Angelina Not, a rising senior at The American School in Switzerland (TASIS), was recently named the winner of the Cathy Clark Memorial Scholarship. This award (valued at $3,600) is given each year to a student that shows tremendous dedication to service.
What better way to show dedication to service than donating the entire award?
That’s exactly what Angelina has done for WISER this month. We sat down with Angelina to learn more about her incredible generosity:
W: Angelina, how did you come to be so passionate about service activities?
A: I’ve been working in service for a while now, especially with TASIS being very service-centered. When I was 12, my mom really pushed me into service, although when I was 12, I didn’t necessarily want to be. I started with a simple thing – we had a hospital for the elderly and I started bringing cookies there once a week with my mom and then it grew. I enjoyed making people smile and it felt incredible, so I grew to like service.
Eventually, I moved to Switzerland and I’ve been in TASIS for about six years. In high school, I found WISER. The WISER leader at TASIS, Mr. Mulert, was someone that explained what service was and could be, and I was inspired by him and his dedication to the cause. I decided I wanted to be a person like that, I wanted to be someone who was excited by helping people around the world.
W: It sounds like you’ve succeeded in that!
A: Oh, thank you so much!
W: So, what is the Cathy Clark Award?
A: The Cathy Clark award is given each year to a person who is really dedicated to service and creating opportunities for people. It’s given in honor of a girl, Cathy, who tragically passed away in an accident, but her work was amazing and I’m honored to receive something in honor of her work.
I didn’t know this existed at first. They called my name at an assembly at the end of the school year to receive the award and I was shocked. I had never gotten an award this big in my life, and I didn’t know what to do. I think all of my photos from that day have a shocked face in them. It was overwhelming, but I felt so proud.
W: What brought you to WISER?
A: WISER was introduced to me as a service-learning group at TASIS. In the beginning, I was looking for a local group, but I realized that with something like WISER, a student could really have a global impact – I could be the individual that made a difference in someone else’s life. For me, as a girl, it’s so important to support this work morally. I feel I need to show my support for girls that are looking for education, like I am, and to be useful for them.
W: Is that what made you decide to gift your award?
A: The first thing that I thought of when I received the award was: “this scholarship was given in honor of service. It’s given for a purpose.” It was there, and I thought “you need to give this to WISER. There’s no reason not to give this to WISER.” It almost felt like the story of the award, its intention as a tribute to service, was a direction to give it away. The people that inspire me are the people that would do this, and so I have too.
W: What are your hopes for the girls at WISER?
A: I want them to be happy. I know they can make themselves happy, which just inspires me even more. But if there are hardships, if there are barriers to their happiness and their wellness, I want to be a part of what removes those and I want to learn how they overcome these barriers so that I can be better myself. I want them to know that they are amazing and that they inspire people all over the world with their hard work.
W: What message do you have for others that support WISER?
A: First of all, I’m so excited to be in this “club” and to be counted among people that help WISER! Please, keep doing what you’re doing. Do everything you can – everything you’re capable of. Helping people brings so much joy to the world and if you want to bring joy, if you want to help, WISER is a place where that is possible. You’re sharing love – and who doesn’t want that?