Whiz Kid: Genevieve Lipinsky
School: Senior at John Jay High School
Whiz Kid Accomplishment: Co-President of the Bridges to Community club at , this honor student is part of a group of 19 students and three chaperones that will travel to a rural village in Nicaragua next April to help build homes for those in need.
Whiz Kid’s Key to Awesomeness: Going to Nicaragua has become a Spring Break ritual for Genevieve Lipinsky. After being inspired by her older sister, who was involved with Bridges to Community years ago, Lipinsky became an active member herself. The non-profit community organization takes volunteers to developing countries to offer help and support for building programs.
This dedicated high school senior has already traveled to Nicaragua on four previous trips with the club. In April, she will go to a village called Palestina, to do hands-on work—laying cinderblocks, mixing cement and assisting local masons to build two-family homes. The country is the second poorest in the Western Hemisphere after Haiti.
“This has been such a life-changing experience for me,” says Lipinsky. “To be exposed to a different culture, to see such warm, welcoming people has touched me so much.”
She says the real gratification has been from seeing the impact their work has made on all of the family’s lives, when she returns to Nicaragua.
“A tiled floor and a roof that will not fall apart takes so much stress away—they remember us and welcome us back,” Lipinsky said.
The club has held fundraisers that will help cover the cost of the trip fee and the generous community support has provided for some building material costs as well, she says.
This commitment to service has sparked an interest in learning about people all around the world for Lipinsky, as she looks toward her future career.
“I will attend George Washington University next fall,” she says. “And I definitely want to study anthropology.”