Longsjo Eighth-grader Selected As Rep for Project 351
FITCHBURG -- Project 351 believes that eighth-graders are a remarkable force for good in their communities and the world.
Fitchburg has its own young leader -- Longsjo Middle School’s Sean Fermon -- who is a strong student and one that is constantly looking to help others in need.
Every fall, educators nominate an eighth-grader to represent each of the commonwealth’s 351 cities and towns for a transformative year of leadership development and community service, as part of Project 351 -- a nonprofit organization that develops a new generation of community-first service leaders.
Youth are selected by educators “for an exemplary ethic of service and the values of kindness, compassion, humility and gratitude.”
Fermon is excited about the opportunity to represent Longsjo, Fitchburg Public Schools and the city of Fitchburg.
“I think this is an amazing opportunity,” said Fermon. “I was definitely proud, but I was also nervous at the same time because I wanted to be the best person I could be because I was representing Fitchburg. I wanted to make sure I was representing the entire city of Fitchburg well.”
Fermon was nominated for Project 351 by his teachers at Longsjo Middle School.
“His teachers on his team just think the world of him,” said Longsjo Principal Craig Chalifoux.
Chalifoux calls Fermon “articulate, caring, empathetic, and a wonderful young man.”
Fermon dug right in and helped out immediately during Project 351′s Launch Day in Boston on Jan. 19 with other selected ambassadors.
Fermon’s group went with Cradles to Crayons -- a cause that provides kids with essentials they need, free of charge -- and made packages of supplies and then placed them in shipping boxes.
“I felt really happy, but I also felt sad,” said Fermon. “They give you a list, but some of the things might not be on the list and they say it’s OK if you don’t have some of the things on this list. I felt sad every single time that we had to skip things on the list and then keep on going, but other than that it felt amazing. We helped over 800 children for Cradle to Crayons. That’s insane.”
Fermon also represented the group of ambassadors serving at Cradles to Crayons and spoke to a rather large crowd.
“He had the confidence, conviction and courage to get up in front of 400 people in Faneuil Hall to share his experience and what he learned from the day,” said Mary Cringan, Chair of the Educators Advisory Group and Selection Captain.
Helping others is Fermon’s No. 1 passion.
“I’ve always tried to help people out my entire life,” said Fermon, who is also heavily into technology and wants to be an IT technician when he’s older. “In the past, I was helping out at senior centers, helping out people with their babies and helping out wherever I can.
“With me, I’ve always been the type of person to help others before myself. People say that it’s a bad quality, but I think it’s a good and bad quality. I can get hurt, but I feel that gratitude of helping other people. I don’t care if it’s one person or 100 people, I just want to be in the process of helping people.”
Fermon is already trying to figure out ways to assist students in Fitchburg.
“I want to help people that are struggling with school stuff, since a lot of students in Fitchburg don’t have a lot of stuff and they’re too afraid to ask,” he said.
Chalifoux envisions Fermon’s future designed around helping others.
“I see Sean some day running a non-profit and really help folks,” Chalifoux said. “He has a keen eye for helping people in ways that are beyond his years.”