Despite battling brain cancer and having a tumor removed seventeen year old Sarah Edwards has persevered. The Bellingham teen brings together her community with numerous selfless projects making her a perfect choice for a Metta Students grant. Tonight the Rhode Island based non profit honored Edwards among family and classmates.
This past holiday season Edwards collected hundreds of toys for the pediatric oncology unit at Tufts Medical Center wanting to give back for all that they did for her while she battled her disease.
She created a contest for all Bellingham High students and had each class try to out-give each other. In addition, Edwards has been an instrumental part of starting their very first National Junior Honor Society at Bellingham High for eighth and ninth grade students.
Though, her illness sidelined her from playing soccer or basketball, Edwards took up track and cross-country becoming a state champion in her events. When Edwards noticed that Bellingham did not have a track program for younger students in her town she came up with the idea for a summer “Mini-Meets” series of track nights for children in grades 1-8. She enlisted the help of fellow track students to run each event, purchased 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place ribbons to be given out at the end of each evening, and contacted local businesses for donations given as door prizes.
It is for all of these reasons the Metta Students Foundation is honored to give Sarah a $1,000 for sharing metta, making her their thirtieth winner.
Sarah’s NHS advisor and former math teacher, Mrs. Amy-June Remy, nominated her saying, “The mini track meets were a huge success, some nights with seventy-five to eighty participants! Kids had a blast, learned a lot about track events, got some exercise on summer nights and were excited to compete. Sarah’s organizational and leadership skills were outstanding throughout this process. She had to access permits for the use of our new turf field, be sure that medical supplies were on hand for any injuries, create waiver forms that parents signed each night, and number every student in each age category. She only charged $1 per student per night to participate as she wanted to make this accessible for all kids. Every dollar raised was donated to the Massachusetts Special Olympics program.”
With this latest winner, the Metta Students Foundation has awarded thirty thousand dollars to students who have done acts of kindness and continue to
Norm Kelly, founder of Software Quality Associates in Providence, created the Metta Students Foundation in October of 2012 after learning of one teen’s act of kindness towards another teen. “Metta means love and kindness,” states Norm Kelly. “The common denominator with all of our Metta Students is their compassion, unselfishness and dedication to others. Each is unique, but they all want to make the world a better place.”
“I think giving back is important to show how truly grateful you are for what someone has done for you, started Edwards, “I wanted to express how much I appreciated the support and guidance I received during the time I was diagnosed with cancer. I also thought it was important to be there for other children who were going through something I could relate to. I know that if I had received a donation like that at the time I would’ve really appreciated and needed it, considering what I was going through.”
It is for all of these reasons the Metta Students is proud to award one thousand dollars to Edwards. To see video of how the Metta Students foundation began or for more information about the foundation, log onto www.mettastudents.org.