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Distinguished Finalist

Joseph (Alex ) Pardue

Burlington, North Carolina

Joseph (Alex) Pardue, 17, of Burlington, N.C., nominated by the Alamance County Community YMCA and a senior at Walter M. Williams High School, teamed up with his local YMCA to raise $140,000 to launch a program that has served more than 50,000 evening meals to kids in need in his school district since the fall of 2017. After a picnic shelter was built at the Y to serve the food, Alex arranged for his school system to prepare the meals, and then lobbied congressmen last year to continue funding the federal program that covers the cost of the meals.