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Gina Palino was born in 1990, to Nancy Palino of Malden, Massachusetts, and Edward Palino of Wilmington, Massachusetts. She resided in Stoneham for one year before moving to Connecticut, Illinois, New York City, and to Boston during her high school years. Her parents are currently living in Port St. Lucie, Florida, and she is residing in Billerica, Massachusetts, with her sister for the summer. Living in so many different states has changed her outlook on life and introduced her to many different cultures and ideas.

From a young age Gina has felt strongly that all people should be seen as equals. While living in Illinois, she was from the only family of Italian decent in the area and was discriminated for her heritage. Because of her experiences, she tries to see people for their content of the character and not based on their façade. She also feels that public service is a great avenue to try and spread her own message of equality.

When she arrived in high school, she began to search for a group of people who shared her vision of equality. When she was a freshman she joined the Gay Straight Alliance and continued to be involved with this club through her senior year. The BLS GSA’s main goal is to try and create a safe environment for people of all colors, shapes, sizes and sexual preferences. They run multiple student-teacher forums to try and exchange ideas between the student and teacher perspective in an effort to stop homophobia, not only in the classroom, but also in the hallways and on all school property.

Gina was also very active in the Saturday Success school program and the after school tutoring program where she mostly helped her fellow students with Algebra tutoring. It would probably not surprise you that Gina will be majoring in civil engineering at Northeastern University in the fall. After spending time with the Honorable Judge Roanne Sragow, whom she interns under for this fellowship, she is considering pursuing law school after she gets her engineering degree.

Gina was also on the BLS sailing team. BLS is very privileged to be the only public high school in the state with a sailing team. This is due to the generous contribution of Courageous Sailing Center, where she attended sailing camp in preceding years. Gina also sailed at Piers Park Sailing Center, which is sponsored by Massachusetts Port Authority and other local organizations. Because she is a resident of Boston, she was able to learn to sail and compete on a high school level at no monetary cost to her, an opportunity that is unique to this city and this school.

Interning with the Honorable Judge Sragow has already proven to be an eye opening learning experience. She divides her time between sitting in on trials, motions, and working with the Victim Witness Advocates. So far, Gina has spent most of her time with the victim witness advocates, assisting with restraining orders and shadowing with advocates. This has been challenging for her because of the deep emotional issues that are discussed and the gravity of the situations she is involved with. She enjoys going into work everyday and facing new and interesting challenges, from slow elevators to having to call police officers to testify in current cases, Gina is excited to be a Ward Fellow and intends to enjoy every minute of this experience.