Profile: Mariangela Bucci Outstanding Teen and Young Philanthropist of the Year
Mariangela Bucci's commitment to her community is significant, and for that she has been named 2011 Young Philanthropist of the Year, and was further recognised as Outstanding Teen 2011, at the Bermuda Outstanding Teen Awards on March 19.
In the second year of the International Baccalaureate programme, she plays an active role in the student government of Bermuda High School, a Round Square school, and with Caitlin O'Doherty is co-chair of the Round Square Committee. The committee's mandate is to promote the Round Square IDEALS (internationalism, democracy, environment, adventure, leadership and service) and empower students to play a more prominent role in the leadership of their school. She has been actively involved in establishing a new student leadership structure based on the Round Square IDEALS, and for the first time since BHS became a Round Square school, the entire student leadership will be elected by secret ballot cast by students from Year 7 to IB2. Following elections on March 23, there will be two head students, instead of a head girl, two deputy head students, and leaders and deputy leaders of each of the IDEALS ‘pillars'.
Beyond the walls of BHS, where she has been a student since Year 6, Mariangela participated in an international conference on sustainability in British Colombia while a Year 11 student, and for over a year has been an active volunteer with local environmental group, Greenrock. She worked on the Healthy Harvest project, which pinpointed plots of land throughout the Island suitable for community gardens and orchards, and encouraged the public to produce more local crops by providing information on the Greenrock website about fruit production in particular and by raising awareness of local producers and crops. In the first phase Mariangela worked with the Ministry of Works and Engineering and other bodies to survey the land, find out who is responsible for the decisions relating to these spaces and determine how Greenrock could initiate a Healthy Harvest project with the land.
She also worked hard to promote Earth Hour, the hour between 8.30pm and 9.30pm on March 26 when people around the world switched off all their electrical appliances and lights to raise awareness of humans' role in climate change. She organised fellow BHS students to approach Hamilton businesses about supporting Earth Hour. March 23, designated ‘Spirit Day' by BHS, was dedicated to community service, following the student government elections in the morning. During the afternoon the approximately 700 students were involved in 12 different service activities, including writing letters to free prisoners of conscience with Amnesty International, and volunteering at the Sunshine League. Mariangela organised the entire afternoon, and on the day she led 40 BHS students working with Greenrock to get local businesses, particularly those in the immediate vicinity of City Hall and Front Street, to commit to switching off their lights.
If that is not enough for a student committed to the demands of the rigorous IB programme, Mariangela has helped organise a bake sale to raise funds for local autism charity, BASE, and attends the Southampton Seventh Day Adventist church. With a career goal in medicine, possibly paediatrics, she enrolled in a work-shadow programme at KEMH.
For rounding out her interests, Mariangela has practised Tae Kwon Do for six years, plays the classical guitar and enjoys historical fiction.
She is appreciative of all the support she has received from the adults in her life, her parents in particular and Round Square co-ordinator Mary Faulkenberry.