Chase Wilson Education considers Change-Makers the best and brightest of today’s youth who not only believe the world can be a better place, but are willing to be the one to lead the way to it — no matter if anyone else decides to follow. The program was launched in fall 2011 and one student was highlighted each quarter – carefully selected from dozens of submissions received.
“This program is so important to us because it really strives to celebrate and honor truly great kids,” said Dan Fabrizio, Chase Wilson Education’s Creative Director. “Our four finalists all faced personal adversity and were compelled to improve not just their own lives, but the lives of others around them because of it – all of them working tirelessly to support strangers that needed their help. Hopefully through this campaign, we can use their stories to compel other students to take positive action in their own schools and communities.”
Below is a brief summary of these students’ accomplishments:
Alyssa Petillo, Park Ridge, NJ – Fall 2011
Currently a sophomore at DeSales University, Alyssa was the President of Students Against Drinking and Driving and the co-founder of a Gay/Straight Alliance at her High School. While a Junior in High School, Alyssa committed herself to becoming a certified EMT (Emergency Medical Technician). Volunteering hours of her free time to help others, Alyssa’s greatest achievement came in late-2010 when she resuscitated one of her patients.
Nicole Pastore, Berkeley Heights, NJ – Winter 2012
On her way home from a youth group meeting one night, Nicole vividly remembers the pain of a complete stranger. This woman’s anguish stirred Nicole to create an organization called You Are Loved, which inspires others to create, share, and spread missions of love and support to those in the greatest need.
Samantha Blair, Norwood, NJ – Spring / Summer 2012
During her junior year in high school, Samantha was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). It was a setback that would’ve deterred many students her age, but Samantha saw it as an opportunity for change. Working at her local animal shelter, helping Alzheimer’s patients and young children with developmental delays, and becoming a Peer Leader in her own school, Samantha found that her greatest calling was the betterment of others.
Ashley Craig, Sussex, NJ – Fall 2012
After a long personal history with bullying, Ashley decided to found Students Against Being Bullied, which creates and implements student-led bullying prevention solutions for schools. Ashley has been asked to speak at various bullying prevention conferences and events all across the country and has been recognized as one of the anti-bullying movement’s most promising young leaders.
“The Change-Maker of the Year” award winner will be honored with a $1,000 scholarship generously sponsored by Investors Bank. “Investors Bank is pleased to support such a vital program to help promote our future leaders and highlight how young adults are working to make our world a better place. They serve as positive role models for other students who we believe will follow their lead,” said Investors Bank Senior Vice President, MaryRose Genovese.
About Chase Wilson Education
Chase Wilson Education is a mission-based organization that provides educational programs and curriculums that teach students how to recognize, confront and overcome the unique threats and social issues they face today. Our value based curriculum instills an unparalleled foundation of character, tolerance, and empathy in it students; empowering them to make safer choices and become better people.