The Children Who Are Community Development’s Next Gen

“KIDDO KUDOS” from Northwest HUD Lines – March 2012

Many a kid has gotten many a bad rap often just for being a kid.  But if you’ve ever stayed up late night worrying about what will become of the world once they take charge, consider the 2012 winners of the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, given annually to middle and high school students for their service in the community.  Another impressive list of winners has been announced.

Like 17-year-old Jesse Sheldon of Spokane Valley who started a “diaper bank” that’s provided more than 35,000 diapers to “struggling” families. Or,12-year-old Skyler Lee of Longview who’s collected and donated 1,500 coats to the local Salvation Army. Or 7th grader Keefer Brown of Wasilla who raised $2,50 to care for injured seals at the Alaska Sea Life Center. Or 18-year-old Teresa Baldwin of Sitka who founded an organization to promote development of suicide prevention programs across Alaska. Or Ariana Drake, 18, of Pocatello who founded Hands4Uganda which has raised more than $30,000 to build a new school there.  Or Hayden Lake 6th grader Emily Kladar who, with her sister, has raised some $60,000 to help children who need heart surgery. Or Medford 8th grader Chloe Staten who has raised money and recruited volunteers to help families with children who have cancer.  Or, last but not least, and Alexander Stork, 18, of Klamath Falls who has recruited 44 other young people to read one-on-one to children who’ve fallen behind.

Not to worry, in other words.  Looks like the future, is in very good hands.