Jameilis Matos’s involvement with the Kerry Jon Walker Fund, Helping Humanity began while attending high school at Snowden International High School, in a community service class that required her to volunteer at an organization for a period of two years. Mikey Walker, founder of the Kerry Fund, came to her class to talk about the charity and find ways that she and her classmates could help children in Africa. Everyone loved the cause, and together, began organizing fundraisers to raise money for school uniforms and books in French for children in Guinea. Mikey was so impressed by their efforts and commitment, that they were the first group of students sponsored by the Fund to travel to Rwanda for service at the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village.
Jameilis is the daughter of Dominican parents who migrated to the United States to give her and her brothers a better quality of life. After graduating from Boston Public Schools, she went on to pursue a career in Economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She successfully graduated in three and a half years, becoming the first in her immediate family to attend and graduate college. Helping people has always been important to Jameilis. It was instilled in her by her parents to always give back to those less fortunate, even if she had only a small amount to give. Jameilis has learned that she has much to give and share, and this is why she loves the work of the Kerry Fund. It gives less-fortunate students, both here and abroad, a chance to experience something that they may never have been able to do on their own.
Jameilis’s involvement with The Kerry Fund extended well beyond her two-year commitment! She is still very much involved and passionate about the work she does with the charity. She traveled with the group to Rwanda for a second time in 2016, not as a student, but as a group leader for other students. Traveling to Rwanda has been a life changing experience for her, helping her grow and mature into the person she is today. She speaks of the many wonderful people she has met on these trips, people who despite personal hardships, continue to persevere, work hard and succeed. Now, Jameilis is honored to sit on the Kerry Fund’s Board of Trustees. She is forever grateful opportunities she’s been given, for the growth she has been able to experience because of this charity, and for the ability to continue to give back.