Two years ago I participated in an event, Dancers Kickin' Cancer. This event was a fundraiser for the L3 Foundation. They raise money for pediatric cancer patients. The foundation was founded by a little boy, Landon who was battling cancer and ended up losing his battle at the age of 10. His dad Scott addressed the crowd and encouraged us, especially the kids, to #MakeADifference. The story of Landon and the challenge from his dad inspired me to do just that, make a difference.
After visiting with my parents and Mr. Scott, I started my first service project, Hats Off for a Cure, at the age of nine. Through that campaign I collected over 3,000 hats for the children battling cancer at Texas Children’s Cancer Center. I received hats from not only in our area but as far as New York, Pennsylvania, Kansas, and New Jersey. This campaign inspired adults to start their own hat collections in different parts of Texas.
During my service project I was nominated by my counselor, Ms. Jennifer Vandenbrook, to participate in the Lone Star Leadership Academy summer camp in Dallas/Ft. Worth. After my amazing experience, I signed up for the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council. During that program I started my next service project, Sock Out Cancer, where I collected fun, warm, cozy socks for the children at Texas Children’s Cancer Center. Through social media and public speaking, I collected over 500 pairs of socks.
I am currently working on my third service project, Out Play Cancer. I am collecting gently used DVD movies, video games, and board games. These items will be donated to kids battling cancer at Texas Children’s.
This past summer I participated in my second Lone Star Leadership Academy summer camp in Austin/San Antonio. I am also participating in my second year on the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council. Participating in these programs has helped me continue and strengthen my leadership roles. I serve on the Inaugural Student Council at my middle school and serve as Spirit Coordinator. I am also on the dance team at my school and at my studio and am an orchestra member.
I am looking forward to attending my third Lone Star Leadership Academy summer camp in Houston/Galveston in 2019 and hope to eventually serve as a Youth Facilitator on the camps.
Kaitlyn and ninety-three other outstanding young Texans are leading service projects across our state this school year as members of Education in Action’s Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council. Upon completion of a Lone Star Leadership Academy camp, alumni may join the Alumni Council to continue their leadership development during the school year. To learn more, visit www.educationinaction.org/alumni-council. To view past years’ members’ projects, visit www.educationinaction.org/alumni-council/alumni-council-members-service-projects.