Charlton Boyd created a program called Books Out of Kindness when he was in the fourth grade that has provided thousands of books for less fortunate elementary school children in the Shreveport area. In addition to raising thousands of dollars to fund his program, he has also recruited classmates to read to preschool and kindergarten children at a nearby school. He is also an outstanding tennis player and plays the violin.
Cerebral Palsy has not stopped Samuel Cooper from being a leader at Evangel Christian. He refuses to use a walker or a wheelchair and his determination inspires everyone around. A member of the Evangel Student Leadership Team, he has also participated in Race for the Cure, Discover the Piece walk for Autism and the Hustle for Health fundraiser.
Cassidy Crews of Deville worked with her younger brother Cody to collect more than 300 pairs of shows for the less fortunate in her community, Africa and Haiti through the Soles4Souls program. . Cassidy has also been a tireless worker for Coats for Kids, Toys for Tots and a drive to provide uniforms for school children. She has also had to overcome adversity in her own life, suffering major injuries in a ATV crash in 2009 that forced her to relearn how to walk and ended her softball career. During her rehab, she has sung at nursing homes, fairs, adult day care centers and children’s events.
Jenna Mitchell is battling Multiple Sclerosis and Optic Neuritis, a disease that will eventually cause her to go blind. She hasn’t let her physical hardships get her down. She is preparing for the day she will lose her sight by learning Braille and sometimes walks blindfolded down the hall learn how to use a cane to navigate, She still finds time to volunteer at a local soup kitchen, volunteers at the Parish Library and tutors other students while maintaining her own 3.5 grade point average.
Shaela Nelson lost both her parents when she was in middle school and her grandmother in 2010 leaving her in the custody of her older sister. An outstanding student in the Academy of Engineering at Scotlandville Magnet in Baton Rouge, she is a leader in a long list organizations at the school including the National Society of Black Engineers, the SMHS MoonBuggy Team, I Care and mentors other students through the Girls in Engineering, Math and Science (GEM).
Katherine Rashall is an outstanding student and leader at North Caddo High who also raises award-winning cattle. When she was very young, she spent time in a homeless shelter before she and her two older sisters were adopted by her grandparents. She tirelessly donates her time to her school, church and community working with the Any Soldier Project, collecting telephone books for recycling, making cards for children in the hospital and reading to the elderly at nursing homes. She also worked with the after school program at the Allendale Friendship House.
Nicole Marie Torres has raised thousands of dollars for the St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital; and has collected food, clothes and toys for a domestic abuse center called Taylor House where she and her brother and mother resided for a time. She also helps provided care for her brother Sean who is autistic.
Ty’Riana Wilson lost her mother to cancer when she was in elementary school and her loss has made her determined to make the most of her life. Despite numerous school activities and a part-time job, she also finds time to work with the Ronald McDonald House, Toys for Tots, the Boys and Girls Club, help collect food for the needy, call bingo at a nursing home and be an usher at her church. She has done all this while helping to care for her grandmother and great grandmother.