Isabella Volpe


As the president of her school's student diversity initiative, Izzy Volpe, a senior at Hillsborough High School in New Jersey, has created a platform for students from diverse backgrounds to voice their struggles and experiences. One of Izzy's notable initiatives was organizing a Vigil for Black Lives to honor Black Americans killed by police. This event culminated in increased outreach between student groups and the police, as well as the installation of a student art piece at the Stoutsburg Sourland African American Museum. When tensions mounted in the community due to escalating violence in Israel and Gaza, Izzy collaborated with Project Shema to provide training to students and staff on combating anti-Jewish sentiments in progressive spaces. She also worked with the Shoulder to Shoulder campaign to facilitate training on creating an inclusive community for Muslim members. Under Izzy's leadership, the student diversity initiative has undertaken projects such as feeding more than 100 food-insecure families, providing teachers with educational resources for Black History Month and participating in the town's annual Day of Racial Healing. Additionally, she produced a podcast episode with her Indigenous friend, Bella, highlighting the shortcomings of the Hillsborough community and education system when it came to authentic Indigenous representation and inclusivity. The podcast was used in curriculum training for teachers in Hillsborough and shared at a New Jersey Education Association event. As she prepares to graduate, Izzy is eager to pass on her knowledge to younger classes, ensuring the work of transforming race relations in the Hillsborough community continues.