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State Honoree

Photo of State Honoree Justin Allen

Justin Allen

New Mexico

Justin Allen, 14, of Albuquerque, N.M., an eighth-grader at Holy Ghost Catholic School, volunteered at his old summer camp last year, performing a variety of tasks to help the camp run smoothly. As a youngster, Justin had attended the camp and looked up to the teen volunteers, including his older sibling, who assisted the staff. "All of the volunteers seemed to look happy even when they were working, so I felt this was something that I wanted to do. I felt that it was important to be a good role model for children," said Justin.

Every day, Justin worked at the camp from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. He did any task he was asked to do, including cleaning up after breakfast, lunch and snack time; cleaning camp buses and the playground; taking out the trash; feeding the camp's bunnies and fish; and cleaning the cages and tanks that house the animals. In addition, Justin helped set up the stage and organize the music for special events. One of his favorite things, Justin said, was helping the young campers. After giving a little boy ice to soothe a bumped head, Justin said he was surprised when the boy later ran up to him and gave him a big hug. "It felt so great to have a young kid adore you just for helping in their time of need," he said.