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Sarah Brady has been through a lot in her 17 years. She and her mother were kidnapped by her abusive father when she was eight months old and she has battled a long list of physical problems including kidney cancer, Neurofibromatosis, Spondylolisthesis, and Scoliosis. Hurricane Katrina also flooded her house and she and her mother had to live in a church shelter for seven months.
Zachary High senior Katie Browne’s mother was killed in a car accident in April 2011, just a few years after their Ohio house burned down. Despite all the adversity in her life, she has been an excellent student and an outstanding catcher on the Zachary High Softball Team, Katie was named District 4-5A Most Valuable Player this past year and has signed to play softball at Georgia. Katie has also found time to spend afternoons with a World War II veteran at the Louisiana War Veterans Home.
Elijah Evans was a victim of child abuse at an early age and has dedicated his life to spreading the word about child abuse and its effects. He has created a T-shirt and rap song for his “No Use for Abuse” and has recruited a wide range of people including musicians, stylists, motorcycle clubs and family members to help raise money for his campaign.
Dylan Faughan is legally blind but that hasn’t stopped him from contributing his time and effort to raising money for the Greater Baton Rouge Homeless Shelter, the Food Bank and the cake auction to raise money to beautify the campus at the Louisiana State School for the Visually Impaired. He also competes in cross country, the long jump and high jump for his school.
Nathaniel Hearn is an outstanding student at the Dunham School in Baton Rouge After one of his grandfathers died of a ruptured aneurysm; he has dedicated himself to raising awareness of the dangers of Aortic Aneurysms. After he was hospitalized after a serious bout of Irritable Bowel Syndrome at the Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital, he led a drive that collected more than 600 videos tapes and games for the hospital. He also spearheaded a drive that collected more than 300 batteries for toys and monitors at Children Life Department of the hospital.
Gabe Hilliard has battled Hodgkin Lymphoma since 2009 but is currently cancer free. He has spearheaded a drive for the Bone Marrow Registry so that donors could be found like the one he received and has designed T-shirts and helped raised funds for St. Jude and other cancer-related groups. He also served as a counselor at Cancer Services Camp Care, a weeklong camp for children with cancer and their families. Gabe also acts as a mentor for young cancer patients, helping them get through their cancer journey. Despite all of his treatment he has maintained a 3.9 grade point average at Denham Springs High School.
Jian Massucco has a 4.3 grade point average at Baton Rouge Magnet High School. She started a group called You Got Served that helps underprivileged children, needy families and the elderly. She has organized numerous fundraising events including collecting more than 300 pairs of shoes for Tsunami victims and 600 books for a Baton Rouge day care.
Karissa Robertson has a 3.7 GPA and has already earned 37 hours of college credit. .A four-year starter in soccer at North Caddo Magnet, she has been involved in a long list of clubs and activities including providing Christmas presents for underprivileged children and making shoe boxes full of gifts for children in Kenya.