Palmer Trinity School senior Jena Fusfield loves to make people happy. So she started the Random Acts of Kindness Club at Palmer.
“I really like the feeling when you do something nice for someone for no reason,” she says. “This club will fulfill random acts of kindness. We’re also going to have boxes set up around school. If someone did something nice for someone, they can write it on a piece of paper and at the end of the month, we’re going to deliver it to the person so they can see how it impacted others.”
Fusfield is very serious about spreading happiness. Before starting the club, she committed several random acts of kindness, including giving away tickets to concerts by such music luminaries as the Taylor Swift and the hot boy band One Direction. Another way she spreads happiness is with her doodle book, Doodle Happiness. As a longtime doodler, Fusfield realized she could harness the happiness it gives her to doodle and help others feel happy. She describes herself on her resume as a doodle instructor.
“I doodle on the margin of my paper and then I started doing full doodles on good paper,” she says. “I enjoy this so much; I think I’m really into spreading happiness.”
Fusfield sells the book and uses the money she makes to donate more of the books to children’s charities. She likes kids and is a longtime volunteer in Friendship Circle. She also spent two summers working as a counselor at the Dave and Mary Alper Jewish Community Center summer camp. She worked with the same group of children for two years.
“I’ve been going to the J ever since preschool,” she says. “From Mommy and Me classes to after-school care, so I’m really involved.”
She had planned to work as a counselor again in the summer before her junior year, but instead she attended the Alexander Muss High School in Israel for six weeks.
“I was really fun,” she says. “I went not expecting it to be what it was. We went to school and we went on hikes. On the hikes, we crawled in caves.”
Fusfield says the students were reasonably independent and could walk to the nearby town if they wanted to. The high school is located in a small town about an hour and a half outside of Tel Aviv.
“We traveled the entire country,” she says. “We’d learn about something and then we’d go out and do it. We went to Masada in the middle of the night. We went to the Old City. They had a castle and we stormed the castle.”
Before going to Israel, Fusfield says she didn’t really feel connected to the country. But now she feels that she has a connection.
“You feel so welcome there,” she says. “I wouldn’t say the religion so much affected me, but the culture; I loved it.”
Fusfield is the editor of the yearbook and president of the Jewish Culture Club at Palmer, a club her brother founded. She is also secretary of the Second Chance Club and a writing mentor, as well as co-president of the Chapman Partnership for the Homeless Club. She is considering Boston University, American University and New York University as her college choices. Her career goal is to become a concert producer.
“I love concerts, I just like the crowds, the fields, the energy,” she says. “It’s like a feeling you can’t explain. I want to put that feeling out there for other people.”
— By Linda Bernfeld Rodriguez