Daily Archives: April 18, 2017

3 posts

Isha Dalal Gives Connecticut a Voice

Isha Dalal photo
Isha Dalal

Isha Dalal, a seventeen-year-old senior at Trumbull High School, is the creator and founder of the organization CT Voice. CT Voice has the goal of getting teens involved in making social change–whether it’s issues like illiteracy or lack of education, like the organization is working on currently, or cyber bullying and other social issues. Isha began working on Voice at the end of her sophomore year, and now after about a year later, her organization is thriving.

The young innovator began working on the organization after she had been volunteering at a literacy center in New Haven. Here, she met a young boy who was very bright–though he did things like eat paper. Isha saw that he wasn’t reaching his full potential–and on top of this, his mom worked very long hours, fostering an environment where learning to read wasn’t easy. And thus, CT Voice began. To help on this endeavor, Isha got in touch with the State Commissioner of Education, who supported the idea completely. Now, Isha’s organization has collected upwards of 5,000 books through a book drive, and is currently fundraising, too.

CT Voice at State Capitol photo
CT Voice at the State Capitol

Isha and her team of other volunteers have broadened the organization through platforms like social media and press. The book drive also raised awareness of CT Voice, too. All of this is thanks to young leaders like Isha, with a specific goal in mind and the perseverance to get it done. Not only this, but another aspect of Isha’s determination is to thank as well: getting the community involved! Isha has managed to get dozens of teens to take part in CT Voice, which allows it to thrive as there are constantly kids with new ideas, willfulness to help with projects, and volunteer in general!

In the future, we can expect to see things like a library on wheels from CT Voice, and in the next few years, we will also be looking out for what new issue this awesome organization is tackling next.

Joely Feder photo
By Joely Feder

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Joely is a high school intern for Connecticut NOW. Her interests include intersectional feminism, women’s literature, YouTube, and documentaries such as, “She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry.” Joely also runs CT NOW’s Twitter and Instagram.

 

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Kennedy Williams Empowers Young Women Through Girl Scout Sisterhood

Kennedy Williams photo
Kennedy Williams

Kennedy Williams, a student from Glastonbury, Connecticut, has an abundance of accomplishments for a woman of her young age. The high schooler from Glastonbury High School has been a Girl Scout since the age of four, initially drawn to the caring and supportive environment of the organization.

In the past few years, Kennedy has earned her Silver Award, the highest award a Girl Scout Cadette can earn. The project required fifty hours of community service, and Kennedy’s centered on literacy. She created six “little free libraries”, planned a free book drive, and eventually stationed these libraries all over Connecticut. Some are in senior citizen homes where other Girl Scouts can read to seniors. Currently, Kennedy’s own library is in a juvenile courthouse.

Now, Kennedy is working on earning her Gold Award. The focus of this project is mental health awareness. After a rough transition to high school, Kennedy realized that teachers and counselors must be more aware of students’ struggles. And thus, her project began.

Of her proudest accomplishments, mental health advocacy remains center. For instance, Kennedy recently joined other Girl Scouts across Connecticut in attending the organization’s Lunch with your Legislator event at the state Capitol. There, she discussed mental health awareness, change in public schools regarding the issue, and the creation of a mental health awareness fair. Additionally, Kennedy also met with state legislators to discuss her own experiences regarding her transition to high school, even giving a speech regarding mental health.

Williams with State Senator photo
Williams with State Senator

As for her future, the young leader plans on going into the STEM field. Being a minority, she hopes to use the leadership skills she learned in Girl Scouts to push forward in her career, unapologetically progressing and establishing herself professionally.

Joely Feder photo
By Joely Feder

Kennedy’s parting message: always support each other, community and a so-called “sisterhood,” much like the one she experiences in Girl Scouts is powerful for young women. Support alone is important, but having a support system is even better. Also, make sure you spend time for yourself, this is key in order to grow and progress.

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Joely is a high school intern for Connecticut NOW. Her interests include intersectional feminism, women’s literature, YouTube, and documentaries such as, “She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry.” Joely also runs CT NOW’s Twitter and Instagram.

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Leadership, Girl Scouts, and Community with Alexis Volpe

Alexis Volpe photo
Alexis Volpe

Alexis Volpe, a senior from Middletown, Connecticut, is doing some awesome things.

 

The seventeen-year-old has been a Girl Scout since she was little, and the organization has enabled her to be a leader and impact her community in many positive ways.

 

Alexis has accomplished a multitude of things. As of now she serves as a Girl Board Member on the Girl Scouts of Connecticut Board of Directors. Additionally, she is the president of her school’s Future Business Leaders of America club, and is in the process of starting a Girl Scout Daisy troop in her town so that she can continue being involved in Girl Scouts after high school.

 

Her proudest memories include earning her Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can earn. She worked for two years on the project–putting in eighty-five hours of hard work. The project focused on putting on a fashion show for disabled students, and it ended up wonderfully, with an inclusive and fun show. Everyone had lots of fun!

 

Not only has Volpe earned her Gold Award, but in 2015 she also won Miss Stamford’s Outstanding Teen, and in 2016 Miss Middletown’s Outstanding Teen. Miss CT is a scholarship organization that awards students with awards based on community service and other admirable achievements.

 

In facing challenges in leadership, Alexis is no stranger. For example, in sophomore year, Alexis was told by many of her peers that she couldn’t be section leader of the percussion section of her school’s band. She persevered, as the only girl in percussion, and is now section leader.

 

Joely Feder photo
By Joely Feder

As for her future, Alexis is looking to stay in Connecticut, continuing band into college and retaining leadership positions in Girl Scouts and her community. Her best advice for young girls looking to do awesome things: Do what you want to do and ignore any stereotypes thrown in your way.

 

Here at CT NOW, we think that’s some good advice! Be you and persevere, by doing this you will achieve whatever you set out to do.

 

Let’s honor this outstanding teen!

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Joely is a high school intern for Connecticut NOW. Her interests include intersectional feminism, women’s literature, YouTube, and documentaries such as, “She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry.” Joely also runs CT NOW’s Twitter and Instagram.

 

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