Local College student spreads kindness & unity and it rocks!

Alexa Zappia had an idea. She wanted to find a way to spread kindness.

The Williamsville girl who’s away at St. John Fisher College in Pittsford went on a mission to fight the growing sense of intolerance she sees in the world. She developed ‘Rocks of Unity’ – a project she’s taken to community centers, elementary schools, and now Fisher.

For Alexa, who first ran the program at Congregation Shir Shalom in Buffalo, says it’s a perfect time to grow the project, “As I reflected on the nation’s current state, I have realized that in a world filled with so much intolerance of others based on our differences, we must respond by affirming strength in diversity through kindness and acceptance, and rejecting intolerance starts with our youth”

Yes, she’s in college. Amazing, right?!

So far – she’s brought the project to more than 300 students in Buffalo and Rochester, and now is engaging Fisher’s more than 2,600 undergraduates in the initiative. Working with the Office of Campus Life, the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. School of Education, and a host of student organizations, Alexa says she plans to create a permanent ‘Rocks of Unity’ display on campus, “When all the garden stones are arranged together, it is beyond heartwarming to see the diversity among students and how natural it is for them to embrace each other while understanding their differences”

So Alexa, along with a bunch of campus groups – will host rock decorating parties on campus over the next few days. Next, professors and students will lay the rocks on concrete panels, which will hopefully be installed outside of Lavery Library.  The installation will be unveiled in a dedication ceremony planned for April 11th.

It’s pretty amazing what one young woman can do. For Alexa it is her way to make a difference, “This movement enables all members of the Fisher family to leave their permanent marking on our campus in a powerful way,” said Alexa “Wherever our different paths may lead post-graduation, Fisher will always be an institution based on the principles of kindness, acceptance, and strength in diversity that will always welcome us home.”

A Western New Yorker – making her mark on the world! Rock on, Alexa – rock on!!!!

Mary Friona