Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Jessalyn Traino

Activities? I’m a member and director-in-training of Paraiso Latino, Wheaton’s Latin dance group. I’m also an Ally and a Writing Tutor.

Solar power: I traveled to Nepal and Bhutan to install solar lights in a school through a program called Solar Siblings. We were in Nepal for a week, where we learned how to assemble and wire solar lights, batteries and solar panels, and then we flew to Paro, Bhutan, and drove to Punakha, Bhutan. We hiked into a remote village to the Wolathang School, and spent three days installing the lights in the school. Many of the children had never even seen artificial light before, so it was an amazing and incredibly rewarding experience to see their faces when we switched on the lights the last night.

On the trip we also met with local Lamas, who blessed us and our journey, and visited Buddhist temples and monasteries, including the very famous “Tiger’s Nest” in Bhutan. I feel blessed to have had such an amazing experience, and to have been a part of such a remarkable contribution to the lives of those children and that school.

Running to help: I am also involved with The Midnight Run, an organization in New York City that organizes groups to go into the city with food and clothing and distribute it to the homeless at pre-arranged drop-off points. It’s a wonderful program and really helps people in need; they are always grateful for a little kindness.