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State Honoree

Jace Kilbourne

New Mexico

Jace Kilbourne, 13, of Alamogordo, N.M., a seventh-grader at Chaparral Middle School, organized “Helping Hand,” a food drive at his school that yielded 52 boxes of canned goods and non-perishable food to help feed 75 children at an orphanage in Mexico. Jace’s project was born after he saw a program on the school news channel about hungry children in Mexico. “It made me feel sad that children in Mexico were eating food from trash cans to survive,” said Jace. After talking to his mother and school principal, he came up with the idea for a food drive. Jace made posters and food collection boxes and placed them throughout the school, and enlisted help from fellow students to count and pack the donations for their trip to Casa De Libertad Bethel in Juarez, Mexico. With the success of his food drive, Jace is now planning additional campaigns to collect clothes, school supplies, laundry products and other essentials for the orphanage, and is hoping to include all middle schools in his efforts. “I learned that anyone can make a difference in the world if they try,” Jace said.