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Distinguished Finalist

Caroline McAlexander

Ellston, Iowa

Caroline McAlexander, 17, of Ellston, Iowa, a senior at Mount Ayr High School, has traveled throughout Iowa and taken to social media to inspire hundreds of elementary school students with her message of "Be Y.O.U." (Youthful, Observant and Unique). Motivated by the death of a close friend, Caroline created the educational program to encourage students to feel loved, to be kind, and to be comfortable stepping beyond traditional boundaries so they can truly be themselves.