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State Honoree

Andrew Pendley

Illinois

Andrew Pendley, 18, of Buffalo Grove, Ill., a senior at Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, started an organization called “BookSouth” that collects new and used books for impoverished school districts in the southern United States. Andy attended elementary school in Georgia and remembers the poverty that many students there experienced. “Because of the extreme poverty in which many people live, and especially in the South, many families are unable to provide their children with any type of reading material at home,” he said. After he moved to Illinois, Andy noticed schools and libraries throwing out unwanted books. He decided to start collecting them and get them into the hands of needy children. In addition, he has conducted book drives, contacted local businesses, and secured donations of new books from national book publishers. During the first six months, Andy shipped nearly 20 boxes of books to schools in Georgia, and he plans to continue with this effort even after he goes to college.