club. Members now have plans to tutor and mentor younger Winter Hill students, volunteer at local nonprofits and help disadvantaged children across the globe.
Emely and Anjila were go-getters and skilled organizers from the start, said Brown. Both have become role models for younger students in the afterschool program.
The girls recently volunteered to collect animal food, toys and blankets for Somerville animal rescue group Pets in Need. Emely said she learned of Pets in Need when she saw a commercial that the group had produced that showed rescued animals.
“I felt bad and wanted to be involved,” she said. Neither girl has a pet, but Anjila said she wanted to assist the rescue group because she likes animals.
Looking ahead, Emely said that she would like to raise money for the afterschool program so that the students could go on more field trips. At the least, she said, students could volunteer to pick up trash in and around the school.