2000 USA Student Finalists

Mariah Becker
Davenport Central High School

Promoting Youth Volunteerism Through the Internet
In an effort to promote youth volunteerism in my community, I created a website listing local agencies who utilize youth volunteers. I then made presentations to youth in my community promoting my website. This has given youth previously interested in volunteering the resources and information to get them started, as well as exposing other youth to the idea of volunteering.

Sara Busch
Waverly-Shell Rock High School

Waverly’s Heroes: World War II Veterans Chronicled
“There are some people who say it never happened, but it did . . . The world cannot forget . . .” This story and over seventy other World War II veterans’ stories have been compiled in the book Waverly’s Heroes: World War II Veterans Chronicled which has been distributed to local schools and libraries. A unique piece of history has been preserved forever.

Jacqueline Dammann
Manning High School

Sharing Time Among Residents and Students I feel that the “generation gap” has become a huge problem in our nation. Students’ attitudes towards older generations are that of disregard and disrespect. I also feel that older generations often have negative attitudes towards those younger than them. My project is an attempt to use hands-on projects between the generations to bridge that gap.

Joshua Eklund
Fairfield Christian School

Helping the Homeless in Southeast Iowa
My project, Helping the Homeless in Southeast Iowa, includes making the communities more aware of homelessness in southeast Iowa; distributing food to organizations and shelters that help the homeless; giving Bibles to the shelters to give to those who come; and delivering stuffed animals with a little card attached for the children at the shelters.

Lindsay Hayes
Clarinda High School

Helping Hands
Helping Hands is a voluntary-based organization designed to assist the elderly and the disabled with their shopping needs. The program achieves this by having volunteers go into the homes, get their shopping requests, return to the home and put the items in their designated places. Helping Hands is a fun, non-profit organization.

Thomas Herzmann
Starmont High School (Arlington)

Garbage Reduction, Recycling, and Composting Program of Buchanan County
Where does your garbage go? Recycling and composting over 30 percent of your garbage could reap benefits. Recycling and composting have many benefits to the environment and ourselves. By introducing strict recycling guidelines, obtaining a compost bin, and implementing recycling and composting into our everyday lives, we can all reduce the amount of garbage we create each week.

Betsy Kane
Prairie City-Monroe High School

Reorganizing the Percy Fair
My project is revamping an old country fair. The Percy Fair has been around for 70 years, and in the past few years it has slowly lost appeal to the younger generation. This year I decided to step up as the fair chairperson, along with 20 high school senior volunteers, to bring life and profitability back to the fair.

Lindsey Koele
Gladbrook-Reinbeck High School

Parkview Pasts
As our population ages, many men and women are passing away with their stories untold. To help save these priceless memories, I am interviewing residents of our local nursing home. Interviews are video-taped, printed, and also saved on a computer disk. The information will be accessible to all so that precious legacies of these uncommon heroes will never die.

Kelsey Maakestad
Osage High School

Russian Internet Project
The Russian Internet Project is a blueprint for creating a communication network between Iowa and Russian Sister City Youth Groups and schools. Most Russian schools don’t have technology. This project outlines a plan for raising funds for a computer, includes a contract that will insure educational access, and includes an integrated project that can be used in the school system.

Jennifer Neal
Madrid High School

A Town Revival
I have been working for almost two years on restoring a theater in town for public use. This town is very small and has no place to hold plays, meetings, or concerts. Having this theater in working condition would give everyone an advantage and give the town a historical sight. I have spent two years on this project.

Katie Oswald
Fredericksburg High School

A Preventative and Proactive Program for Alcohol Abuse
Alcohol abuse and under age drinking are major concerns which touch people of all ages. I created preventative and proactive opportunities for a wide range of youth. Alternative options were available for the older youth to prevent alcohol use situations. Reaching out to all youth to educate them on alcohol abuse effects were also part of my project.

Hyun (Joseph) Seo
Iowa City West High School

The Ideal Behavior of the Media
When privileges in the Media can be owned and bought, speech cannot be as free and uninhibited as it is meant to be. I have undertaken the task of creating a website that will fairly and accurately represent the various political parties present in Johnson County. This will allow people to access and discuss various politics, and allow online discussions.

Anna Sikes
Southeast Polk Home School

Character: Recipe for Success
Much like President Hoover worked to rebuild Europe, I am working to restore character in the lives of young people, by teaching them to dance with their feet and their hearts and to sing with their voices as well as their souls. My project uses music centered on character qualities designed to strengthen, and equip them for life’s travails.

Megan Wiemold
Cherokee Washington High School

Bags of Hope
Bags of Hope is a program that collects bags for foster children. I saw a need for this program after watching nearly all of the foster children placed with my family carry their belonging in garbage bags. With Bags of Hope, I will be able to provide a better way to transport their most precious and sometimes only belongings.

Catherine Withrow
LeMars Gehlen Catholic High School

Illustration was a program which offered the joy of fine arts to youth in my community. For one week, twenty-five second and third grade students created visual art, danced, experienced live theater, and listened and participated in various types of music. Illustration instilled a love of the arts in these uncommon students and encouraged a future in artistic expression.

Chelsea Zeman
Iowa City City High School

Just A Beginning
The goals of my project are to formalize and execute the processes and procedures necessary to plan and direct future annual City High Homecoming parades. This involves an enormous organizational effort involving city regulations, student participation, school administration commitment, and community involvement.