This week’s Vision of Mercy Summer Fellowship Spotlight: Newport Community School

(Elizabeth Baza ’24)

My name is Elizabeth Baza and I am one of the Vision of Mercy Fellows for Summer 2022! A little bit about me is that I am a rising Junior at Salve Regina majoring in Cultural & Historic Preservation with a minor in Italian Studies. During my time at Salve I have been able to lead the Spring Break Service Immersion, be an Annual Giving Officer for Day of Giving, to become an Orientation Leader for Fall 2021 Orientation, and to run programs as a Resident Advisor in Wallace Hall and Watts Sherman House.

The idea for my Vision of Mercy project was born out of necessity. The Thompson Middle School students, after coming back to school full-time, had an increase in roughness between peers and this became worrisome to the faculty and staff working within the building. After connecting with Tracy Shea of the Newport Community School we came up with a plan to mitigate the increased violence being noticed at the school. I immediately knew that my focus for this project would be nonviolence and peace. This project would include the recruitment of Salve students as Hall Monitors for the 2022-23 academic year. My part in this would be to create a training plan, list of eligibility requirements, and expectations for prospective volunteers once “hired”. With the selection of volunteers being geared toward Salve students I would also be responsible for putting together information to recruit students and to explain how getting involved will impact their understanding of Salve’s Mercy Mission and Critical Concerns in addition to their academic program, and other involvement on campus. This would also include the development of an incentive plan that would help to promote nonviolence within the student population at Thompson.