9 June 2017
An unexpected visit from Channel 7 news surprises SJP senior
by Kate Stanislaski `18
Melrose, MA — Recently visited by Channel 7 at our own SJP Learning Commons, Cali Lapenta `17 was surprised by her parents, classmates and teachers and presented with a special award. The award she received, known as the “Class Act” Award, honors students or teachers who excel in their service to their communities.
Cali’s classmates, parents and teachers surprise her in the Learning Commons as she receives her Class Act Award. (photo by S. Shuman)
Lapenta was recognized for her work with underprivileged children at her dance studio, Melrose Dance Academy, where she has been dancing for 16 years. A foundation Cali began during her junior year, the Dream to Dance Foundation has raised over $4,000 for children who share her passion for dance but are unable to pay for dance classes themselves. She started the foundation by creating a GoFundMe for her charity as well as a Facebook, Instagram and Twitter account, even including a logo she designed herself.
“My passion really is dance. I’ve been doing it for so long, and there’s a lot of people who can’t afford it because dance is so expensive,” Lapenta told the WHDH reporter.
Her charity quickly took off along with the help from her dance instructors, family, friends and even complete strangers. Lapenta explained that giving back to her dance community in a way she once thought would just complete her required service hours, actually became a great learning opportunity as well as something that now gives her great happiness.
She hopes to keep her foundation going as long as possible. Although she is going to college in the fall, Lapenta will continue to give kids a chance to do something that they might not be able to do without support from the Dream to Dance Foundation.
Her “Class Act” segment aired on the Channel 7 morning news on Friday, May 19. Fellow dancer, Lily Fabrizio `18, and STEAM teacher and Robotics Team Moderator, Ms. Gipson, were also featured in the story. If you missed the early morning broadcast, you can watch it online on the WHDH website (whdh.com/news/class-act-st-josephs-prep -senior-creates-dream-to-dance-foundation/)