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Just shy of his first birthday, Andrew Nelson Carver Klein was whisked away from his beloved Sesame Street to attend a rally welcoming South African political hero Nelson Mandela, to Boston. He has no recollection of this event; however, Andrew has been told that he sat in a stroller, donning a “Boston Welcomes Nelson Mandela” T-shirt that fit him like a dress, smiling adamantly for the duration of the event. Andrew still wears this t-shirt (which fits slightly better now), a memento from his first encounter with political activism. Mandela clearly holds significant meaning in Andrew’s life. The man, who freed his country from oppression and whom Andrew unwittingly cheered as a one-year-old, is the source of Andrew’s middle-name, “Nelson”.
Wheeled by his parents onto a path of political activism and public service at an early age, Andrew has continued in this direction, ultimately abandoning the stroller and willingly forfeiting his still beloved Sesame Street for community service, rallies, protests, and marches. Andrew’s parents, Jeff, a recently retired machinist from the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority and Ilene, an elementary school teacher in the Boston Public Schools, have both held jobs in the public sector and have provided a model for Andrew in their unremitting strive to make a difference.
As a rising senior at Boston Latin School, Andrew participates in several activities and organizations that aim to serve the local community and the world. Andrew advocates international human rights as the head of Boston Latin School’s Amnesty International chapter, leading a campaign in his sophomore year to petition California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to grant clemency to gang-leader-turned-Nobel-Peace-Prize-nominee, Stanley Tookie Williams. He works to ensure the circulation of a fair and thorough news source as the next editor-in-chief of Boston Latin School’s student newspaper, The Argo. As an active member of the Dorchester Youth Council and the Youth Leadership Board of the Massachusetts Coalition for the Prevention of Youth Violence, Andrew participates in two organizations that endeavor in their own respective approaches to remedy the problems facing Andrew’s community, Dorchester. Seeing the fruition of his efforts has provided him with a deep sense of fulfillment and a yearning to continue to improve the world.
Andrew also finds pleasure and fulfillment in activities that do not carry the same weight as human rights advocacy but still require intense dedication. Andrew has been a member of Latin School’s volleyball team for the past three seasons, and, as a player on the 2007 varsity squad, Andrew joined his team on a trip to the playoffs. He also earned two varsity letters on Boston Latin School’s indoor track and field team and has fulfilled a lifelong dream of playing rugby by joining a local club team founded by a close friend. In addition to athletics, Andrew has a strong grounding in music. After taking seven years of piano lessons, dabbling on the saxophone, and a brief stint on the guitar, Andrew began playing the keyboard in a band created with several of his high school peers. Although it dismantled before the completion of its first song, Andrew nevertheless appreciates his time in the band; now, whenever working in a group, Andrew remembers the band’s arduous, yet rewarding attempt to consolidate different sounds to form harmonious, synchronized music.
Andrew is grateful for the intellectual opportunities that Boston Latin School has afforded him, especially in the History and English departments, and hopes to continue to explore the fields of history, social science, English, and international studies in college. While Andrew has yet to forge a definitive career path, he is considering tracts in academics, journalism, human rights advocacy, and public service.
Andrew’s Ward Fellowship sponsor is Michael P. Ross, the District 8 representative in the Boston City Council.