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State Honoree

Elizabeth Foley

Michigan

Elizabeth Foley, 14, of Saline, Mich., an eighth-grader at Saline Middle School, organized the “Visual Ambassadors,” a school group dedicated to educating others about the visually impaired. Elizabeth’s project was inspired by a blind friend, who amazed Elizabeth with her abilities and positive attitude, and who taught Elizabeth how to read Braille. As a result, Elizabeth wanted to help other middle-school students learn about and respect what visually impaired individuals go through each day. After writing a project proposal and obtaining the approval of school officials, Elizabeth developed plans for a six-week after-school “class.” She bought Braille books and other materials, organized a field trip, and put together an application and information packet for students. “My dreams are to have over 100 graduates of my program by the time I go to college,” she said. “Any student that gains even the littlest bit of knowledge would help to make our world a better place.” In the future, Elizabeth also hopes to organize fundraisers for a Michigan guide dog school.