MARCELLA PADILLA shocked her advisor when he discovered that she had not only met the 10 hours of community service required, but her list of volunteer service and extracurricular activities was extensive. Marcella explained the unreported hours saying she believes “keeping track of community service defeats the purpose of volunteering.” She received the Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award for volunteering more than 4000 hours!
In 2002, Marcella was a recipient of the YWCA Voices of Our Future Award honoring young women who fight to eliminate racism, the History Award and the Risk Taker Muse Award. Growing up in a bi-cultural home, Marcella understands and honors diversity. She headed Latinos Unidos at her school, she was a member of the Multicultural Awareness Club, Congresswomen Eshoo’s Teen Advisory Board, Stanford Yell, Redwood City’s Teen Advisory Board, and the ACLU. As a member of the ACLU , she fights for immigrants’ rights and Civil Liberties. Marcella explained, “I want to be an immigration attorney because I have a voice and there are people in our country who are voiceless and who need to be heard regardless of where they were born.”
She has worked to instill a sense of pride and leadership among students of color at Menlo School. starting a movement for Columbus Day to be changed to “Rediscovering History Day,” in order to be inclusive of all people.
Marcella demonstrates standing up to injustice and not just talking about it, even when the issue may be an unpopular one. Marcella plans to pursue her passion for social justice in college. Her nominator stated that “she is not someone who merely dreams of a better world, she wakes up everyday determined to create it, and I think that this is at the heart of what distinguishes her from her peers.”