Meet the tri-town's newest 'ambassadors'

Dec 25, 2017

Three new students are taking over as "ambassadors" for the tri-town.

Sofia Martins, from Mattapoisett, Jennifer Williams, from Rochester and Stephen Old, from Marion, are representing the three towns in Project 351, a state-wide nonprofit which helps eighth-graders from every municipality in Massachusetts participate and volunteer in community service.

Martins, Williams and Old are taking over for former Project 351 ambassadors Sean Lally, Carly Drew and Maeve Geraghty—all of whom are now in high school.

Student ambassadors for Project 351 are chosen by teachers, and are generally students who are involved with the school and get good grades, explained Old Rochester Regional Junior High School Principal Kevin Brogioli.

“We just got called down to the principal’s office one day,” Martins said. “I was terrified.”

The students all have prior experience doing community service work.

“I do volunteer work outside of school,” Williams said. “I think they see all three of us are hard workers.”

And though their inclusion in Project 351 was a surprise, they’re ready to get started.

“I’m excited to start doing the program,” Old said. “I think it’s a great thing to do, and a great opportunity to get experience in community service.”

The students are planning to host several fundraising drives in the future, although the current group of ambassadors has not held one yet. Past drives by Project 351 ambassadors at the junior high school have included a drive to collect items for military veterans and current soldiers on deployment, as well as a drive to collect clothing for Acushnet-based charity Gifts to Give.

Alongside their community service experience, the students are standout academics. Martins and Old appreciate social studies, where they can study current events. Williams enjoys both math and English.

When school ends, all three are competitive athletes; Old plays football, and runs track. Williams, a triple threat, runs track, plays soccer, and also swims on Old Rochester's swim team.

Martins also plays soccer, and is pursuing another individual hobby—dance.

It appears that the future comes with a lab coat for a few of the Project 351 ambassadors, as well. "I'm really interested in the brain," Old reported. "I want to be a neurosurgeon."

Williams is also interested in science, albeit a different branch. "I'd love to be a forensic scientist," she explained.