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State Honoree

Maya Herr-Anderson

New Mexico

Maya Herr-Anderson, 17, of Albuquerque, N.M., a senior at Highland High School, organized a school- and community-wide food collection program to help feed homeless and impoverished families through a local service organization. Prior to her crusade, Maya had tutored homeless children and had come to realize that all members of poor and homeless families need help, not only the children. So, as president of her school’s Key Club, she arranged a club field trip to the Storehouse, a local charity that provides for families in need. Inspired by what they saw, the club members agreed to solicit and collect donations for the organization and to stock its shelves as a long-term project. Maya also enlisted the help of local Kiwanis members and, as student body president, asked students to donate canned goods in order to attend the school dance. She also arranged a student “Trick or Treat for Canned Foods” project on Halloween. In addition to collecting food, Maya and her helpers attracted valuable publicity for the Storehouse and significantly raised awareness about hunger throughout her school. “There is nothing greater than watching a family rejoice in the food that, without our school, wouldn’t be possible,” she said.