Students recognized for youth service

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From left: Hamilton County Commissioner Steve Dillinger, Rachel Brown of Hamilton Southeastern High School and her parents, Elaine and Rick Brown. (Submitted photo)

From left: Hamilton County Commissioner Steve Dillinger, Rachel Brown of Hamilton Southeastern High School and her parents, Elaine and Rick Brown. (Submitted photo)

Hamilton Southeastern High School senior Rachel Brown has a long list of accomplishments but her greatest has been that she has found that the greatest value in volunteerism and in everyday life is in the helping of people.

“While connecting with someone, your small actions and attitudes of life can reshape someone’s world and demonstrates that whether you are aware of it or not, your actions made a difference,” she said. “I like to connect with other people more than anything else.”

On May 12, Brown was selected as the winner of the Hamilton County Council on Alcohol and Other Drugs Youth Service Award for 2014 – beating out six other seniors from across the county.

“I feel very humbled,” she said. “With the amount of time (required) there is no room for complacency. I try to fit in as much as I can.”

Brown is president of the school’s Students Against Destructive Decisions program, vice president of her class and a member of the principal’s advisory council. She is a student mentor and a small group leader at her church. Brown is the captain of the schools soccer team and a member of the National Honor Society.

“Rachel is an outstanding young lady and her leadership role has done much to encourage Hamilton Southeastern students to make positive choices against drugs and alcohol. Rachel is serious about every part of life and is valedictorian of her class and truly a positive and impressive leader,” Robert Cutter, Brown’s school counselor, said.

Brown is a Cox Research Scholar and will attend Indiana University in the fall. She plans to major in neuroscience and wants to become a doctor.

The Fishers High School nominee was Kelsey Buckley, who was unable to attend the ceremony.

Buckley is a member of the FHS Band and is very active in her church, teaching the first- to sixth-graders in the Vacation Bible School, and teaching the fourth grade religious education class each Sunday throughout the year. She also is a member of the Fishers Faithful Feet club, a dance ministry that promotes a drug-free lifestyle.

In her application, Buckley wrote that her greatest accomplishment has been her participation in the Cadet Teaching Program as her goal is to become a teacher. She has been at New Britton Elementary School and works with a fourth grade class. Buckley writes that getting the opportunity to student teach has been a wonderful experience especially when students much younger than her ask questions about the D.A.R.E. program and pressures of high school.

Kelsey’s school counselor stated that she has taken the initiative and participates in several activities that allow her to guide younger students in living a healthier lifestyle. She is realistic about outside influences and maintains the strengths of her values and beliefs.

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