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State Honoree

Craig Whyte

Idaho

Craig Whyte, 17, of Snake River High School in Blackfoot, Idaho, motivated fellow students to take an active role in a clean-up effort and in coordinating activities for children left homeless by a massive flood in June 1997. When 50 homes in his school district were left under flood waters for nearly a month, Craig, who was student body president, organized 40 student volunteers to help clean and repair five of those homes. While in the midst of the project, Craig realized that the forgotten victims were the children, and he desperately wanted to help. He enlisted the support of his advisor, principal, school administrators, and the student council to create a Day-Away camp for children of the flood. "With power, out and phone lines down in the affected area, we hand­delivered personal invitations for the camp to each home," said Craig. Children came via rowboats and tractors to participate in bowling activities, games, and counseling sessions that Craig arranged with school officials, using donations he received from local merchants. "I have learned to count my blessings and appreciate what I have, and that in a time of need, people pull together," Craig said.