Bronxville Union Free School District

Students to Receive $1,000 for ‘Building Bridges, Not Walls’

Middle School Organization leaders Kelly Weild and Esther Thomet, who represented Bronxville Middle School at a Social Innovation Series conference in early October, were selected to receive a $1,000 grant for their school.

The two students presented to a panel of judges from AdCapYouth, an organization that awards grants to student-generated programs. Their project, Building Bridges, Not Walls, focused on providing emotional and mental health to students.

“Everyone else’s projects were about physical health,” said Weild, who added that other schools were interested in securing grants to purchase water fountains or gym equipment. “Those things are important if you don’t have them, but we wanted something more than that. We were focused on mental and emotional health and that’s what I think set us apart.”

Weild and Thomet said they want to make sure everyone in Bronxville feels welcomed and comfortable in their school. They plan to organize schoolwide assemblies where they can discuss and embrace social differences in order to enhance students’ overall well-being.

Teacher and MSO advisor Michael Marino said he was overwhelmed with joy at the composure and confidence the students displayed during their pitch to the judges.  

“They represented everything the MSO believes in and represented the Bronxville School in a way where I couldn’t be more proud as their mentor and advisor,” he said.