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SHS student joins national youth advisory board for Multiplying Good

Published on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021

kyzelle espinosa

BCSD provided photo

When she was a freshman in high school, Kyzelle Espinosa was looking for ways to get more involved in her community, and she subsequently joined Stratford High’s Students In Action (SIA) team.

Now she is in her senior year, and her passion for service has landed her an opportunity to reach people on an even bigger scale; Espinosa was recently chosen to join the Think Big Team, the national advisory board for SIA’s parent company, Multiplying Good.

Multiplying Good’s goal in South Carolina is to cultivate the next generation of the state’s servant leaders. SIA is a service-learning and leadership development program in middle and high schools across the state – Espinosa describes it as leadership through service. She has served as her SIA team’s president since 10th grade.

Espinosa said her involvement with the SIA team has helped shape her into the person she is today. She said the team promotes connecting to others, learning to be more empathetic, and the students grow together through the process.

“I wouldn’t be where I am if I hadn’t found SIA,” she said. “It changed me to be the better person that I am.”

In the past, the team has been involved in different projects including donating to local food banks, supporting animal shelters, educating their fellow classmates in areas including mental health, and more. The pandemic has affected the team’s efforts in that they cannot meet together as often, and a lot of projects have had to be postponed.

“We’re doing what we can so that is good,” Espinosa said.

The national advisory board she will serve on – the Think Big Team – is a group of 15 students from across the country who are, or have been active in Multiplying Good’s youth programs, or have received the Jefferson Award, which recognizes groups who demonstrate extraordinary public service. Stratford High’s SIA team received a silver-level Jefferson Award from Multiplying Good last year for its efforts to promote inclusion at the school.

Youth up to the age of 25 who meet the aforementioned criteria are eligible to be a part of the national youth advisory board. The purpose of the group is provide insight and voice to support and drive Multiplying Good’s mission.

Espinosa said the connections and knowledge she could gain from the experience really motivated her to apply to the Think Big Team. She said she can see greater potential when she works with a team.

“I can just tell that they (other members) are passionate in what they’re doing and I strive to be like them and go in as a team,” she said.

Espinosa is planning to go to Trident Tech after high school, with hopes to eventually transfer to either Clemson University or the University of South Carolina.

Stratford’s SIA team is facilitated by Spanish teacher Anna Gorritti, who said Espinosa is a dedicated leader who wants to learn from those around her.

“She has opened up past SIA conferences with her personal story and has inspired all…SIA participants in the Lowcountry,” Gorritti said. “This year as a virtual student, she has continued to lead from a far and take lead, even inspiring me to stay strong and consistent during these past few months. She will be a great asset to the Think Big Team and will share her many values and strengths with the National participants.”

Monica Kreber