Senior Named Co-Chair of Overlook Junior Board

Bella Henry serves as co-chair on overlook hospital junior boardOak Knoll senior and Berkeley Heights resident Isabella Henry ’21 was one of 16 area teenagers who helped raise $20,000 to aid health care workers battling the COVID-19 pandemic at Overlook Hospital. This year, Henry is returning to her volunteer position at the Overlook Foundation Junior Board as the 2020-21 co-chair.

Betsy Keenan ’22, also represents Oak Knoll on the 2020-21 Board.

Each year, the Overlook Foundation’s Junior Board, consisting of area high schoolers, learns about the importance of philanthropy and the foundation’s mission through an annual campaign fundraising. Students learn about the operation of the foundation as the fundraising arm of a nonprofit medical center. Students are charged with fundraising on their own, ultimately to allocate an annual grant to an Overlook Hospital department of their choosing.

While the Junior Board met monthly at the hospital before March, the group has since been hosting virtual meetings due to COVID-19.

“Empathy was our first response, as we immediately shifted our fundraising efforts to aid in the fight against COVID-19,” said Henry, who first joined the Overlook Foundation Junior Board in 2019.

Although Henry’s work with the Overlook Foundation Junior Board has changed due to the pandemic, she is thankful for the opportunity to continue this year as co-chair. “We’ve developed a newfound appreciation for the incredible health care workers on the front lines of this crisis,” said Henry, who is interested in pursuing a career in the health care industry.

In addition to her volunteer work with the Overlook Foundation Junior Board, Henry also served as a hospital volunteer before COVID-19 began to circulate. In this capacity, she worked with hospital staff on non-clinical work such as administrative work, deliveries, and assisting patients to their families upon discharge.

“The experience I gained at Overlook Hospital was unmatched,” said Henry. “Working in a board setting, I learned the importance of collaboration and diversity of opinions to yield the best result. I’m humbled to be Oak Knoll’s representative, and as co-chair, I will uphold the values of the board, hospital and our school in all I do.”

The Overlook Foundation Junior Board includes juniors from Chatham High School, Delbarton School, Governor Livingston High School, Kent Place, Millburn High School, Montclair Kimberley Academy, New Providence High School, Newark Academy, Oak Knoll School, Oratory Prep, Pingry, Scotch Plains-Fanwood HS and Summit High School.

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