Marcella was raised just down the street from City Hall, in the North End. She currently lives there with her brother, her sister, and her mom, who owns a bed-and-breakfast in their house. An alumna of the John Eliot Elementary School in the North End and the Josiah Quincy Elementary School in Chinatown, Marcella has been exposed to a variety of communities, languages, and cultures, a theme that she continued at Boston Latin School.
From an early age, she became active in making change. Whether it was campaigning for Deval Patrick’s gubernatorial campaign (on which she proudly educated her fellow fifth-graders) or teaching family and friends about the dangers of smoking through her makeshift organization SSRN (Stop Smoking Right Now) at age 12, Marcella has never let her young age stop her from making positive change.
Fifth grade was a big year for Marcella–not only were her top-notch campaigning skills proving to be a huge asset to the Patrick campaign, but it was also the year her parents filed for divorce. Amidst a custody battle, with each side slinging harsh criticism at the other, Marcella found herself swept up in all the chaos. Not only was she facing the typical changes children face when their parents divorce, but she was also coming to terms with her mother’s new identity as a lesbian.
Having taken on a new identity herself as the child of a gay parent, Marcella joined COLAGE (Children of Lesbians And Gays Everywhere) and gained a new perspective in politics while doing so. It was then that she realized politicians, like Deval Patrick, could seriously affect change in the state of Massachusetts. He could affect decisions such as whether or not Marcella’s mom could marry, and if women like her mom could adopt children. Politics became personal.
As Marcella grew older, issues such as healthcare, the rising cost of college, student loans, birth control, a woman’s right to choose, the recession, and the Iraq War (which two of her cousins fought in), seemed more and more relatable–matters that would affect her in the near future, if not in the present.
As she developed into a more socially-conscious and politically-aware citizen, Marcella faced another hurdle in her family life: finding her own voice. With two very persuasive lawyers for parents, Marcella often found it difficult to come to her own, unbiased conclusions. It took many years for her to stand up to her manipulative father and end their toxic and corrupt relationship.
Separating herself from the ugly and corrupt side of divorce, Marcella realized how important honesty and transparency are in her life. She didn’t want to hide shady business under the rug like her father had attempted to do; she wanted everything to be out in the open. This, combined her passion for writing (an outlet she had used to express herself throughout her parents’ divorce), led her to join the Boston Latin School Argo in tenth grade. Working her way up from the copy room to News Editor, she has enjoyed her time working with other dedicated students to produce impressive work for a high school newspaper. In eleventh grade, she took her love of writing to the Register, the school’s literary magazine, where she serves on the Editorial Board. In addition, her work has been published on COLAGE’s website and on Rainbow Rumpus, a gay online literary magazine.
Last summer she had the privilege to work at Teen Voices Magazine, a publication for teen girls by teen girls that tackles difficult issues, such as coming out as LGBT, aging out of the foster care system, and coming into a position of power as a woman, which Marcella wrote about. While in the afternoons last summer, she was writing about impressive women like Marissa Mayer and Hillary Clinton, in the mornings, she was working on Elizabeth Warren’s campaign for U.S. Senate (Warren is a fantastic woman and politician and one of the many public servants Marcella was starstruck to meet on the trip to Washington D.C.). Working on the campaign was incredible to experience firsthand. It was that summer that Marcella really learned how much women are capable of, and why there need to be more of them in high places.
Aside from writing and working as a campaign volunteer, Marcella has also been part of BLS YouthCAN, currently heads the BLS Wellness club, is Secretary of BLS STAND for Human Rights, and is President of the Boston Latin School Student Council. This summer and throughout senior year, Marcella will continue to dedicate time to community service at Samaritans, a suicide prevention hotline in downtown Boston.
Marcella plans to graduate high school next year and study journalism in college. After working in the Law Department this summer, she is also considering attending law school as well, to either equip herself with the skills she needs to make change in government, improve her writing skills, or both. She has not completely decided on her future plans, but has been heavily influenced this summer by the dedication and enthusiasm she has seen by public workers ranging from her office mates Jenn and Neil to one of her political role models, Elizabeth Warren. Whatever she decides to do in life, Marcella will always remember her incredible, inspiring, and impressionable summer as a Ward Fellow, and look back on it as a life-long learning experience.