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Distinguished Finalist

Shelby Cooper

Canton, Mississippi

Shelby Cooper, 17, of Canton, Miss., a senior at Germantown High School, serves as volunteer coordinator of the Mississippi Department of Child Protective Services’ backpack program, a role she took after discovering that many foster children must carry their belongings in trash bags when they move between residences. She organized a community effort that involved product donations so foster kids can receive a backpack containing items such as shampoo, stuffed animals, toothbrushes and fun activities.