There’s a kid in Cincinnati doing some pretty amazing work. He’s not getting paid for it: not in dollars, anyway, but he is earning the intangible currency that comes to the kindhearted. His name is Adam Sella.

Adam is the President of the Walnut Hills High School STAR.

STAR stands for Students Together Assisting Refugees.

Here’s Adam, in his own words: “My experience as a NSLI-Y scholar in Rabat, Morocco, last summer was a turning point in my life. Apart from learning Arabic and enjoying the Moroccan culture, I met amazing people, from fellow American scholars to local Moroccans. One thing I did not anticipate was that I would become so passionate about helping refugees in my community.”

Adam came home with his mind churning with ideas. He had read about the horrors and deprivation that refugees from other nations have endured. How could he, a high school student help? Adam reached out and at first met with indifference or just plain cluelessness. He pushed on. Adam started a club in his high school (Walnut Hills) and named it STAR: Students Together Assisting Refugees. That’s just the start of what will be a huge thing.

Take 5 minutes and go to to learn more about this extraordinary young man and his initiative to help at the local level a couple of hundred refugee families. The kids in STAR have volunteered as mentor-tutors for refugee children, have organized donation drives, and now have begun to expand their reach. Soon this will be a nation-wide movement.

On October 18th at 7:30 PM in Walnut Hills High School there will be a concert. CSO members Timothy Lees, Kathryn Woolley, Christian Colberg, Ilya Finkelshteyn and Randolph Bowman will donate their services to raise funds for STAR. For $30 ($10 if you are a student) you can listen to beautiful music and help a most worthy enterprise.

If you can’t make the concert but would like to help, email Adam ( and find out where to send your contribution.

Adam Sella. Make a mental note of that name. You will be hearing it again in years to come.

Rafael de Acha


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