Although still in her early 20s, Shalini Pammal ’13 has directed an after-school program in South Boston, performed medical screenings for children in Navajo Head Start programs in New Mexico, mentored low-income, high-achieving students from Boston and Cambridge, and written for the Harvard College Global Health Review. For these accomplishments and for her exceptional creative promise in public service, Pammal received the Creativity Foundation’s 2011 Legacy Medal. Anthropologist and educator Johnnetta Cole presented Pammal and five other outstanding youth with their awards at a ceremony at the Cosmos Club in Washington, D.C.
Pammal has devoted herself to public service since the very beginning of her academic career at Harvard University. As a freshman, she became the director of the newly formed Southie After School Program, an arts-based literacy program for low-income elementary school students in South Boston, focusing on academic enrichment and youth empowerment through creative self-expression. Throughout her life, she has committed herself to enabling positive change for individuals and communities. As a sophomore, she continues to direct the Southie After School program; in addition, she teaches middle school students with the Harvard College Youth Leadership Initiative, volunteers at the Harvard Square Homeless Shelter, and serves as a peer advising fellow for incoming freshmen.