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State Honoree

Photo of State Honoree Madeline Hoskins-Cumbey

Madeline Hoskins-Cumbey

Illinois

Madeline Hoskins-Cumbey, 14, of Oswego, Ill., an eighth-grader at Wheaton Christian Grammar School, founded a nonprofit organization with her younger brother that seeks to engage young people in promoting healthy eating, accessible clean water, and other essentials for healthy living. Madeline's family has a history of poor health, so she learned early on the fundamentals of a healthy lifestyle. Wanting to share this knowledge with others, she started an after-school club that taught 30 kids about nutrition, hydration and healthy habits. Club members then planted an organic garden at their school with a grant won by Madeline.

Clubs and gardens continue to be a major part of Madeline's "SMART2bfit" program. She and her brother organize clubs and camps to teach kids how to be healthy through fun physical activities such as cooking and gardening. They have sponsored five youth-run gardens that have raised thousands of pounds of fresh, organic produce for local food banks. And they organize community walks that educate participants about the global water crisis while raising money to build wells and water tanks in Africa. "I believe today's youth can be a healthier generation that serves others," said Madeline. "Together, we can end hunger and thirst locally and globally, one garden, walk, and kid at time."