Education and English double major Sophia Palmacci ’20 will be a graduate fellow at Allston Brighton Community Development Corporation as part of her work toward a Master of Education in Community Engagement from Merrimack College in the fall.
Palmacci has been an active and engaged member of the Worcester State Community. She was the team leader of the Up to Us Project, raising awareness about fiscal policy of the United States government. Her work with Up to Us resulted in Worcester State being one of 20 schools invited to a retreat in Washington, D.C., where students met with legislators and their colleagues from around the country.
Palmacci was also a perennial participant in the Binienda Center’s service trip to the Florida Keys, working with Growing Hope and the Mote Marine Laboratory. On these trips, Palmacci was a team leader in helping to reestablish Grimal Grove on Big Pine Key. For this and her various accomplishments, she received the 2019 Binienda Center Student Engagement Award for meritorious contributions to the Worcester State community.
Now, she is one of a three Worcester State students to have landed a fellowship with Merrimack College’s 36-credit Master of Education in Community Engagement program that prepares students to be social change activists and leaders in the national service-learning movement. Palmacci has received a full-tuition fellowship, which links graduate study with nine months of field experience.
Palmacci will work with the Allston Brighton CDC which focuses on a broad range of work, including policy advocacy, research, leadership development, and support to other departments where community engagement is needed.
“Grateful is an understatement,” Palmacci says of her award and future work with Merrimack College. “I am screaming thank you to everyone who helped me get here, especially my wonderful mother, Kelly Saunders.”
Palmacci is also thankful for her leadership experiences at Worcester State, particularly her work with Up to Us and her work on the spring break service trips.
“Thank you for teaching me that you need to knock on doors if you want to get to where you’re going. Work hard, play hard. That was our motto in Florida.”
Written by Mark Wagner, Ph.D.