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State Honoree

Kimberly Dickard

Mississippi

founded “Students Erasing Crime,” a volunteer student service organization. Asked by her principal to help start a school service club, Kimberly sought out volunteers from every social group in the school. Kimberly and her group first researched, wrote and presented anti-tobacco skits at a school assembly, then talked to local news media about anti-tobacco issues. Members of S.E.C. then took an after-school course in peer mediation, learning how to bring the school’s diverse social cliques together as they worked to achieve a common goal. The group initiated a weekly mentoring program for children at a local foster home, where they play games, provide positive role models and show the children that someone cares. S.E.C. also sponsors fund-raisers for the Salvation Army, Animal Shelter and other local charities. Regular food and clothing drives benefit the Community Stewpot, a local homeless shelter and food pantry. “Kids my age tend to think that it’s not important to help others, because people may pick on them for being different,” Kimberly says. “However, the outcome of sharing yourself is worth the time. A person should take every chance he or she has to help others. It’s worth it.”