iBerkshires.com Columnist SectionSue Bush
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North Star Youth Heroes12:00AM / Friday, July 21, 2006
North Adams - The North Star Program of the Reach Community Health Foundation has named three Youth Heroes for 2006.
|Kimberly Rose, 17, is one of three Northern Berkshire youth selected by the North Star Project as a 2006 Youth Hero. [file photo]|
North Star recognized three youths, aged 11 through 17, who embodied the characteristics of a hero.
Katie Hopkins, 17, has been a Junior Volunteer at North Adams Regional Hospital since the summer of 2002. She has given over 700 hundred service hours. She has worked at the "At Your Service Office" where the duties include discharging patients in wheelchairs, delivering mail to patients and staff, delivering newspapers and flowers to patients and taking specimens to labs.
Kimberly Rose, 17, has an after-school activity list common of many high school students, but it is her civic involvement that separates her from many peers. She is a member of the First Baptist Church Youth Group (a body that performs extensive community service in the Northern Berkshires); has volunteered as a staff member at Camp Ashmere; is a member of the Mill City Productions (a local multi-generational community theatre group); and currently is in the UNITY youth leadership program. She is dedicated to building "safe places" for children to be cared for.
Cassie Peltier, 11, has been involved with the David and Joyce Milne Library since she was two years old. At five-years-old, she joined reading club. When Cassie was six years old she joined a writing group. As an eight-year-old, she was training to become a junior librarian and since that time she has volunteered in the children's department at the library. Her co-workers say "she displays an unusual empathy with all sorts of children and adults."
The Youth Hero Award honors local youth from Northern Berkshire County who have meaningfully contributed to the lives of those around them, and whose service has made a difference to our community.
"Our community is built on the efforts of unsung heroes - on the backs of those who selflessly serve others, striving to improve our neighborhoods, schools and lives, and who often receive little recognition," said Lindsey Murtagh, manager of the North Star Program at REACH. "For the past five years, North Star has sought to honor youth who are already doing this -youth who volunteer in our community, who have made a significant impact in the lives of others, or who creatively solve problems that face our
"What amazes me most about many of the youth that we honor is that they rise above challenging circumstances, environments and adversities to help others, to reach out beyond their immediate surroundings," she added.
"There are many heroes in the Northern Berkshires, all dedicated to
helping others and making our community a better place," said Murtagh. "All too often the accomplishments of these people go unrecognized. North Star created the Youth Heroes Award to give our youth the opportunity to receive praise from the community for their hard work, generosity and determination."
The North Star Project of REACH was established by local pediatrician Michael Gerrity, and his wife Ann Clarke-Gerrity in an effort to improve the status of child health in the northern Berkshire Region. North Star examines the status of children's health in our community, explores the issues that impact children's health locally, and establishes collaborative partnerships that work to improve children's lives.
The REACH Community Health Foundation is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the health of the Northern Berkshire community.
A subsidiary of Northern Berkshire Healthcare, the mission of REACH is to improve the health and wellness of the northern Berkshire community through education, outreach, programming and advocacy in collaboration with community members and organizations. For more information on North Star and the REACH Community Health Foundation, call 413-664-5236.
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