Zoe Morales ’17: A Woman of Action

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Ah summer, the perfect time to laze around and just pass time, especially after a long and hard school year. Zoe Morales ‘17 probably did some of that, but she also makes the case for an eventful and active summer. When asked what she did over the summer, one can sense Zoe’s excitement as she begins to tell of her involvement in a successful toiletries drive and of her volunteer work at the Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park.


While volunteering at a shelter for migrant workers, Zoe learned that, “There is an overflow of people from Haiti, Africa, South America, and Mexico who are trying to cross the border to receive asylum. They camp outside of the border and [are] told that if they go to a shelter they might receive asylum sooner.” Zoe volunteered at one of those shelters, the Instituto Madre Asunta in Tijuana, and learned that the shelter did not have the items that the female migrants needed. She explains that people, “usually give [the shelter] things they don’t need: they give them toys, they give them clothes they won’t use, and canned food that they won’t eat. What they need is shampoo and hygiene products.” Recognizing this issue, Zoe used her resources and took action: “I made a drive on facebook and contacted all my friends, all my cousins and family. After two weeks I had [collected] over 700 products.” How’s that for helping out the dear neighbor? The drive was a success, but that was just the beginning of Zoe’s summer.

Next, it was time to pursue an artistic passion. Zoe gained inspiration from a peer, none other than the Valedictorian from the Class of 2016, Hannah Lawson, to volunteer at a museum in Balboa Park. Being the overachiever and explorer that she is, Zoe applied to as many museums as she could in hopes that at least one would accept her. The same day that she submitted her applications, Mingei International Museum (which, according to http://www.mingei.org/, is “a non-profit public institution that collects, conserves and exhibits folk art, craft, and design”) called her asking when was the soonest she could drop by for an interview. Zoe took the gig and has not looked back since. Keeping on with her humanitarian efforts, she aided in an outreach program the Mingei International Museum hosted for 3rd and 4th graders in Barrio Logan.

In between participating in outreach programs, checking tickets, and guiding guests as a trilingual tour guide, Zoe has found many outlets for all of her talents, which she attributes to art: “Art is showing your feelings, transmitting emotions, making people think.”




Photos courtesy of Zoe Morales

Mingei International Museum About/History Page: http://www.mingei.org/about/history-of-mingei/

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