Six inducted into Pawtucket Teen Hall of Fame

Six inducted into Pawtucket Teen Hall of Fame

Six local students inducted into the Pawtucket Teen Hall of Fame for their community service during a ceremony at the Pawtucket Country Club last Wednesday were, from left, Grace Ruilova, Kassia Almeida, Katie Ni, Lara Almeida Cardoso, Shreena Patel, and Kaylin Fortes.
Fisher receives Humanitarian Award

PAWTUCKET – Six local teenagers, Kassia Almeida, Katie Ni, Shreena Patel, Kaylin Fortes, Grace Ruilova, and Lara Almeida Cardoso, were inducted into the Pawtucket Teen Hall of Fame for their volunteerism exploits last Wednesday, June 5, and Paris Fisher won the organization’s 2019 Humanitarian Award.
The following are the winners and why they were selected:

Kassia Almeida, age 18, Shea High School, 100 hours of service

Almeida achieved her volunteer hours at the Jeanne Jugan Nursing Home, socializing with seniors living there, one of whom she grew close to because they have the same taste in music. She has volunteered with her teachers, organizing the classroom and presenting on AP Spanish and culture to incoming freshmen. She has volunteered at her school with dances, open house, translation, and fashion shows. She has also done community service with the COZ program, assisting children with after school projects and homework.

Katie Ni, age 15, Blackstone Academy Charter School, 96 Hours

Ni has done her community service at The Empowerment Factory, volunteering nearly every Saturday at the Pawtucket Wintertime Farmers Market, greeting visitors, helping with crafts, and assisting the director of the Empowerment Factory. She also volunteered at the Healthy Living Community event doing set-up, clean-up, registration, and serving food as well as staffing the picture taking station for children. She cleaned up trash on the walking path for the Pawtucket Baldwin Loop Walk. She has also worked with BVCAP, volunteering at their annual festival, setting up, organizing, and staffing the children’s crafts station. She volunteered for the Pawtucket School Department at the “Get Healthy Pawtucket” Day this year. Ni also volunteered as a timer and an assistant to the coordinator at her school’s Born 2 Run event.

Shreena Patel, age 18, Blackstone Academy, 181 hours

Patel volunteered with the Board of Canvassers during voting season, helped with Thanksgiving food baskets for the homeless in the city and a wreath-laying ceremony for veterans in the city. She has also volunteered with the Rhode Island Statehouse Government Internship Program, at Rhode Island Hospital as a greeter, an art activities specialist with children at Hasbro, and a recovery room aide. She has volunteered at the Gloria Gemma Run/Walk and has been an event ambassador for the India Association of RI as well as the Harvard Leadership Program Conference. She also did community service at the Leon Mathieu Senior Center, educating residents about India, and at the George Wiley Center, attending rallies and supporting lobbying efforts for her senior project entitled Public Assistance for All People. She has been involved with a youth-led nonprofit “Storybox Books” where she helps host literacy drives to send books to children in countries which are lacking in these resources.

Kaylin Fortes, age 18, Shea High School, 63 hours

Fortes has done her community service in a variety of sectors. She has volunteered in after-school programs, at her school assisting teachers, at Bethany Home, organizing events and interacting with residents, building food packs at the Rhode Island Food Bank, volunteering at field day for the Rhode Island School for the Deaf, sanding and painting the conference room at her school, and wrapping Christmas presents at the Salvation Army to be distributed to underprivileged children.

Grace Ruilova, age 17, Blackstone Academy, 231 Hours

Ruilova has done her community service as a reading assistant, tutoring freshmen, at Planned Parenthood in peer sex education, as well as in the library of her school. She has also volunteered doing the design and layout for the school yearbook as well as raised funds to get it published. She has participated in the school’s Born 2 Run to raise funds for after-school programs, field trips, and other extra-curricular activities.

Lara Almeida Cardoso, age 17, Blackstone Academy, 80 Hours

Cardoso achieved her community service through her school’s Everybody Eats Club, where her favorite activity was putting a positive message in water bottles and handing them out to the community. She also volunteered as an after-school helper, organizing students into their homework and after-school clubs, and making sure they have a snack. Additionally, she has worked as a student ambassador, giving tours to parents and upcoming students, as well as recruiting for applications to attend Blackstone Academy.

2019 Humanitarian Award – Paris Fisher

Fisher is described as kind, intelligent, respectful, caring, positive, resourceful, humble, committed, empathic, selfless, dedicated and the best promoter of anything Pawtucket and the Blackstone Valley.

He has been a fixture of the city since childhood. He grew up here, and though he experienced some negative influences, “he chose to rise above them and endeavor to devote his time, love, and energy to improving not only the environment, but also the young people who inhabit our city,” states a release.

The 1990s hip-hop artist with a shop in The Grant building has transformed into an artist, designer, spoken word poet, youth social worker, and missionary. He has been a consultant for the Pawtucket Prevention Coalition’s youth programming for more than a decade now, and he brings his skills and personal influence to disadvantaged, at-risk, and first-generation youth. He always has a new idea to get youth involved with positive goals through innovative arts projects, say those who awarded him the honor.