Teenagers are supposed to be sullen and self-absorbed, but Rachel S. Rosenfeld never got the memo.
Rachel is a high school junior in Harrison, N.Y., who came down with a painful intestinal ailment that forced her to miss the entire 2006-7 school year. So she resolved that if she couldn’t go to school herself, she could at least help other kids who wanted to.
From her sickbed, Rachel sold T-shirts and solicited contributions to build a 316-student elementary school in rural Cambodia. Borrowing an idea from university fund-raising, she offered naming opportunities: for $25, donors could buy chairs to be named for them. All told, she raised $57,000, which was channeled through an aid group, American Assistance for Cambodia.
Now Rachel is mostly healthy again and back in school, but over the December vacation she traveled to Cambodia to cut the ribbon at the R. S. Rosenfeld School.