Francesca Forcellati, age 16, is a budding young leader who credits her drive and compassion for her recent nomination as a Project 351 Ambassador. The active sophomore’s involvement in school activities and her dedication to learning has propelled her into what will be a year of leadership and communication training. In the interview below, Forcellati discusses her ambition and what led her to being selected as a role model for other students in the year ahead, and what she learned from the recent virtual summit to kick off the program.
How were you recognized as a Project 351 leader?
I was nominated by my middle school teachers to be a Project 351 ambassador and represent Revere. My teachers selected me as an ambassador because of who I am as a person; they noticed me as a very kind student that is compassionate, humble, driven, and would help anyone. I never heard of Project 351 before eighth grade and it came as a big shock to me when I was nominated to be an ambassador; I am very grateful to my middle school teachers for the nomination and opening up an amazing, life-changing opportunity for me.
Why do you think Project 351 is important for students and what do you hope to gain from it?
Students are the future. There are a lot of societal problems in the world, and as future generations, it is up to us to make a positive difference in the world. Project 351 is a way for students to learn and develop leadership skills to make beneficial impacts on the world. It will be our responsibility to open up people’s eyes to the problems present in society and to teach ways to overcome those problems. Project 351 helps spread love, kindness, and gratitude into the lives of many. I have learned so much from Project 351, have had many enlightening opportunities, and became a better, well-rounded person. Through Project 351, I have developed organizational skills, confidence, communication skills, and so much more, all which have helped me become a young leader. I have established so many important skills and know that I will learn even more and develop my leadership skills further.
What did you learn at the virtual summit?
The virtual summit was very inspiring and I am so lucky to have been able to experience it. From the summit, I learned that even though we are still in a pandemic and currently facing many social issues, positive impacts can still be made and we are in need of them more than ever. I also learned about racial injustices, how to properly address them, and also how to teach and make other people aware of them. I learned how to engage unity and bring together communities during a time when everyone feels so far apart and distant. Especially today, it is important to be there for one another and spread kindness as well as gratitude.
What other activities are you involved in?
I am remotely involved in many clubs; I am a member of the Feminist Empowerment Movement club, I am the Communications Officer for the UNICEF club at my high school, I am a part of the Power of Know club, and am in the process of starting my own club called the Inclusive Opportunity Club, which is going to be geared toward students with special needs and disabilities at Revere High School. I’ve also hosted a lot of drives with Project 351 in Revere, especially food drives, and I am very involved with the local food pantry. In my free time, I spend most of it doing community service, playing the piano, and boxing. For Project 351, I was part of the Regional Service Team where many students from all around Massachusetts joined forces to bring regional communities together through service. Currently, I was selected for the Alumni Mentoring Corps, in which I will mentor other eighth grade ambassadors through the Project 351 journey.
What are your future goals?
In my future, I plan on going into the medical field, more specifically, studying Neuroscience. I am very interested in science and I love helping other people, so I thought going into the medical field would be perfect for me. Earlier last year, my dad passed away from a stroke, so I want to study Neuroscience to honor him. My dream college is Harvard University. I also plan to continue my involvement in community service and Project 351.