Herbert represents Holliston as Project 351 Ambassador
Sally Herbert, an 8th grade student at Robert Adams Middle School, is this year’s Project 351 Ambassador from Holliston. Courtesy photo.
By Theresa Knapp
Robert Adams Middle School student Sally Herbert is this year’s Project 351 Ambassador.
Herbert, age 14, first learned about the program when she was called down to the principal’s office last fall.
“I found out I was nominated, and honestly, I was terrified at first that I had done something wrong when I got called down to the office,” she recalls. “I was overwhelmed with gratitude and shock when they told me they had chosen me.”
Project 351 began in 2011 by then-Governor Deval Patrick as a way to focus on the potential of youth in Massachusetts. The statewide project taps 8th grade students who can be described as “unsung heroes and quiet leaders,” one from each of the 351 municipalities in the Commonwealth.
Herbert says she was nominated by her teachers and guidance counselor.
“It honestly took me at least a whole week to process that people actually thought I was an ‘unsung hero.’ I am, most of the time, blindly unaware of doing anything remotely noticeable to others,” she says.
Herbert describes herself as a kind person with a good sense of humor who aspires to be someone people feel they can talk to.
“I have always tried to be there for people, and to do everything in my position that I can do for others. For me, if I can help, I will. I guess I used to think that was true of everybody. Again, blindly, and blissfully, unaware. Looking back, I used to try to see the best in people, because I grew up surrounded by love and kindness, and assumed everyone else was.”
The program’s annual “Spring Service” is traditionally a clothing drive to benefit Cradles to Crayons, but Herbert recognized that clothing drives historically do not do well in her school so she chose a different project.
“Instead, I was approached by one of our amazing school librarians with a new service. We have been working together to conduct a diversity audit on all the fictional books in our school library. We are doing this to make sure our library has books that talk about all current events, socio-political events, races, identities, genders, and much more. We want our library to be an adequate supply of information to students, to make sure that they are always up to speed. We are going to do this by sending boxes of books to every homeroom to collect summaries which they will put into a Google form that is linked to a spreadsheet. If we need to, we will get more books to fill the gaps.”
For more information on Project 351, visit www.project351.org.