Carly Roman, a senior at South Side High School in Rockville Centre, NY has been volunteering for GlamourGals for over two years after being introcuded to the program by previous chapter president, Deana Davoudiasl.
Realizing that Carly was a clear leader, Deana invited her to be the Co-President of the chapter and elected that she take over as president when Deana went to Princeton this past Fall.
“I feel so lucky to have had Carly be the Co-President of GlamourGals with me. I chose Carly because I knew how friendly and kind she was,” says South Side High School’s former president, Deana.“Her compassion, dedication and true care for the residents of Maple Pointe constantly kept me and the girls in our chapter motivated. She was everything that I could have wished for in a Co-President. It was really amazing to see her leadership skills blossom over the course of our two years together leading our chapter. I know that our GlamourGals chapter was so successful because of the hard work that Carly devoted. Carly became not only my co-leader but one of my best friends. “
Carly has formed a special bond with a resident named Gloria. (Photographed with Carly at Top) Not only does she visit her during the chapter’s scheduled makeovers, but Carly stops by at other times. She even visited Gloria when she was hospitalized.
“Teens who volunteer with the elderly can bring light to what is often a dark time. The elderly get overlooked in our society. Sometimes their own families don't even give them the love they deserve. Teens who choose to spend time with senior citizens show respect and reinforce the value that these people have,” Carly says.
Carly was further interested in researching positivity in the life of seniors and conducted her Intel Science Research Project, entitled "Growing Up Feeling Good: Does Positive Psychology Increase Optimism In Senior Citizens?" Under the direction of a doctoral student from the University of Pennsylvania, she conducted a social science project on levels of optimism in senior citizens.
“My research revealed that participation in various positive psychology exercises results in a statistically significant increase in levels of optimism and hopefulness. Based on these results, I developed an "Optimism Workshop" that I conducted at local assisted living facilities. The feedback I received was great and inspired me to pursue a career in gerontology and psychology.”
Carly notes that volunteering with GlamourGals has been the best experience of her high school career.
“When school gets tense and friends cause drama, the fun and fulfillment of spending time with people who love and look forward to your visit is the thing that grounds me. I feel drawn to so many of the women I have met at Maple Pointe and I feel great knowing that something as simple as a manicure can make them feel beautiful,” she says.
Carly’s mother, Mindy, has even noticed the change in her daughter due to her volunteerism.
“It brought out something in her we hadn’t seen before,” she said. “GlamourGals has been the overarching seam in her high school experience.”
Graduating this Spring as the Salutatorian of her class, Carly will be headed to the University of Pennsylvania where she hopes to start a GlamourGals chapter.