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State Honoree

Sara Atkinson

Hawaii

Sara Atkinson, 17, of Konawaena High School in Kealakekua, Hawaii, encouraged a group of friends to develop a mentoring program for young children ages 9 - 14 who were at-risk for violence and substance abuse. Her aunt, a social worker, instructed the group in youth behavior so they better understood what mentoring methods would work best. She teamed up with a local children's center, through which the mentors offered community service activities such as fund-raisers and food drives to benefit Hawaii's needy. "These activities kept the teens off the streets and they had fun doing them," said Sara. To date, there are more than 40 young kids who team up with mentors like Sara, who continues her involvement by training other interested mentors.