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State Honoree

Photo of State Honoree Kayleigh LaPre

Kayleigh LaPre

Rhode Island

Kayleigh LaPre, 17, of Cumberland, R.I., a junior at Cumberland High School, spearheads or participates in a wide variety of volunteer activities that benefit children in homeless shelters and low-income families, senior citizens, homeless animals and others. Kayleigh has been volunteering since she was very young. "What inspired me was my awareness early in life on how, as small as you feel, you have a voice, and you can make a difference," she said. But she greatly expanded her activities after becoming extremely ill in the eighth grade and worrying that she hadn't "left a mark or legacy yet."

Since 2013, Kayleigh has collected 2,686 pairs of jeans from neighbors, schools and businesses, and donated them to kids in homeless shelters around the country. Jeans that were unwearable were made into dog toys and given to an animal shelter and dogs in foster homes. Kayleigh also has taken temporary care of homeless dogs and puppies and helped to find them homes. In addition, she has helped provide Christmas gifts to children in need, sung Christmas carols and made 118 Valentine's Day cards for residents of a retirement home, made 423 birthday cards for kids in homeless shelters, performed dances with her dance studio to benefit numerous charities, and volunteered at a Bible camp during the summer.