A leader committed to making a difference and a teen that truly has soul is what 16 year old Nick Lowinger of Cranston is all about. At age twelve he created the non profit foundation Gotta Have Soul inc. Since 2010 Gotta Have Sole Inc. has donated new footwear to over 10,000 children in homeless shelters in 21 states throughout the United States. In a ceremony at the Wheeler School today the Metta Students Foundation announced his commitment to this cause and getting others involved makes him the 16th Metta Student winner.
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," states Norm Kelly, “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.”
“This is such a wonderful and exciting opportunity for Nick. As Director of Wheeler's Community Service Learning Program, I've been witness to the varied ways in which Nick and Gotta Have Sole have inspired our community,” states Cali Almy Director of Community Service Learning Wheeler School, “As a sophomore, Nick has begun enlisting the support of older students, supervising and training them to further the work of GHS. Students love the opportunity to volunteer with GHS because Nick creates an inspiring, educational and fun environment.
Nick is also in the process of developing a leadership model so other Wheeler students can become more involved on furthering volunteer initiatives and fundraising for the organization. And he is coordinating plans for his legacy to keep Wheeler students engaged in the service and leadership for GHS after he graduates.”
“I am being raised in a household where my family always gives of themselves to help those in need," Metta Student winner Nick Lowinger tells this Examiner. “Paying it forward comes naturally to me and I think it is very important to give back to your community. I am trying to be a role model to show others, especially teens, that they can make a difference in the world. It is gratifying to pay it forward and to know one's efforts are helping others.
Being honored with a Metta grant is extremely humbling for me. I do not do this work for the recognition but instead to improve the lives of those less fortunate. To be in the company of like-minded individuals who feel strongly about committing acts of kindness within their communities means a great deal to me. The Metta grant will enable me to outfit fifty homeless children with new shoes to call their own, helping to transform their lives one step at a time.”
It is for all of these reasons the Metta Students is proud to award Nick Lowinger one thousand dollars.
To see video of how the Metta Students foundation began or for more information about the foundation log onto www.mettastudents.org.