Writer Esmeralda Santiago recently reminded us that her friend, Puerto Rican philanthropist Sonia Mercedes Morales Puopolo, was a passenger on American Airlines Flight 11 and that many this week are remembering her and others who perished in the 9/11 disaster. Last year, her daughter, Sonia Tita Pupuolo published a book about coping with loss entitled Sonia’s Ring: 11 Ways to Heal Your Heart (2010). The book is first and foremost a tribute to her mother, but it also centers on unconditional love, human strength in the face of crisis, and healing through peace.
Sonia Mercedes Morales Puopolo was born in Lares, Puerto Rico; she attended the University of Puerto Rico and received a master’s degree in education from Boston University. Based in Dover, Massachusetts, she was a prominent philanthropist.
A former ballet dancer, Mrs. Puopolo served on the board of the Miami City Ballet. Numerous service organizations in New England, Florida, and California were aided by her donations and service; among her favorite charities were the American Red Cross, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, AIDS Action Committee, and the American Cancer Society. In Massachusetts, Mrs. Puopolo also supported the Nantucket Cottage Hospital, the Nantucket Animal Hospital, and the Nantucket Historical Association. She was also a patron and lifetime member of the Friends of the Emerson Majestic Theatre.
Sonia Tita Puopolo holds Masters degrees in political communications (from Emerson College) and government (from Harvard University). Ms. Puopolo has been a spokesperson and leader in promoting global understanding, tolerance, and peace through communication throughout her college life. Since 9/11, when she lost her mother Sonia Mercedes Morales Puopolo on American Airlines Flight 11, Puopolo has worked with various organizations to stress understanding through communication and she has been a promoter of grassroots public diplomacy.
For more information on the book, see http://www.soniasring.com/ and http://www.amazon.com/Sonias-Ring-Ways-Heart-ebook/dp/B0041OSYOU
Biographical from Puopolo’s obituary at http://www.legacy.com/Sept11/Story.aspx?PersonID=91860&location=1