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Being kind earns East Greenwich teen a Metta Students grant

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When 17 year old Topaz Leshin-Szewczok stated her career intentions she wrote, “Something that will somehow help people.” That statement along with the numerous other acts of kindness makes her a perfect candidate for a Metta Students Foundation grant.

A Metta Students Foundation ceremony was held today at East Greenwich High School where the Metta Students Foundation presented a one thousand dollar check to Topaz.

Norm Kelly, founder of Software Quality Associates in Providence, created the Metta Students Foundation in October of 2012 after learning of one teen’s kind act towards another teen. Each month, during the school year, the foundation awards one thousand dollars to a student who shares metta.

“Metta means love and kindness,"Kelly tells this Examiner, “and we are proud to be able to give recognition to all of those bright lights who give back, not because they have to, but because they are truly good hearted and want to make a positive difference.”

Teacher Stephen Levesque nominated Leshin-Szewczok saying, “She is involved in a wide variety of volunteer activities including: B'Nai Brith Youth Organization, free private academic tutoring, volunteering at Temple Sinai, the AIDS Walk in Providence, Operation Smile to raise money for surgery for children born with clef pallets, and Safety Town where she teaches first-grade students how to safely cross streets.

Leshin-Szewczok is also President of her school's chapter of the Gay Straight Alliance, secretary for LeOlum Mazkirah as part of B'Nai Brith, and is Vice-President of the Chapter Project for the National Honor Society.”

It is important to give back to your community because that is what shows your character,” says Leshin-Szewczok. “By showing that you are willing to give up your time for your community, without any visible award, you are proving that you are worthy of what your community has to give to you. Winning this grant means that I am successfully living up to be the person that I want to be kindness is free to give away and doing so comes with priceless rewards.”

For more information in how to nominate someone for a Metta Students Foundation grant click here.

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