Karen Morales ’17 Shares Thoughts on the Passion for Action Scholarship Program

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Passion for Action Scholar Karen Morales ’17, a graduate of Fenway High School in the Boston Public Schools system, is committed to supporting others and building community. Passion for Action Scholar Karen Morales ’17, a graduate of Fenway High School in the Boston Public Schools system, is committed to supporting others and building community. Through her church, she has helped disadvantaged communities improve their access to food and basic health screenings. She is currently one of the leaders in her youth group at church and is a Sunday school teacher who works directly with infants and toddlers. As a Wheelock student, Karen has had two transformational service learning experiences with fellow students and faculty: She traveled to New Orleans to support ongoing rebuilding efforts, and she visited West Africa to work with children in schools. Karen is passionate about child welfare and working with survivors of trauma around the globe.

The Social Work major recently spoke about the Passion for Action Program at the Passion for Action Leadership Award Dinner: “To me, the best thing about the Program is that it is not just a scholarship; it is a pathway to learning and personal growth. Passion Scholars have the opportunity to do domestic and international service-learning travel experiences. I assisted with rebuilding efforts in New Orleans, and worked with schoolchildren in West Africa. It was in West Africa that my passion for child welfare was enriched, and I decided to add a second major, Development Psychology, to make me better prepared to work with children and families.

“Many of my peers traveled to places such as Scandinavia, Ireland, Belize, Germany, and Guatemala to learn about the cultures and people. I think my peers would agree that these experiences have given us a more profound perspective on the world.

“In addition to service-learning travel, Passion Scholars also engage in service activities in our own backyard. We have volunteered for organizations such as Project Bread, Project Night Night, and the USO.

“Passion Scholars have the opportunity to intern at the Statehouse for legislative aides, senators, and representatives to research bills, attend hearings and policy meetings, and provide constituent support. The Policy Fellow placements, combined with a biweekly seminar, give Passion Scholars a broad understanding of the social and political issues affecting their chosen careers, and help them gain the skills they need to become leaders and advocates who will enact positive, systemic change.”