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Distinguished Finalist

Paige Cook

Cleburne, Texas

Paige Cook, 13, of Cleburne, Texas, a seventh-grader at A.D. Wheat Middle School, started “The Wheat Middle School Pencil Pal,” which has supplied more than 27,000 pencils to students in her school district, alleviating the burden from low-income families and teachers to buy school supplies. Paige, who has hearing and speech impairments, was inspired to start this project as a way to give back to the teachers who have supported and encouraged her academic success.