Salute to Non Sibi

In this season of giving, we celebrate the thousands of Exonians who are giving of themselves to help others.

Nicole Pellaton
December 24, 2018
Exeter students singing at the annual Holiday Concert

ESSO teamed up with Exeter music groups at the annual Holiday Concert to gather food and toiletries for the local Saint Vincent de Paul Society.

We invite you to meet a few of the students, young alums and employees whose acts of non sibi — from small kindnesses to transformative projects — are making a difference in our world.


No tickets. Just toothpaste.

What better way to collect donations than at Exeter’s popular annual holiday concert? This year ESSO teamed up with Concert Choir, the PEA orchestras, Concert Band and a cappella groups at the annual Holiday Concert (pictured above). As people arrived at Exeter High School’s auditorium, where the concert is held to accommodate the large crowd, Essonians accepted canned goods and toiletries in lieu of tickets, all slated for distribution to Saint Vincent de Paul in Exeter.

Healthcare and prisoner education

Melody NguyenFrom an orphanage in Ho Chi Minh City, her hometown, to the Baltimore prison system, Melody Nguyen ’16 has seen her fair share of poverty. The Johns Hopkins junior majoring in molecular and cellular biology invests hours each month helping others.

As president of Project Prevention, she is working to bring health care to uninsured Baltimore residents. She also tutors teenage inmates who do not have high school diplomas, helping them prepare for graduation exams, the GED and SAT. “Be guided by research, and try to find organizations that help more than hurt,” says this veteran ESSOnian. Read more about Melody and her passion for non sibi

Singing thanks

Exeter’s a cappella groups gathered just before the winter break to give thanks to Academy staff for all they do to keep campus running. The Bowld rocked with pop arrangements of holiday classics as the Exeteras, Concert Choir, Fermatas, In Essence, PEADQUACS and Sans Hommes took to the stage.

“The people who cook our meals, clean the buildings, and shovel snow from the walkways make Exeter the extraordinary place that it is. Because of the staff here, we are able to pursue our passions,” says Hannah Brown ‘19, one of the student organizers of the thank-you concert and co-head of Fermatas. The crowd was delighted by the performance that involved about 90 students.

Thank-you concert in The Bowld.

Relief for fire victims in California

JD Slajchert ’14 wrote a novel, Moonflower, to recover from the grief of losing a friend — ten-year-old Luc who succumbed to sickle-cell disease after years of medical treatments. Weekly visits to Luc in the hospital, including during a year of medical isolation (JD and Luc communicated through a glass wall), cemented their friendship.

Just after the novel’s publication, grief struck in another form. As JD watched on TV, flames from the  Woolsey Fire in Ventura, California, destroyed his family home. JD’s response? He decided to donate the proceeds from his novel to victims of the Woolsey and Hill fires. #MoonFlowers4Mailibu


Helping the hungry

Matt Kang caroling.It all started with hunger for Matt Kang ’19. As a young boy he helped his father and brother deliver food to the homeless in lower Manhattan. That experience led to helping troubled youth in Hong Kong, where he lived for a time, and ultimately to the New York-based organization where he has worked for the last three summers and school breaks: Rescuing Leftover Cuisine, which channels surplus food from restaurants to hunger relief organizations. At RLC, Matt does a bit of everything: he hoists boxes, takes phone calls, manages the group’s website.

Non sibi continues at full throttle back on campus where Matt is on the board of ESSO, loves his work as a student listener and dorm proctor, and is an active member of the Student Alumni Relations council. Good works seem to propel him forward — Matt always sports a smile. Meet Matt

PJs for tots and more

Employees across campus have focused on assisting families and individuals in need. Here are a few of the community service projects:

  • The Finance Department is donating pajamas for kids to Seacoast Family Promise, an Exeter-based organization working with families with children experiencing homelessness.
  • Admissions is supporting Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, located in Lebanon, New Hampshire.
  • No Shave November resulted in a host of beards among the facilities and security crews, and donations to Saint Vincent de Paul in Exeter.
  • Institutional Advancement adopted several local families this holiday season. They will receive wrapped presents for kids and parents.

Exeter Finance Department with PJs for tots.

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