Newton for a Better World inspires on December 2

Newton for a Better World, gently and skillfully led by PTSO program chair Elizabeth Reilly, attracted more than 300 adults and students for inspiring talks by Sanjiv Chopra, M.D., Jeff Feingold of Hope and Comfort, and David Waters of Pie in the Sky, along with moving statements by Newton North and Newton South students about why they are active in their community. Student presenters were Andrew Ding, John Flores, Christina Gonzales-Monroig, Josie Joseph, Patricia Kizito, Robert Liefke, Sam Linder, Sadie Winton, and Hallie Zenga-Josephson. Participants also enjoyed a delicious PTSO-hosted dessert bar featuring Cabot’s ice cream.

Attendees gave high marks for the thoughtful presentations. One wrote, “Thanks for hosting such a wonderful event. I am in the world of philanthropy myself…but we need to do more at home. [This event] prompted me to reach out to my daughter’s dance studio…asking them to help me host a drive for Hope and Comfort. Hygiene products are something every teen…can relate to so it was a great choice for a speaker! Dr. Chopra was amazing--lovely presence and many wonderfully inspiring stories.”

Planning committee members were notable for their commitment, energy, and positive outlook. Thank you to students Alisa Caira, Josie Joseph, Patricia Kizito, and Sadie Winton; and to Sally Brickell, Karen Cutone, Claudia Wu, and Terry Yoffie. Kudos to Principal Henry Turner for envisioning this event and to Lori Knowles for making Dr. Chopra’s participation possible.

Volunteer support was provided by students Josh Cooke and Forrest Kaplan and by Jenny Chou, Debbie Dashoff, Vani Sayeed, and Marcia Tabenken. Additional and much appreciated assistance came from Custodial Services, Graphic Communications, Theatre Ink, Tigers Loft, and TV and Video Production.

This special event was sponsored by the NNHS PTSO, School Council, and Center for Civic Engagement and Service.

Watch this space for a link to the presentations. See photos on the Newton North PTSO Facebook page.