Greene County has a bright future ahead with the incredible minds and drive of our local youth regularly showcasing what they are able to accomplish, and we need your help to track down those students and remind them all of their hard work is worth it.
The Greene County Daily World is gearing up for its third annual Bright Future Banquet. With the help of our sponsors -- Greene County General Hospital, City of Linton, Greene County Foundation, Midwest Satellite and McDonald’s -- we will recognize 10 local students. Eligible students attend elementary, junior high, high school or college and are from a Greene County school or Dugger Union School Corporation.
The top 10 students, nominated by Greene County Daily World readers, will be recognized on April 25, where the Shining Star will be named. The top 10 will have their story told in a special section, and will receive a prize package as they are recognized at the banquet.
The last two years, we have been able to tell the stories of 20 Greene County youth who work hard to make our little corner of the world a better place. Whether it was taking their less than ideal situation and helping others learn from it, to leading the way for other local youth to find their own giving path.
Last year, our Shining Star Ian Staggs showcased how much a person can do with a little help and a lot of faith. Staggs served as vice president of his class during his sophomore year, and was involved in service-oriented groups, such as the Student Leadership Program. One of his big projects last year was to help organize a county-wide anti-school violence program, which brought in students from all over the county who vowed to put in the efforts at their respective schools to reduce violence. His dedication to community service also extended outside the walls of the school, where he volunteers his time with the Highway 111 youth group at Linton First Christian Church.
As he focused on allowing his Christian faith to lead him to others in need, he said those people also helped strengthen him as well.
Our first Shining Star was the late Jaden Lauderdale, a young girl whose love of giving continues even after her passing. She sparked a passion in so many, while spending much of her life in a hospital bed.
Lauderdale, who was 14 at the time of her passing, was born with a congenital heart defect. She spent much of her time at Riley Hospital for Children, where she noticed there was no outdoor playground for the children to spend their time. After being faced with the unfortunate fact the hospital couldn’t afford to construct the playground, she began working to raise money.
From her hospital bed, while awaiting a lifesaving heart transplant, Lauderdale helped to make delicious goodies to sell to raise the funds for the playground. She never gave up, hitting and exceeding her $10,000 goal. Lauderdale had to attend our banquet via video call.
Lauderdale passed away in June of 2017, but a few months later, Jaden’s Playground was constructed at Riley. She also inspired her own community in Bloomfield to ensure accessibility to students.
These are just two shining examples of the incredible young people we have in our Greene County community. We want to continue sharing our youth’s stories and inspiring others to make their mark.
If you know of a student who has gone above and beyond in their community, school or helped someone you know, we encourage you to nominate them. There is a form in the paper, The Shopper or visit www.gcdailyworld.com. The deadline to nominate a student is March 29.
The form can be found here.
Read about the 2017 Shining Star here.
Read about the 2018 Shining Star here.
Sabrina is the editor at the Greene County Daily World. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.