Isabella H.’17 accepted the Jane Goodall Award for Individual Endeavour at The Roots & Shoots Awards at London Zoo on March 3.
At the ceremony, Isabella was shocked and elated to receive the award from Dr. Goodall, whom she hopes to emulate. This year, the award was sponsored by the overseas volunteering organization Quest Overseas. As the winner, Isabella will be invited to join a Quest Overseas team on one of their summer projects in South America or Africa during the summer of 2017.
To be considered for this prestigious award, nominees must have shown exceptional personal endeavor and have, through their own efforts, made a difference to the lives of their fellow humans, to animals, and to the environment.
Recommended for the award by Ms. Wendy Gediman, founder of the TASIS England Roots & Shoots Club, Isabella has already shown her commitment to making a difference to our world. Ms. Gediman could not be prouder of the aspirations and achievements of this young philanthropist.
In her nomination, Ms. Gediman, commended Isabella for her leadership and her compassion:
“Isabella has shown herself to be a young person of conviction, action, and leadership. For the past three years, Isabella has travelled with fellow upper school students, and me, to volunteer for a week in Bistrita, Romania with Romanian Children’s Relief (RCR). This is a charity that began in 1990 to help improve the lives of abandoned children in Romania, and has expanded to include special needs children and Roma children. In addition, Isabella has become a support to Open Doors, an after-school Roma program for children from impoverished, and often times neglected, homes.
Isabella gives her full attention to the children she volunteers with in Romania. These include abandoned babies, abandoned special needs toddlers, children in foster care, Roma children, and students aged 5 to 25 at Lacrima, a wonderful special needs school.
Isabella took it upon herself this year to begin an Upper School Romanian Children’s Relief Club, which meets each week to discuss fundraising and other activities to help the children. She has become my assistant in running our weeklong trip in February with fellow students. I can depend on her to help supervise our students who work in the RCR programs during the trip, and to help our students understand the work that they are doing. It is often emotional, especially when you are working with abandoned babies with severe health issues, but Isabella has been a solid support and has helped our students maintain a balance while spending time with these children. She has a level head on her shoulders, and a talent for nurturing the children she interacts with.
Isabella is an inspiring example of a young person, not only speaking her thoughts, but also living her beliefs, which include helping those less fortunate.
She has learned to be a leader, a team member, and a person of action. She works with her heart and soul to do her part in helping this world to be a better place. I cannot think of a finer example of a young person doing good work through taking action and demonstrating true leadership.”