Sydnee Floyd, 13, of Franklin, Tenn., an eighth-grader at Woodland Middle School, has grown up volunteering in a wide variety of ways to serve those less fortunate. She spent her younger years living in eastern Kentucky where her mother worked at a private college. “The college is located in a county adjoining the poorest county in the United States,” said Sydnee. “I had friends with little food or clothing and I knew I wanted to do something.” With her mother as her example, Sydnee began doing what she could to help.
Her first experience as a volunteer was with an outreach ministry sponsored by the college. Later, Sydnee raised money for meals at homeless centers, wrapped gifts for people in need, and distributed socks, shoes and backpacks filled with school supplies for 500 elementary school students. More recently, she has helped her school collect food for a nonprofit, and volunteered at its warehouse. She also led her school’s student council in collecting supplies for a school destroyed by fire, raised money to buy gifts for hospitalized children, and filled 100 toiletry bags for homeless men in Nashville. Sydnee also conducts leadership workshops for students, serves as a peer tutor, and speaks in classrooms on topics such as bullying, teen suicide, drugs and peer pressure.