In the last three years, the Greene County Daily World staff has had the opportunity to tell the stories of incredible young men and women who are wise beyond their years.
Through our Bright Future program, we continue to ask our readers to nominate students, ranging from elementary school to college-age from any Greene County school or Dugger Union School Corporation, who have demonstrated a willingness and drive to give back to their community.
We have had the pleasure of sharing the stories of more than 30 Greene County youth (including a couple of dual nominations, totaling 32). Once we share the stories of the top 10 finalists, we then narrowed down the list to one person who was named that year’s Shining Start.
In 2019, we recognized Linton-Stockton’s Audrey Moore. She does a lot of ministry work locally, but it was during a mission trip to Nashville that Moore saw a need and took it upon herself to address. She saw the number of homeless people in need of a variety of things, including blankets to keep warm. She came home and right away started a blanket drive, later delivering more than 300 blankets to not only the area that sparked her passion, but the local Family Life Center in Bloomfield.
In 2018, Ian Staggs from White River Valley was honored. Staggs is a take-charge kind of teen. When he sees a need within his community, he steps up to lead the way, whether it’s at school or at church. Staggs funnels his passions into causes that aim to reduce school violence, promote anti-slavery and eliminate bullying at schools. In 2018, when students across the nation were walking out of their schools to make a point about the violent outcome of the school shootings in Florida, Staggs stepped up to create a more positive movement, inviting all Greene County students to make a pledge against school violence.
In 2017, we named our first Shining Star, the late Jaden Lauderdale of Bloomfield. Lauderdale’s journey to making an impact on the world started during yet another trip to Riley Children’s Hospital while she awaited a heart transplant. The 14-year-old saw a need for an outdoor playground to allow the children to get some fresh air. Rather than sitting back to complain, she started baking -- using her passion for sweet treats to raise funds for the play area. Though Lauderdale passed away before she could see her dream come to fruition, her family worked hard to keep her memory alive and Jaden’s Playhouse is now housed at Riley. Funds were also used to place a bench in her name at Bloomfield School District.
Each of the students nominated in the last three years has been an incredible passion for their fellow man, whether it be ensuring people of all abilities are able to enjoy their free time or giving back to the neediest people in and around our communities. Their stories are so different, yet they all have one common theme: giving back to make the world a better and brighter place.
With this in mind, we ask you to once again submit Bright Future nominations.
Help us recognize local students who are going above and beyond to create a better community, state and country. We are blessed to have some of the most caring and selfless young people in our area, and they deserve a moment in the spotlight. As well as to encourage them to keep up the hard work, and know their good deeds are not going unnoticed.
Do you know a Greene County or DUCS student who fits these parameters? Please nominate them using the form in the Greene County Daily World newspaper, The Shopper or www.gcdailyworld.com, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Include your name and contact information, their name and contact information and a detailed explanation of why you believe the student should be considered a Shining Star.
Sabrina is the editor of the Greene County Daily World. She can be reached at email@example.com.