Parker’s Middle School got a new club this year, started by Nessa Samimi, Tilly Edelstein, Jillian Moll, Ella Kim, and Annabelle Huskey, all Class of 2025. As grade 4 students, they opened a chapter of the Mona Foundation in the halls of the Mission Hills Campus. Now in Grade 6, they’re bringing it to the Linda Vista Campus.
The Mona Foundation seeks to provide education to all children, increase opportunities for women and girls, and emphasize service to the community. Named for a 16-year-old girl executed in 1983 for daring to share her beliefs as a Baha’i and for teaching children’s classes, the Foundation’s goal is to alleviate global poverty by providing universal education, gender equality, and community building.
The Middle School community was first introduced to Mona at the clubs fair on Sept. 18. While the club has yet to meet officially, its members are already brainstorming ideas for helping students in the area, including partnering with a local school and collecting and distributing school supplies.
Parker’s chapter has already been recognized for its philanthropic efforts. Member Nessa Samimi recently attended a Mona Foundation Gala in Seattle, where she won an award for Youth Philanthropy. The award was given for her efforts in not only helping to start Parker’s chapter, but for raising money through a lemonade stand and donating it to the Foundation’s main chapter.
Parker’s founding members want to make clear the club—while part of its mission is to help empower women and girls—is for everyone.
“It’s about building a better community for all,” said Nessa.