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State Honoree

Stephanie Roberts

Alabama

Stephanie Roberts, 14, of Cullman, Ala., an eighth-grade student at Good Hope Middle School, spearheaded two volunteer service projects at her school to benefit her community: a trash-recycling program to support a local dog pound, and an “adopt-a-grandparent” program at a nursing home. As president of her school’s National Junior Honor Society, Stephanie first was instrumental in arranging for group members to “adopt” residents of a local nursing home and visit them on a regular basis to cheer them up. Then, she decided to start a recycling program – not only to reduce the amount of trash on the school grounds, but also to raise money to help buy food and supplies for an animal shelter. For the recycling project, Stephanie and her classmates made daily announcements, placed collection bins in the school cafeteria, sorted the recyclables into plastic bags three times a week, and secured the use of a school storage shed to store the cans and plastic. Stephanie said she sometimes was “put down or made fun of” as she worked on her projects. “I had to remind myself several times that you won’t see results at first but your hard work pays off in the end.”