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State Honoree

Michelle Wheelock

Rhode Island

Michelle Wheelock, 12, of North Kingstown, R.I., a seventh-grader at Wickford Middle School in Wickford, works with seniors at a local nursing home. Inspired by her mother and a favorite sixth-grade teacher, Michelle volunteered to visit and assist lonely seniors living at the Scalabrini Nursing Home. “I only had one expectation,” Michelle said, “which was to brighten up the day of every resident I met each day I went there.” Michelle found that communication was the most difficult part of working with senior citizens. “Some were blind, deaf and mute,” she said. “I learned to be very considerate of others because you don’t know what they’re worried about or what they’re going through.” Michelle plans to continue visiting seniors for “years and years to come,” she said. “I would tell others to share their happiness!”