Let’s start this feature off with a fun fact! Today’s guest is the youngest person ever to be interviewed for AAT, at thirteen-years-old! We’ll go into more details in the upcoming paragraphs, but our guest has already achieved fantastic accomplishments and developed spectacular ambitions, despite her age. I (Anthony Crosby) spent much time thinking back to my time as a thirteen-year-old this week, after speaking with this person and working on this article. At her age, my biggest goal was talking my parents into letting me buy a one-hundred-and-twenty-dollar pair of basketball shoes so that I could be the coolest kid in my middle school! They finally agreed, and I did achieve a great deal of popularity from my footwear…for about a day.
However, I know the heart of our guest isn’t to have anyone compare where he or she is to her and feel inadequate or unaccomplished. Both our guest and AAT want to share her story so that young people of all ages may feel inspired and empowered to start making a difference for the things they care about and believe in!
Today’s guest is a young lady by the name of Megan Dwyer, an eighth-grade honors student at Adobe Middle School where she is the vice president of the future business leaders of America, the secretary of her student council, is involved with yearbook, and even finds time to dance after the school day ends!
On February 23rd, 2019, Megan will be competing in the Miss Elko County Scholarship Organization’s pageant for the title of Miss Elko’s Outstanding Teen. However, the reason why we wanted to speak with Megan wasn’t solely because of her desire to win this title; Megan has been one proactive fundraiser in our community over the past four years, raising over sixteen thousand dollars for Children’s Miracle Network since she began in 2014! However, that impressive feat is just the tip of Megan’s iceberg; let’s meet this remarkable youth!
Megan, thank you from taking some time to speak with us this week! First, raising sixteen thousand dollars for a great cause is quite the feat for anyone, let alone someone who doesn’t even have their driver’s license yet. From where did this drive to help others come, and what else can you tell us about your generosity efforts?
“Ever since I was a little, I’ve felt bad for kids in the hospital, and I’ve felt bad for their families. So, I made it my mission to help children and their families. I focus a lot on cancer because my grandma died of it before I was born. I’ve always thought kids should be able to have a fun childhood; they shouldn’t have to be in the hospital fighting for their lives.
“When I was eight, I starred in the Miss Elko County Princess program. It’s a scholarship program, but I was in the mentor (big sisters) side of it; I didn’t actually compete in the scholarship portion; that got me started with my fundraising and my charities. I’ve donated to Ronald McDonald House Charities, Children’s Miracle Network, and I’ve also done fundraisers for Relay for Life. I started fundraising for Relay for life about four years ago, and I started an all kids team called, Kids Crushing Cancer!”
Thank you for giving us some insight into your work, Megan. I asked because it seems like you’ve acquired much success with it, correct?
“When I was Fundraising for Children’s Miracle Network, as a Princess, I was the number one Princess in the nation when it came to fundraising. Recently, I went to a training camp for pageants, and I was the top fundraiser of all the girls who were there. Last year, I received the “Youth Volunteer of the Year” award from our Chamber of Commerce. I’ve been doing quite a lot in our community and our state and nation!”
Megan, do you think the Elko/Spring Creek community has gotten behind you as you’ve been working so hard to give back to others?
“Yes! I love Elko and Spring Creek. I like that we’re small because we can connect more and be close as a community. However, I don’t plan on living here my entire life because I plan on going to Stanford for college! I plan on studying chemistry, for pharmaceuticals so that I can develop cures for diseases like cancer! At one point, I wanted to be the president, but I don’t think I want to get into politics.”
Finally, why do you feel like you have more of a desire to focus on this type of work rather than the other things out there, buying for a
“This is more long term. With this, I can potentially help save somebody’s life, as to only doing something short term that only benefits me. I want to do something that fulfills me personally, while I’m also helping someone else. To the other teens reading this, if you’re passionate about a cause, do something about that cause! Even if you’re donating five dollars; it helps! You are never too little to make a big difference! If you want to do something, start now! You can do anything you can put your mind to!”
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Until next time, we’ll see you around, Elko!