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State Honoree

Lauren Lucas

South Carolina

Lauren Lucas, 16, of Brookland-Cayce High School in West Columbia, South Carolina, established Kids Accepting Challenges Today (Kids A.C.T.), a community service organization intended to provide flexible and varied projects for interested young people. Kids A.C.T. originated when Lauren, at the age of 11, performed in a show for abandoned and neglected children at a local shelter. She wanted to do more to help these children and others in need, and thought that more kids might want to help too, but wouldn't know where to begin. Kids A.C.T. was created to serve as a resource for young volunteers, offering information about local organizations and individuals who need help raising money, caring for the sick and homeless, or comforting terminally ill children. Soon, many people in South Carolina and other states heard of Kids A.C.T. and wanted to get involved. Today, Lauren writes and distributes a newsletter and updates a website to keep members and potential members up-to-date on service projects. "I learned that there are so many kids who have the desire to help others, and all they need is a little direction to get started," said Lauren.