Meet Victoria Porrata, the Amazing Homeschool PhilanthropistNov 27th, 2011 | By Jessica Parnell | Category: Student Showcase
It seems that – in our era of growing skepticism, apathy, selfishness and cynicism – Victoria never got the memo.
Victoria herself won’t talk about her accomplishments. She doesn’t look at them that way; she believes that the activities she pursues are typical behaviors…the way everyone should act, all the time. Once you understand the scope of her charitable works, you become amazed…and when you remember she is twelve years old, you feel a true sense of wonder meeting this soft-spoken, humble pre-teen.
Instead of buying a Halloween costume for herself one year – she stuffed her money in a UNICEF box. At twelve, she’s an anti-bullying mentor for other girls in her neighborhood. She says, “Bullying is serious and I can’t stand to watch someone do it to someone else. It’s not right. I like helping others because it makes them feel better and feel like someone cares about them.”
Victoria gathers groups of friends together for anti-littering campaigns as well as toy and clothing drives for less fortunate kids. And she often donates her allowance to St. Jorge’s, a hospital at which she has received treatments.
“My favorite charity is Operation Smile. I felt so bad for those kids and it was so easy to help that I just decided to do it.” Going door-to-door, Victoria asked for just one dollar from everyone she met. She raised enough to change the life of two children forever – fixing two smiles and providing blankets.
Everything about Victoria is uplifting. The laptop she does her schoolwork on? A gift from Operation Homefront an organization which assists families while troops are participating in a tour of duty – as a thank you for her hard work.
Homeschooling: The Key to Flexibility & Charity
Victoria, who attended public school through fifth grade, has been homeschooling for the last three years. Her mother Consuelo mentioned that Victoria was always antsy in class and that the gifted & talented program didn’t meet her needs. Combined with daily medications for epilepsy, it was a smart choice to begin homeschooling. So what does Victoria say? Now she has more time for charity work!
When asked how homeschooling is different from her public school experience, Victoria responds “I get extra time to study and there aren’t any classroom distractions. I also have more time to do things. It’s not classes all day and homework until 8:00 at night. I’m done by 3:00 pm and I can do other things.”
What Victoria likes the most about homeschooling are the homeschool groups. “Well, I do like everything, but I really like the homeschool groups. A group of homeschoolers get together every week, we study and hang out.” And while she misses seeing her friends during school, “I still get to see them in the afternoon because they are in my neighborhood.”
And the future? She hopes to graduate from homeschool two years early, and is thinking about becoming a veterinarian. “I love animals…I have two Chihuahuas. They fall asleep if I’m not playing with them, so they’re quiet when I’m studying!”
Her latest charity venture is helping the families of the soldiers killed in the August 8th crash in Afghanistan. When she saw the newspaper article, she asked her mom to take her to Michaels, where she spent her allowance on canvases and paints. Victoria is painting a variety of beautiful images to raise money for Christmas gifts for the kids and families who lost a parent in the crash. She is looking for donations for her paintings and is headed over to the local Chamber of Commerce this afternoon to ask for their help.
Help Make the Holidays Happier!
If you would like to purchase one of Victoria’s paintings or donate to her efforts at making the holidays a little brighter for our honored service members’ families, please contact Consuelo or Victoria Porrata at 787-232-6339. The Porattas would be grateful for your help!
Victoria is one special girl with a really big heart! Bridgeway Academy is so very proud to have her in our family.
How does homeschooling help you participate in your favorite charities?