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State Honoree

Steven Cohen

Missouri

Steven Cohen, 18, of Ladue, Mo., a senior at Ladue Horton Watkins High School in St. Louis, forged a community service partnership between his high school class and an organization that serves abused and neglected children. While vice president of his freshman class three years ago, Steven urged his classmates to lend helping hands to those in need. “I felt if we could find a single organization to form a relationship with, we would be able to better focus our efforts and actually see how we are directly helping others,” Steven said. He connected with the St. Louis Crisis Nursery, and felt the organization offered an opportunity for his class to get actively involved in the lives of the children. Steven won approval from his school’s administrators, and began promoting the idea to his fellow students, many of whom volunteered to help with activities such as holiday parties and roller-skating outings. Later, Steven co-founded a formal “Junior Board” for the organization, which has raised nearly $1,000 to purchase clothes, games, toys and books for the children, and has attracted participation from student volunteers at other schools.