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State Honoree

Deloris Barbett

Washington, District Of Columbia

Deloris Barbett, 13, of Washington, D.C., an eighth-grader at KIPP D.C. Key Academy, has spent her weekends over the past few years distributing food and clothing to local people experiencing homelessness . “As I grew up, my mom taught me and my siblings to be willing to give a helping hand to anyone in need,” said Deloris. “I especially love to give back to the homeless, people who have struggled and fallen on hard times.” She buys groceries with her allowance money and saves her outgrown clothing, and then goes out on weekends to distribute food and garments to adults and children in the community who don’t have a permanent place to live.

Deloris sometimes takes her younger brother along on her distribution outings, and tries hard to be a positive role model for fellow students at her school as well. She especially likes to recall the time she bought meals at a McDonald’s restaurant for a woman and her two children standing on a corner. “It was a great feeling,” she said, citing “the joy I get when making someone else smile and be happy.” “It makes me as a person feel good inside that I was able to help spread joy to someone else.”