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Watkinson School Student Named Aurora Foundation's 2017 Young Philanthropist of the Year

Watkinson School's Olivia McAdams was recognized by the Aurora Foundation for her service to the community; you can see her speech on Watkinson's Youtube channel.


Established in 2000, the Aurora Women and Girls Foundation is a standalone charitable organization focusing specifically on the support of women and girls in the Hartford region. The foundation was founded by a dynamic group of businesswomen and community leaders from the Greater Hartford region and is now one of 150 organizations throughout the United States and internationally with this focus. The Aurora Foundation’s mission is to be a catalyst for positive change in the lives of women and girls in the Greater Hartford area.

Olivia devotes much of her time, when not focusing on her academics, to serving others. She advocates for Native Americans and those with Autism, raising awareness and educating communities on the challenges these groups face. She made weekly announcements to her school community during Native American Heritage month, keeping them informed about the issues that contribute to the marginalization of Native Americans. She also attended a rally and participated in a clothing drive for the Sioux. When Olivia recognized that a student on the Autism spectrum was being treated unfairly, she created an effective platform to educate the community on the understanding, respect and fair treatment of people on the spectrum.

Olivia is also a proactive member of Watkinson School’s Young Woman’s Empowerment Group where she routinely takes a lead role on raising awareness about injustices towards women. Additionally, she is a member of RAVENS (an affinity group for young women of color) and volunteers at Auerfarm in Bloomfield providing tours and educational experiences for youth.